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Footballers partner Red Cross to assist Chirumanzu villagers

By Style Reporter

Thirty villagers who were affected by Cyclone Idai in Chirumanzu in the Midlands province got a shot in the arm after the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) and the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) recently donated an assortment of goods, including food hampers.

Some villagers in the newly-resettled area of Chinu in Muwonde ward had their homes destroyed by heavy rains and strong winds induced by Cyclone Idai in March.

While most attention was paid to Chipinge and Chimanimani where the situation was devastating, ZRCS first mobilised resources for the affected families.

“This is a second donation that we are making in partnership with FUZ after we assisted the affected families here in April,” said ZRCS communications manager Stambuli Kim.

“Due to our community presence, we were the first responders when Cyclone Idai hit the country. Our thrust with regards to disaster preparedness and emergency response is to assist the affected communities as they recover, building their capacity so that they are able to deal with such disasters in future while building their resilience so that they are able to bounce back better from a crises.

“We are very grateful that the football fraternity through FUZ partnered with the Red Cross in giving emergency relief materials to the affected families. Their kind gesture has demonstrated that we are each other’s keeper and we must stand together in difficult times by helping each other in whatever way.”

FUZ administrator Vaidah Makotsa said football players represented by the Desmond Maringwa-led association donated to the victims.

“The players who include both local and foreign based players mobilised resources and purchased items which include an assortment of foodstuffs, sanitary ware and cutlery,” Makotsa said.

She said football being a unifying game is supported by many people in different parts of the country and the affected communities are part of the football fraternity either directly as players or indirectly as supporters.

“The players, through FUZ, were moved by the tragedy that befell the country and it was only befitting that the players participate through this donation,” she said.

Mako Sibanda, a villager who lost a house and crops commended FUZ and ZRCS for the donation.

“I am ecstatic over the donations but however we are scared that the rainy season is approaching and we do not have permanent shelter,” Sibanda said.
“l have a wife and five children, we have one temporary room which we built after our three roomed house was swept away and we use the one room for multi-purposes.

“There is no privacy in our family as we sleep together with the girls, boys and the parents sharing a room which is very awkward.”

Chirumanzu assistant district administrator Margret Mhlanga welcomed the support from ZRCS and FUZ, saying it will go a long way in assisting the families.

“The rains also destroyed the little crops that the families had harvested, so this kind of support is welcome,” she said.

“We also extend our gratitude to other organisations that have supported the cause, but the challenge now is rebuilding the infrastructure that was destroyed by the cyclone.”

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