Thursday, August 20, 2009

Trail of Hope-Zimbabwe visit




From the 13th to the 16th of August i visited Zimbabwe's capital city Harare together with a friend.The mission was to carry out an execise like we will be doing on the Trail of Hope and our chosen homes were Chinyaradzo and Upenyu Utsva Children Homes.All of them are situated in Highfields an old township west of the Capital City.

Well interesting is the fact that visited Upenyu Utsva just by accident in 2001 when i was in a UNICEF program that took us to Masiye Camp in Bulawayo and due to the death of one of the Ministers ,our trip was postponed by a day and we ended up sleeping at Upenyu Utsva,whoever might have had made that decision helped me to have a clear understanding of life in a children's home.Honestly i diod not sleep for the whole night as i heard one story after another of how the boys had ended up at the home.Another interestig fact is the Home[Upenyu Utsva] used to be a juvenile prison,but was later converted into an ophanage.However the tag seem to still remain upto this day ,as most of the infrastructure still in use dates back to 1962 when the institution was established.

But on my mission i needed to know more than just the priosn history.I wanted to know how the boys have been coping,i wanted to eat what they are eating and play with them all the games they play as well as watch with them the TV programmes they watch.How life is like at Upenyu Utsva,but most importantly dep down i knew i was going to adopt the home.So much may be written but the truth is,there is one man at the home ,who is referred to as father by the children,he told me something that will forever guide me in all that i do.He has been working with the institution since 1972 yes thats it 1972,since it was a juvenile institution then into transition to an ophanage.He knows no high living,but to me he said what matters to him are the children.He works for US$100 per month,but still he is there for the children when they need him.When we arrived at the ophanage he was coming from the Garden ,a self sustaining project that has helped the ophanage to weather the harsh economic climate that gripped the tiny beautiful country before the GNU government was formed.

I then had to visit where the boys sleep,as well as their toilets and bathrooms.If i say more i would be unfair,what i observed can be put into three simple words THEY NEED HELP.

Firstly the beds,blankets as well as their clothing are just but too old.Most of them were walking bare footed but what worried me was when we went to visit the bathrooms and toilets.THe facilities are rasty and old,with dirty water on the floor but still the children walk in and out of there with bare feet!I know its hard to do everything for them but something must be done to help them.I also wonder how many charities are in as much need as this particular one we visited?

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