Children's Home breaks through barriers

HARARE - Breaking through barriers created by society and circumstances, the Tamuka Children’s Home in Kuwadzana, Harare is giving 150 children housed there an opportunity to rise, stand strong and fly high.

When the worst of life’s disasters came upon the indigent children, the children’s home came to their aid.

Some of the children were abandoned by their mothers; some had almost immediately lost their fathers and were left with no financial resources.

That’s when the children’s home stepped in to give each of them a future of possibilities.

Nurtured in the loving environment of the Home, all of them are either in primary or secondary schools, while a few are pursuing undergraduate degrees at Midlands State University (MSU).

The Children’s Home has been changing the destinies of the 150 children.

Tamuka Foundation was started by Veronica Kwati in early 2000 but when the Daily News visited the home she was not there but we managed to speak to Tecla Manyena, who grew up at the children’s home.

“We have 150 children but only 20 sleep here, some will go to the plot,” Manyena said.

While the home is looking for funds from well-wishers to help them, at the moment the major benefactor is businessman Killer Zivhu, who is into real estate business.

“We want to plead to all who can help us to come because the number of children coming to join us is growing on daily basis.

“We thank Zivhu and his organisation for rescuing us with groceries,” she said just after receiving Christmas groceries from Zivhu last week.

Zivhu said newly-appointed Labour and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye should work extra hard to come up with a system that would ensure there were enough social safety nets to cover the vulnerable.

“The new administration, which we trust and is led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, should look at issues like these, especially through the minister of Labour and Social Welfare,” Zivhu said.

“The department of Social Welfare should establish institutions that help look after these vulnerable children.

“The new dispensation should be able to take care of such cases, not only in urban areas, but in rural areas as well.

“It is not good that the department is the one which refers orphaned children to homes such as this one. In fact, the situation should be the reverse, with people referring the vulnerable to the department for help,” he said.

“We pay fees for three university students from this home. These children are like any other children, their rights as children must be respected and all Zimbabweans must do something to help these children.”

The children hailed the businessman and philanthropist for putting them through university.

Most children’s homes around the country are in a sorry state and need urgent attention from the government. They do not have adequate land for their operations.

The government is not consistently disbursing the $15 per child per month grant it has been harping about. The department of Social Welfare also seem not to be regularly monitoring these homes. The children also grapple with birth certificate registration problems. There is also a general shortage of government social workers.

Former Social Welfare deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze told Parliament earlier this year that the ministry requires a budget of over $1 million per year to meet these needs but has only been allocated $200 000 per year which is usually not released, therefore making it difficult to support the deserving institutions.

He said ministry’s records showed that the last disbursement of grants to institutions were made in 2015 and was only $100 000 released by Treasury for all institutions that had submitted claims and banking details.