Esteemed Children Trust Annual Report of 2020
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
ECT is glad to report that much of the preliminary policy documents for all program operations are now in place. These organization operational documents range from legal documents, sponsorship documents, child information documents and fiscal documents. Of particular interest is the authorization letter tendered to the organization by the Mashonaland East Provincial office to legally operate in the area. This was one amongst the breakthroughs for the organization, since it now has the capacity to acquire property in the said area. Nevertheless, perfection is still undergoing pertaining to documentation, especially the fiscal reporting and presentation documents. Though the organization has amassed concerted efforts over the past months to institute working documents, a lot more need to be done to improve them day by day.
ECT Books of Accounts
ECT has been operating without books of accounts. Financial reports, audit trails and financial position of the organization could previously not be ascertained. However, the organization had a breakthrough on the 10th of June where an external consultant was engaged to help put in place finance and accounts documents. Such include, Chart of Accounts, Cash Book, Main Ledger, Trial Balance, Income Statement and Balance Sheet. With such in place, financial accountability is possible. The books of accounts has been sent to the board Finance and Admin subcommittee and they are working on improving and perfecting them.
ECT Children Information Documents
An up to date children’s information list has been established using excel work sheets. The work sheets capture important information about the children. Children information captured include name, date of birth, gender, birth certificate status, orphan status, enrolment and name of school. Information pertaining to the guardian is also captured, including, name, relationship with the child, national identities, contact numbers, residential addresses and occupation. Such information is essential as it defines a child’s status and conversely gives the management clearer lenses for needy-based assessment.
Organizational Information Documents
Organizational overview documents outline the organization’s background, programs and operations, strategic objectives, future endeavor and plans. The overview document was successfully reviewed and updated following organizational programs offered to orphans and vulnerable in respective areas/fields of operations. The documents are important for outlining history and background of the organization with much importance in cases of forging strategic partnerships and funding opportunities.
Currently, ECT does have a fully-fledged non-executive Board, with the board chair and vice chair, board secretary and vice secretary, and board treasury. For the year 2020, the board have managed to meet thrice, during the first quarter, second quarter and the last quarter of the year. Part of their adopted strategy was to form subcommittees who operate as an underlay to different programming areas of ECT. Recently, the board convened on the 5th of December for their last quarter for a progress evaluation meeting. It is promising with current strategies adopted that the organization is heading for a successful trajectory pertaining to this invaluable charity work.
Network and Synergies
Esteemed Children Trust has successfully been incorporated into the Child Rights Coalition Chapter for Harare region, a chapter within the broader National Child Rights Coalition in Zimbabwe, coordinated by the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC). The Child Rights Coalition seeks to ensure children across the country access their rights as they develop, through a strengthened coordinated approach within the sector.
The organization participated in coalition activities since January, including Harare regional coalition meetings for updates and programming review, organized by the Child Rights Coalition. During the last quarter of this year, ECT has managed to participate in a national coalition conference held in Great Zimbabwe, Masvingo in October, in which all regional coalition chapters were present to discuss issues pertaining to child policy and implementation. The meeting had the agenda to review progress pertaining to programming, especially during COVID-19 and to input into the coalition report which were being prepared for submission to the ACRWC and the UNCRC. Apart from that conference, ECT participated as well in an Annual CRC conference held in Kwekwe in November. The meeting had an agenda to give update on coalition activities and reports to the higher child rights boards in the continent. Both of which strategically place the organization into the lime light of possible networking and synergies and positioned the organization within the broader purview of other sister child rights organizations from other regions and to learn from their programming experiences.
Over this year, ECT has managed to roll out several programs that ranges from educational empowerment, health and nutrition, psycho social support and food hamper donations for emergence response, especially during COVID-19. However, some other programs such as educational empowerment, has not been running since the country announces lockdown measures. Thus, ECT has been solely focusing on emergence response, psycho-social support and nutrition through food distribution. Pursuant to an additional sponsorship program running during COVID-19, the organization was glad to increase and spread its wings towards nurturing the underprivileged. The donation made for learning materials in the month of September set the momentum for the boulder movement towards educational empowerment and sponsorship. ECT is therefore pleased to report progress on the following programs for this year:
In its quest to redress nutritional issues amongst OVC, ECT has managed to run the feeding program up to May 2020, the time COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic affecting and infecting the country. As a result, the program was put to a halt. However, the program was benefiting in terms of nutrition for the 70 children who were under the program from January to May 2020, providing one meal per/day on a weekly basis. Mostly served menu included sadza, dried beans, carpenta, soya chunks and rice.
Epworth children during a feeding program.
Despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc globally without exception anywhere in the world including Zimbabwe, ECT has been constantly, with due carefulness conducting psycho-social support lessons and awareness even on one-on-one basis, especially, in critical scenarios from January up to date. Psycho-social support services have been given to the children twice a month and sometimes more than, especially from March after the country confirms first cases of COVID-19 pandemic. Most children were so afraid of the pandemic to such an extent of thinking that could be the end of them. Thus, information dissemination and counselling services were conducted to console the children and instill hope for life in them, only if they follow the prescribed preventive measures from the World Health Organizations guidelines.
In that regard, it is vital to note that, in as much as food is important, mental wellness is also equally important. It is the thrust of ECT to see to it that all the children are free from distress. To attain such an objective, ECT has been working with Gloria, a psychologist, specifically on the aspect of psycho-social support. Gloria has been visiting both operational areas sometimes twice and even once a month to help with psycho-social support. That alone speaks volumes to the mental wellness of the children. In such meetings they could discuss future aspirations of the children as each of them had to share. These mental wellness sessions proved to be fruitful as the children would exhibit jovial mood during the sessions. Currently, the Programs Assistant is still in the process of coming up with a framework of assessment which shall be administered by the Projects Assistants and House Mothers in different operational areas for extensive individual assessments. The idea is to keep a trail record for all activities in a bid to administer case management. It is our conviction as ECT to mold each and every child’s aspiration to become a success. Thus, among ECT long term objectives is the aspiration for the full empowerment of the children both socially and economically.
ECT has rolled out educational program from primary level right through to tertiary level, paying school fees to the most vulnerable children under ECT programming. Pertaining to school fees for January 2020 first term, ECT has paid a total amount of $9375.00 for children on the program who are in primary and secondary schools in Epworth. All these children are attending local schools in the said community. For tertiary education, ECT managed to pay tuition fees for a second-year student at the Chinhoyi University of Technology, studying towards an Honors degree in Accounting. For second and third term, the education program had been put to jeopardy due to incessant lockdown enforced by the government in a quest to avert the spread and effects of COVID-19. Thus, the program only ran during the first term and it is resuming next year January 2021.
Emergence Response (COVID-19)
Pursuant to the issue of COVID-19 pandemic fighting, ECT has been very much consistent and pivotal over the year towards awareness pertaining to the global pandemic of COVID-19. The driving and uttermost conviction of the organization is that, children be accorded the right to be informed and to know. Amongst a vast lot of measures rolled out for the achievement of such include, awareness sessions through information dissemination during food distribution visits and the supply of protective equipment such as face masks, latex gloves and hand sanitizers. At certain intervals, the awareness was achieved through quiz on COVID-19, intended for preventive measures, especially WHO guidelines such as social distancing, coughing on flexed elbow and washing of hands often times with soap. The thrust is to continue with awareness on how the children can prevent themselves from contracting such a deadly pandemic, especially with the new wave of infection rampant world-wide.
Child sponsorship is a program initiated to facilitate direct sponsoring of ECT children by passionate sponsors who wish to nurture and empower the lives of the underprivileged in the society. An aspiring sponsor engages the organization and register by completing sponsor registration forms, signs the sponsorship agreement and then allocated ECT children to sponsor or mentor directly through ECT policy procedures. For the month of August, the organization successfully engaged a sponsor who is currently taking two ECT children from Epworth, Maseko for a pilot sponsorship program. The sponsorship is covering education and learning, food and living upkeep for both of the two children together with their mother. For the past two months, the program has managed to relocate the family to a new safe dwelling that is even conducive for child protection. During their relocation, the program managed to buy kitchen utensils, bedroom items such as blankets and mattress and basic monthly groceries.
ECT is glad to report a tremendous progress for this pilot sponsorship program. Currently, the two children under this pilot program are awaiting school re-opening for January 2021, and their fees have already been paid for at a government primary school. The kids are set to enroll at Kubatana Primary School after several months of idleness due to COVID-19 in the country. Preparations and registrations have already been done and the kids awaits the reopening date.
On the other hand, ROPKA Support Network Zimbabwe has indicated interest in taking other children under their scheme for education sponsorship. However, some children are facing challenges in obtaining school fee invoices as most schools have applied for a new fee upward review due to the current rates of inflation. For Maseko, a lot more children has submitted invoices and ECT has managed to submit them to ROPKA. The organization still awaits the processing of Caledonia invoices. Nevertheless, ECT is very much grateful for the prospects being opening up for the organization as it treads along this charity road for the benefit of the orphan and the vulnerable in the communities. The program is set to build momentum towards educational and social empowerment among the orphan and vulnerable children in the communities of Epworth and Caledonia.
Food hamper donations
ECT saw it fit to supplement the weekly meals with food hamper donations, a weekly undertaking since the surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic. The food hamper donation scheme has been successfully conducted on a weekly basis from January up to date, donating different food hampers to over a hundred children covering both Epworth and Caledonia. Thanks to the devoted supporters who share the OVC cause by extending their passion consistence and intermittent donations to the esteemed children over the year. Food distribution originally was a component of nutritional program intended to fight malnutrition and stunted growth among OVC. However, due to COVID-19, food distribution was being undertaken as a measure of emergence response serving two purposes for poverty alleviation and fighting malnutrition among orphans and vulnerable children under ECT program.
ECT operational areas
ECT has two operational areas from which it is devoted to transform, nurture and empower the lives of the OVC by rolling out different programming for the benefit of the children, including food hamper donations. Apart from food distribution to ECT children in designate operational areas, the organization had to balance the distribution to non-ECT operational areas as well during the last quarter of the year in a bid to extend a wider safety and cushion net to the community as the effects of COVID-19 where far reaching and devastating.
The distributed green hamper donations comprised of items such as cabbages, spinach, oranges, bananas, green maize, green pepper, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, tomatoes, rape, paw paw, leeks and lemons among other fruit and vegetables. The basic food grocery included items such as mealie meal, flour, sugar, salt, cooking oil, dried sugar beans, instant overnight maheu, and bath soap, green bar washing soap, soya chunks and rice. Esteemed children from both field operations heartily appreciated the support from the donors and supporters including ECT staff for sharing the plight of the orphan and vulnerable in the communities. The children were so grateful for the passion donation distribution made to them as it was evident in their joyful thanksgiving to the donors and the Founding Director. It is evident that the food distribution is going a long way towards poverty alleviation and fighting hunger.
As an emergence response measure towards fighting COVID-19 induced effects and malnutrition among orphan and vulnerable, food was distributed to Caledonia an ECT operational area, located east of Harare. ECT is supporting 21 families in the area giving green donations on a weekly basis and basic groceries, sometimes once and or twice a month. The children from Caledonia heartily appreciated the support from the donors and supporters and they as well extended their heartfelt gratitude to ECT staff for sharing the plight of the OVC in the communities.
For Epworth, Maseko ECT is supporting 16 families who are partaking from the donation distribution process. The area is approximately 25 km east of Harare CBD with recorded high rates of poverty and hunger. The children were very happy upon receiving hampers as they are going a long way in poverty alleviation and fighting hunger, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic. ECT is very grateful on behalf of the children to the devoted donors for their unwavering commitment towards upholding and nurturing the life of orphan and vulnerable.
Distribution to non-ECT Children
As a result of the COVID-19 induced crisis in the country and world over, it is evident that a lot of people are vulnerable to the far-reaching effects of this deadly pandemic. In a quest to foster cushioning measures, the Founding Director decided to extend welfare care to a wider society towards fighting COVID-19 induced poverty and hunger to many families in the communities within greater Harare. More than forty families benefited since the beginning of this adventure in September up to date. The donation included an assortment of fruit and vegetable from Pomona Farmers Market with items such as spinach, carrots, cabbages, onions, oranges, lemons, tomatoes, rape and leeks. Such intermittent and random distribution to the communities has proved to be decisive in cushioning some families amongst the most vulnerable from the COVID-19 induced effects of poverty and hunger. The families who received the donations were so grateful and glad towards such a love gesture from the Founding Director.
Children’s home donation visits: Good Samaritan Children’s Home
Apart from random and intermittent food distribution, ECT considered children’s homes as well in their adventure of nurturing and supporting the orphan and vulnerable in the communities. During the course of the year, ECT had an opportunity to visit Good Samaritan Children’s Home in Stoneridge, courtesy of the founding Director, who decided to extend a helping hand to the home. The home is run by a devoted and passionate couple who were so grateful upon receiving the food package including ten kilograms of soya chunks, ten kilograms of mealie meal, four large pumpkins, ten big heads of cabbages, one pocket carrots, one box tomatoes, twenty bundles of rape and onions. The children were so grateful and they heartily expressed their thanksgiving upon receiving the donation.
Even though the founding Director is the main benefactor to ECT programming and activities, many devoted partners and supporters have coalesced efforts over the year to support ECT initiatives pertaining to OVC. Just like small tributaries conjoined to form the major stream, their passion donations enabled the organization to spearhead the concerns of the orphan and vulnerable children pertaining to nutrition addition, poverty alleviation and fighting hunger. ECT would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to the supporters and partners who managed to extend a helping hand over the whole of this year, 2020. Among these partners, Pomona Farmers Market was outstanding in terms of consistency, due to its weekly donation of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, not mentioning them would be a clear sign of lacking empathy and gratefulness. Thus, ECT is very much grateful to the following partners who made it possible towards fulfilling the organization’s mantra that, ‘COVID-19 or not, children deserve to eat’. These partners include the following:
National Food LTD
ECT is grateful for the intermittent sponsorship tributaries that are gathering momentum as they are coalescing efforts towards sponsoring the organization for its invaluable charity work. In that regard, the organization would like to express its heartfelt gratitude following its nomination for the National Food LTD 100years celebration held on November 12, where it received an assortment of 100kgs of mealie meal, 100kgs rice, 100kg flour, 40kg salt, 36 L of cooking oil, 40kg of instant porridge, 20 kg dried sugar beans, 8 kg lemon biscuits, 8 packets snacks and 14kgs soya bean flour. The food hamper packages were distributed to both ECT field operational areas in that month.
Pomona Famers Market and the Tanya Foundation
As a devoted partner to ECT, Pomona Farmers Market has been outstanding in terms of consistency in fulfilling its commitment to nurture the OVC in the communities. Their weekly passion green donations of fruit and vegetables over the year have gone a long way in enriching the children with food and nutrition. Their donations included an assortment of green farm produce and horticulture produce which they devoted to extend to the children on a weekly basis over the year. ECT is therefore humbled and grateful for such consistency passion and commitment from Pomona Famers Market and the Tanya Foundation.
ROKPA Support Network Zimbabwe
ECT entered into a workable synergy with ROKPA Support Network Zimbabwe, where the organization agreed to support twenty ECT children by donating food hampers after every six weeks interval. ROKPA society is one amongst the consistent supporters to ECT programming. They share the same plight of fighting hunger and poverty alleviation in Zimbabwean communities, especially in peri-urban communities. In that regard, they have saw it fit to spearhead the cause through the facilitation of ECT. Since the time they have started this journey with ECT this year, they have managed to donate four times since their initial donation on the 17th of July. Since their first donation throughout, each of the children have been handed a hamper of basic grocery, including 10kg mealie meal, 4kg flour, 4kg sugar, 2kg salt, 500g peanut butter, 2ltrs cooking oil, 1kg dried sugar beans, 500g instant overnight maheu, 1 bath soap, 1 green bar washing soap, 2kgs soya chunks and 2kgs rice. ECT organization and staff are so grateful and humbled by such an invaluable commitment towards the plight of fighting hunger and poverty alleviation among vulnerable children in peri-urban communities. The recipient families were very grateful upon receiving the food hamper donations.
Recently, ROPKA society indicated intentions of venturing into sponsorship upon learning of the need during one of their visits to Epworth, Maseko. Necessary preparations are underway towards the facilitation of this process. As a result, they have taken ten more children under their scheme to make a total of thirty. ECT team is so excited about the prospects of working together even more with ROPKA society.
Dr Innocent and Apostle Florence Maja
Dr Innocent and Apostle Florence Maja donated to ECT on their personal capacity on the 3rd of July 2020, a once off donation including learning and food materials to the children. For learning materials, they donated, 120 exercise books, 40 Khaki covers, 40 plastic covers, 40 cello tapes and 50 ever sharp blue ink pens. For food items, they donated 20kgs Rice, 16 x 250g Matemba, 24 x 375ml Peanut Butter, 20kg Salt, 20 x 500g Sugar Beans, 12 bars green Soaps, 72 x 75g of Royco,10ltrs Bally house drinks, 80 x 24g Sunny Snacks, 2kg Proton Crunchy Cookies, 200 units Dandy Bubble-gum and 1 packet Zambezi pops. It is conspicuous and evident that they do share the same unflinching hope for every child despite the nature of the children’s background. The donation was split into two halves, with part of which distributed to children in Maseko, Epworth and the other part distributed to children in Caledonia.
Zim Achievers Award
ECT is grateful once again to the Zim Achiever Awards, who amassed goodies on the 15th of June 2020 joining hands with other ECT partners in empowering the lives of the orphan and vulnerable. With the discretion of the founding chair of the Achievers Foundation based in the United Kingdom, they donated an assortment of sixty bags of five kilograms mealie meal (300kgs), thirty packets of two kilograms sugar (60kgs), thirty bottles of two litters cooking oil (60lts), thirty packets of 250g Stella tea bags (7.5kg), thirty packets of two kilograms flour (60kg) and thirty packets of five kilograms soya chunks. Such a donation has gone a long way in supporting the orphans and vulnerable in both ECT operational areas. Apart from their once off donation, the Achievers Foundation has indicated intentions of rolling out massive projects for the OVC in Epworth under the facilitation of ECT.
Redeemer Society Group
The Redeemer Society Group is one amongst organizations that have extended a helping hand to ECT programming over the year. The organization saw it fit to extend their hand in order to partake on an adventure towards supporting and empowering the lives of the orphans and vulnerable in communities of Epworth and Caledonia. With their strengthened and lengthened hand, they have managed to donate an assortment of three fifty kilograms bags of mealie meal (150kg) and three five kilograms packets of soya chunks (15kgs). Following such a kind gesture, ECT would like to extend their gratitude for the Redeemer’s passion donation and their devoted commitment towards empowering the lives of the children.
As the whole world is in pursuit of fighting the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Nevanji decided to remember the orphans and vulnerable by donating personal protective equipment to ECT children. Governments elsewhere are doing everything possible to protect the lives of people. In the like manner, children also deserve to be protected, especially, the orphans and vulnerable with nobody to look after them. It takes people with such understanding to come to their rescue. For this year, ECT had Mr. Nevanji who, in his capacity purposed to extend a hand in fighting for the orphaned children against the deadly pandemic through his passion donation of COVID-19 protective equipment during the month of June. The donated equipment included 50 face masks and 50 pairs of latex gloves for the children.
ECT is very much grateful for the progress recorded this far pertaining to programming of this invaluable charity work over the whole of this year. It is our belief as ECT given the current drive with which we are moving that we are bounding for the achievement of the ultimate vision of the organization. As we are going into another lap treading this road the coming year, we are anticipating greater prospects as the organization will transform into another trajectory.