Emmanuel Homestead Report December 2020
The tightening of the COVID-19 restrictions resulted in limited activities in this quarter. Schools were closed and only private schools continued carrying out some lessons on zoom. Towards September month end, students were allowed to physically school but while observing social distancing, wearing of masks and regular washing of hands.
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, the church grew numerically and Sunday services were vibrant like never before. The Sunday school pupils also increased in number together with the youth wing.
There was a slight improvement regarding our sustainable projects in the quarter. Both the pigs and the birds increased in number. Land preparation was done and seed sown. The crops are doing well.
Food distribution was done particularly under the foster parent program and this was a good evangelism tool since most (15) people got born again because of this initiative.
A new look given as a result of painting of some housing units. Some decorations were made to all of the housing units so that the buildings become children friendly. The commissioning exercise resulted in complete new look of the orphanage
Education and Health Support
A third of our children continued to learn through zoom, group studies, one-on- one with private tutors. This was common particularly for exam classes or candidates; Grade 7, Form 4th and 6 The majority were at home waiting for the upliftment of the lockdown. The Cambridge students opened on the 14th of September 2020 and subsequently, the Zimsec candidates opened on the 28 of the same month.
School fees were paid up for children going to school. This quarter they staggered opening of schools as a COVID-19 restriction measure. Examination classes continued with their private lessons and were paid for. Some completed writing their exams in November (Cambridge students) whilst those who sit for the local exams will finish this year February.
Life Skills Development
Children were involved in some life skills routine activities like weeding, feeding of pigs, traditional chickens, guinea fowls, turkeys and rearing of goats and sheep. One of our child Jubilee excelled twice and won two gold medals both in Masvingo and Harare in her tennis tournament under the red ball category(see below)
There was a significant increase in the number of birds following hatching from either the hatchery or naturally. The traditional chickens are now 50, turkeys 18 and guinea fowls 15. We expect more increase of the birds particularly the guinea fowls.
This quarter saw four of the sows furrowing and giving a total of 24 piglets. We lost 7 to bad weather (rains) because of the low temperatures. We expect a steady increase in the number of pig following death of quite a number due to inbreeding. We managed to buy some pig concentrate to mix with maize grain to improve their nutrition. We have a total of 30 pigs at the moment.
Both herds for goats and sheep remained stagnant during the course of the quarter. We however expect an increase since some are expecting. All of them were healthy and the little ones growing up well. Pastures are readily available because of the incessant rains. Vaccination is being done more often now because of the widespread of ticks and fleas.
The fruit trees in the expanded orchard are flourishing and blossoming. There is a mixed variety of fruit trees ranging from mangoes, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapes, avocado pears, mulberries etc. the trees are in excess of 100 to date.
The memorial garden established at Emmanuel Homestead is flourishing because of the incessant rains the Lord has blessed us with this year. We added some varieties to brighten up the garden.
About 1.5 ha is under maize crop at the orphanage. Maize seed was intercropped with beans and both crops are doing quite well because of the abundant rains. We also planted round nuts, cowpeas and sweet potatoes
Children and Youth Ministry
Our children ministry is becoming more and more vibrant. They average 30 on a Sunday service. They now attend their services separately as a COVID-19 restriction measure. They are normally involved in bible story reading, quiz, scripture recitation and ball games.
Our youths managed to conduct an outing in September at one of the resort site, Mutirikwi Lodges near Lake Mtirikwi/Kyle. Attendance was awesome, 40+ and we had a mixed variety of activities ranging from bible teachings, lessons leant, testimonies, games, quiz etc. they were also treated with a braai and soft drinks during the outing. The objective was to get them know each other better, the Advisors also establishing a strong relationship with them and also to open up their lives to biblical teachings outside the church auditorium.
A sleepover meeting was conducted during the quarter and all the youths had an opportunity to get some feedback from two others who had attended an Interdenominational youth conference on dating, courtship and marriage. A question and answer session ensued as we capacitated the youths on life issues. The girls later received their sanitary hygiene pack as shown below.
Holiday time gave ample time for some children to relax and enjoy themselves in water.
As adults we enjoyed ourselves with the children during the Christmas holiday. We thank the Lord so much for the diversity of nature we viewed. It was indeed celebration time as we also remembered the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We did targeted evangelism this quarter in child headed households and by His grace got more than 15 adults giving their lives to Christ. These were gotten through a food distribution exercise. Door to door witnessing coupled with gospel pamphlet distribution continued during the course of the quarter. An outreach was done in one of the resettlement areas where evangelism, discipleship and prayer was taught to a group of Christians.
A Christmas party was conducted during one of the Sunday Services. Believers delighted themselves in the Lord as they exchanged gifts and broke bread together. Saints danced to music and had an awesome time in the Lord.
The church organization continues to enjoy partnerships with 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). A number of capacity building workshops were conducted during the quarter.
9. Foster Parenting
Foster parenting remains pivotal in our programming as we continued to see a significant increase in number of children under foster care. HIV and AIDS together with these non communicable diseases have wrecked havoc in our society leaving many children vulnerable and hence liable to foster care. We experienced a 30% increase in foster care in this quarter. More primary care givers shall therefore be trained in foster care so that the children are well catered for.
Progress was registered in the three triplets reported in my previous report. The children are growing up and in good health. The mother was supported with milk feeds and porridge for the babies. Growth monitoring done monthly showed that they are growing up well. Immunization was also done within the reporting period.
With the increase in orphans and vulnerable children in our community, it is of paramount importance to train more caregivers. Because of much awareness, most Christian families are now forthcoming with regards to bring in children to be fostered. Culturally, it was difficult to take children whom you are not related to in families.
Foster homes in this quarter received a food basket to cushion them in this COVID-19 period. A total of 50 households benefited from this program and they were grateful unto the Lord and to Change A Life Foundation. The food basket comprised of 20kg mealie meal, 2kg soya meal, 750ml cooking oil, 2kg flour and some gospel pamphlets to distribute to neighbors.
We also continued to offer psychosocial support and Corona virus awareness to foster homes and surrounding communities. Some child headed households have become peer educators who stand to offer support and awareness to their peers within the communities. Psychosocial support remains an ongoing exercise in our operation areas
EFZ opening up the session. CFI Secretary officiating the program
Coordination continued with sister children homes continued, Rose of Sharon, Tanyaradzwa, Voice of Peace Children Homes and Esteemed Children Trust. Informal meetings were conducted through WhatsApp and end of year reports submitted by most members. Generally children were doing well in respective homes despite the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
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
Incessant rains experienced also limited movement and other activities.
In the subsequent quarter we envisage the following:
Conduct PSS training for godly parents
School fees payment, training of Foster parents and entrepreneurs
Girls Sleep over night and youth outing
Support visit to Tanyaradzwa in Murehwa and Esteemed Children Trust in Epworth
Growing of crops and vegetables
Repair of the pigsty.
Purchase of more birds, goats and sheep.
Completion of the halfway home in Chisiya
Purchase of feeds for the animals
1Provision of psychosocial support for primary caregivers
We are grateful unto the Lord for the continued partnership with Every Home for Christ Canada, Change A Life Foundation and International Cooperating Ministries.