This quarter was characterized by a hive of activities following the upliftment of the lockdown measures by the government first week of February. The activities ranged from children’s schooling, sustainable projects, foster parenting, children and youth ministry, evangelism, church commissioning just to mention but a few. By His grace, lives were preserved during the quarter.
Education and Health Support
Schools opened in February and closed early April. Score of children (80%) passed their end of term exams resoundingly including those in tertiary institutions.
School fees and uniforms were purchased in this term for a few children though. School fees were hiked because of hyperinflation rampant in our nation. On average school's fees were increased between 80-120% depending on the type of school, whether its government, council or privately owned. Most children are in government and council schools which are reasonably charged. Below are some of the results just for a few individuals.
Tawananyasha Form 3 scooped seven awards in various subjects. The School Head said,” He is the model student for Junior High School”
Life skill Development
Children were involved in some routine life skills activities like weeding, feeding of pigs, traditional chickens, guinea fowls, turkeys and rearing of goats and sheep. A few were also involved in carpentry work particularly when roofing was taking place at Mashate church sanctuary.
Jubilee again managed to garner a gold medal under the Orange Ball tennis tournament held in Masvingo city. The 10-year-old girl has been invited to a South African (Pretoria) tennis academy (Gerrie Dippenaar) because of her performance. We thank the Lord for this milestone achievement and look forward to some scholarship to cover her costs.
The Home managed to purchase four She goats and gilts to beef up the herd. Following the good rains received lately, pastured are blossoming and hence the animals are in good health. One She goat gave birth to a kid which is growing well.
The road runners had 20 more chicks but more than 80% succumbed to predators in the area. Four of our turkeys were also killed by our own dogs at the Homestead. This however is a very unusual incident, so we had to dispose of the dogs to avoid similar incidences.
The layers project is doing quite well following an increase in the number of birds. We now have a total of 230 birds from the previous 129. We managed to cage 96 of the birds after purchasing a battery cage. To date, we picked an average of 210 eggs per day translating to $24.50 per day. We managed to purchase feed and medication assistance from the children though.
Following the good rains received between November and December, our maize crop did quite well. When rains vanished in February, by God’s grace our crop had gone past the stage it succumbs to moisture stress. We therefore managed to have a bumper harvest this year. We estimate between 25-30 fifty kg bags. The cowpeas and groundnuts also did quite well but are still to be harvested.
The flower garden continued to blossom following the good rains. Weeding was done by the children just give it a better outlook.
Children and Youth Ministry
The youths managed to conduct a youth etiquette workshop. They were taught on proper conduct based on 1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
This is a lifetime teaching which improves the conduct of youth in their interaction with the world in this global village. The youths ought to be relevant and appreciate the worldly dynamics and at the same time preserve their Christian heritage amidst many distortions in language, culture, practices and even Christian doctrines.
The Sunday school pupils continued with their lessons throughout the quarter. The group is growing, and more time committed to their work since it’s an active group. They were involved in bible lessons, stories, poems, memory verses narration and the usual children plays.
Evangelism was actively done during the quarter and above 35 people gave their lives to the Lord. Activity was generally confined to Mashate and Mapanzure sanctuaries where construction and subsequent commissioning of the church was done in Masvingo rural district. This exercise resulted in the birth of the two churches which are doing quite well in terms of attendance and activity. Both churches are healthy in terms of growth numerically and spiritually. EHC Zimbabwe supplied gospel tracts to CFI church and other church partners.
The church organization continues to enjoy partnerships with umbrella bodies like National Association for Non-Governmental Organization (NANGO), Zimbabwe Aids Network (ZAN), Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) and Masvingo Association for Residential Care Facilities Trust (MARCFT).
Foster parenting continued in the 12 homes. The routine activities like bible studies (Wednesdays), prayer every morning and corporately (Friday’s), career guidance, economic empowerment, children’s games, household chores etc. continued to be conducted. The health and nutrition status of the children was splendid and good. To improve on quality-of-service delivery on the part of caregivers, competition is going to be encouraged so that homes that surpass the expected targets are awarded accordingly. There is therefore needed to embark on foster training so that quality services are provided to the children by the godly parents in the subsequent quarter.
Foster parenting remains a critical component in child care outside institutions and a lot of investment has to be done in terms of training of the caregivers, identification of foster homes particularly from Christians, networking with other homes, and development of a standard child care module to raise the children well.
It is through these foster homes were support I terms of labor occasionally is availed at the Homestead. It is indeed an opportunity to teach life skills and community interactions as they mingle with resident children. Sharing of information is fostered in some way strengthening the bonds between children being raised in different environments.
To date a total of 36 children are under foster care and the number is being limited because of resources availability. The church of late is considering supporting these foster homes but is however limited too by resource constraints.
However, food and medication were provided adequately to the foster homes. Because of hyperinflation, the cost of food is slowly becoming a challenge. Alternative ways of supplying food are being sought e.g. production of cereals (maize grain, wheat), relish (cowpeas, beans and vegetables) in various plots we can rent. Land at the orphanage is not adequate at the moment.
Mashate Assembly Mapanzure Assembly
Coordination continued with sister children homes continued, Rose of Sharon, Tanyaradzwa, Horizon Zimbabwe children's homes and Esteemed Children Trust. Support visits were done to two partners in Harare, Horizon Zimbabwe and Rose of Sharon.
In this quarter of project implementation, the following were the challenge faced:
Hyperinflation remains the common challenge resulting in exorbitant prices for commodities.
Covid 19 pandemic was also a challenge since it limited movement and association with other members
School fees hikes were a major challenge at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary.
In the subsequent quarter we envisage the following:
Conduct Foster parenting training for godly parents
Expansion of vegetable production
School fees payment
Continued rearing of layers, road runners, goats, pigs and sheep
Purchase of feeds and medication for the animals
Prayer convention for godly parents, foster parents and children
We are grateful unto the Lord for the continued partnership with Every Home for Christ Canada, Change A Life Foundation and International Cooperating Ministries.