Emmanuel Homestead Report June 2020
Updated: Jul 8
This quarter saw the children closing schools abruptly because of COVID 19 pandemic. This was a sorrowful situation since children were denied the opportunity to even write their exams. The exam classes were mostly affected. We thank the Lord so much because none of our children or foster parents contracted COVID 19 to date.
The four remaining housing units were finally completed in terms of plastering, flooring and painting. We made use of the lockdown period and the Lord was on our side.
Coordination activities continued during the course of the quarter via whatsapp. Our sustainable projects, piggery, traditional chickens, nutritional gardens did quite well in terms of productivity in this quarter.
Finally the four outstanding housing units have been completed. Inside plastering, flooring and painting was done. A total of five housing units are now ready for occupation once the furnishings are done. We expect furnishings to be completed by end of July so that we commission early August 2020.
Education and Health Support
All the children managed to attend school at the beginning of the term but however closed as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
Schools were expected to be open early May, however they remained closed because of Covid-19. However some schools have embarked on virtual learning hence a number of our children are learning from home. This however has resulted in the need for utilizing funds to purchase data bundles. The lessons started well and are continuing. The children however miss the interactions with teachers and other children which as expected is healthy for normal development. The new normal has to be adopted.
School fees were fully paid for all the children at both primary and secondary levels. This quarter also saw some increases (fees adjustment) in secondary schools because of the hyperinflation bedeviling our nation. Even those children on virtual learning are expected to pay school fees in full. The unplanned budget for data bundles is consuming much of our funds.
School uniforms were procured for some students (7). Uniform, jerseys, bags and shoes were procured.
Life Skills Development
Children were involved in some life skills activities like land preparation, feeding of pigs, traditional chickens, guinea fowls, turkeys and rearing of goats and sheep. They were also involved in harvesting and land preparation for the gardening activity to be commenced.
This quarter saw quite a number of gilts (5) furrowing a total of 25 piglets. Seven were lost due to congenital conditions- hernia. This was attributed to inbreeding which should be avoided by all means. All the piglets were given the iron dosage and are growing well. We slaughtered 5 pigs during the lockdown period to provide for the children and needy families in dire need of food assistance. We also sold 10 small pigs to raise capital for the construction work done at the orphanage. To date we have a total of 48 pigs. Because of the escalating prices of feed, pigs are being given masese (by product of beer brewing) which is mixed with the pig concentrate. This indeed is an innovation in light of the current economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
The goat herd is growing gradually. We now have 12 from the 7 she goats we initially bought. Some of the sheep are expecting. We bought a Kalahari He goat and a good Ram breed. We expect to increase both herds in preparation for the coming large number of children. Both animals are in good health. They were all vaccinated against winter diseases. At the moment they are relying on browsing because the grass and small shrubs are readily available.
Goats and Sheep
Vegetable and Crop production
Our backyard garden was blossoming well. Only covo, onions and tomatoes were planted. By Gods grace they did well in the season and excess was being sold to the restaurant.
A total of 12x 50 kg bags was realized after the harvest. The maize rain was used for domestic consumption and feed for the pigs.
A total of 40 traditional chickens are currently at the homestead. Approximately 10 were consumed by the children and workers during the last quarter.. The guinea fowls and turkeys also increased in number to 12 and 10 respectively.
Courtesy of Change A Life Foundation, a second borehole was drilled which pumps out about 15 liters per minute. The borehole was sited some 150m away from the reservoir tank outside our perimeter fence. We had to seek clearance from the local authority. This borehole shall be used for irrigation purposes and the sprinkler system has been put in place already. This borehole produces more water compared to the first one.
We are planning to plant vegetables in this period up to August. We thank the Lord for this development because we had long waited for it.
Children And Youth Ministry
The girls dance group continued to wax great. They had prepared for our annual youth conference later postponed indefinitely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We wish them well in their journey of life as they honor God through Art. Most of the girls are in the academically gifted program and will be sitting for their Form 4 exams this year.
Children were involved in poetry, drama and choir in small groups because of the Covid-19 scourge which forces the social distancing aspect. Meeting as groups was forbidden. In alternative to their in person conference, the youths had a virtual zoom meeting with our senior pastor, Dr. Chitapa. They had an awesome time being taught the profound truths in the word of God.
The Covid-19 saw a number of households being severely affected with food insecurity. Thank God for Every Home for Christ Canada and Zimbabwe who came to their rescue. EHC Canada bought basic food stuff for 10 households. EHC Zimbabwe also covered 7 households which were in dire need of food aid early June. Among the recipients were 2 child headed households. We praise the Lord for such generosity and the hand of the Lord being extended to His precious souls. We coupled the food distribution exercise to evangelism work. EHC pamphlets were distributed to the beneficiaries just as a reminder for them to preach the word also. After preaching they would also share the flyers with the recipient of the word.
Over and above what has been reported our church services were conducted in homes. Messages for encouragement were sent through sms, whatsapp and occasionally virtual meetings done particularly with leadership. We also had opportunities were we got some encouragement from senior leadership during our monthly family Sundays. This Covid-19 period required some spiritual support as most people were afraid of the virus. psychosocial support was provided during house visits coupled with food distribution.
The orphanage has gotten into yet another partnership with a Esteemed Children Trust in Epworth- Harare. This organization has more than 15 years doing children activities and is led by a Pastor –Madrine. They are doing quite well in terms of children programming. We are yet to visit them as Coordinators once the lockdown is over.
We have applied for partnership with another organization that offers psychosocial programs-REPSSI(Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative). Once done this partnership will go a long way in strengthening our community component.
Children continued to be fostered in various homes. They had challenges with food commodities but EHC came to the rescue. We praise God for such an intervention. All the fostered children were going to school before lockdown. Their food, fees and school uniforms were catered for by EHC budget. Below are some of the children being fostered. They were all in good health and the Lord protected them from Covid-19.
Psychosocial support was provided to children in their homes. We also had time to bring awareness on COVID 19 just to allay their fears and also encourage them in the Lord. Children being fostered are gradually increasing as we experience a surge in guardians or some parents abandoning their homes because of the economic hardships bedeviling our nation.
Makorokoro Epworth Chitungwiza
Under the auspices of ICM, we are currently running four building projects this year. Makorokoro in Bulawayo, Epworth in Harare, Chitungwiza and Chisiya orphanage in Masvingo are the projects being run. Makorokoro and Epworth will be commissioned this month of June. Chitungwiza started construction last month but they are already in their second phase. They had surpassed their target.
Chisiya orphanage (half way home) is awaiting receipt of the first disbursement but molding of bricks(18 500) was done already.
A halfway home will be constructed at the church site at Chisiya in Masvingo which shall accommodate young adults after graduating from the orphanage.
the superintendent underwent a 3day training course in Peace building and conflict management. This is a government program which was spearheaded by Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. The superintendent was chosen as a peace maker in the province and is a member of the provincial peace committee.
Coordination continued with sister children homes, Rose of Sharon, Tanyaradzwa, Voice of Peace children homes and Esteemed Children Trust. A coordination meetings was conducted through virtual meetings. Submission of quarterly reports was done by all members. Children are doing fine in the respective homes.
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.
In the subsequent quarter we envisage the following:
Conduct PSS training for godly parents
School fees payment, training of Foster parents and entrepreneurs
Online safety training for children and youths
Sleep over night for the girls and distribution of hygiene packs
Support visit to Tanyaradzwa in Murehwa and Esteemed Children Trust in Epworth
Growing of vegetables and establishment of memorial garden
Expansion of the of the fruit tree orchard.
Plumbing, tubing and furnishing of houses
Registration and commissioning of the Home
Purchase of more birds, goats and sheep.
Construction of a halfway home in Chisiya and campsite in Chikarudzo(Masvingo).
We are grateful unto the Lord for the continued partnership with Change A Life Foundation, International Cooperating Ministries and Every Home for Christ. Thumbs up to Change A Life Foundation for supporting borehole drilling.