Jairos Jiri centre appeals for wheelchairs

HARARE - Housing 170 children, Jairos Jiri centre in Southerton, is a far cry from your regular learning institution.

The home takes care of 82 girls and 88 boys ranging from ages six to 16 years, with varying physical disabilities.

The home has in the past been battling with sourcing wheelchairs as the number of children increase.
Headmistress Margaret Mukwe highlighted that apart from wheelchairs and crutches being scarce, they were also experiencing remuneration problems.

Mukwe said sometimes staff at the home would go for three or four months without receiving their salaries as finances were tight.

“We managed to pay them their January salaries through the sales we made from our fresh produce but that alone is not enough,” she said.

“The home also has to finance other projects and that needs to be subsidised. Most of our money comes from donors and school fees which is pegged at $600 per term but some parents cannot afford the money.

“We also rely on Beam (Basic Education Assistance Module) to pay fees for the children. At present some children have not yet arrived for this term because they are failing to get bus fare. It is a sorrowful situation but we are managing.”

She said Beam sometimes pays late, but Mukwe said there was nothing they could  do because they were a non-profit organisation.

She said after a successful harvest of some of the tomatoes they produce at the school, they can
realise up to $4 000 profits.

“Apart from our problems we managed to open a secondary school this year after attaining a 71 percent pass rate in 2013’s Grade Seven examinations,” Mukwe said.

She indicated that the school, which is a satellite of Kwayedza School, offers commercial subjects.

However they have only one teacher who caters for three subjects.

Milton Frary, a Rotarian from the United Kingdom, donated 65 wheelchairs to the school through his organisation Wheelchair Foundation UK.

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