EIGHT Harare-based journalists have embarked on a project to assist vulnerable children after being touched by their plight which they witness while executing their duties.
BY JENNIFER DUBE
The journalists last week donated second-hand clothes to over 125 less-privileged children in Harare’s Kambuzuma high-density suburb.
The group’s representative, freelance journalist, Robert Tapfumaneyi, said the project was still at its infancy but was hopeful that it would spread to other parts of the country.
Under the “Journalists on a Special Assignment” banner, the scribes have been collecting second-hand clothes and other items for donation to the less-privileged since last year.
Gogo Letty Mhizha, who takes care of the 125 children, last week confirmed receiving the donation.
“The journalists donated clothes which we gave to a number of the children,” she said.
“Some of the clothes are too big for the kids, so we will alter them to size.”
Tapfumaneyi said the scribes felt it was high time they did more than just identifying people’s needs, and leaving it up to donors to assist.
“We felt that we should take a leading role in our communities by first asking for donations from our colleagues and relatives rather than just urging non-governmental organisations and companies to help,” said Tapfumaneyi.
“We are now in the process of raising funds to buy plates, cups and pots because some of the cooking pots Gogo Mhizha is using are old.”
Gogo Mhizha was featured in The Standard sometime in 2010, detailing how a “strange voice” nudged her into assisting orphans from her neighbourhood.
Mhizha said a strange voice kept talking to her in her sleep urging her to take care of five children from her Methodist church.
The parents had died of HIV and Aids-related illness in 2009. With the help of volunteers from her church, Gogo Mhizha started providing orphans and other vulnerable children from the neighbourhood with lunch prepared at her house.
Some German visitors last year came to her rescue and bought her a house in Kambuzuma Section 4, which is now the feeding point for the children.
“Our needs are however increasing with the numbers,” Mhizha said.
“We started a soccer team for the boys and we kindly appeal for uniforms. Our pots are now old. many of them have holes, which makes cooking very difficult.”
She added: “We would also want to conduct sewing, cooking and welding lessons for the children, but we do not have materials and our space is very small. we need more ground to operate from.”
Most of the children attend school in the neighbourhood after they were assisted by Gogo Mhizha to enroll under the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam), where government pays their fees.