The Mumvuri Project was formed in 1995 by a group of local Christian woman who lived in Banket, Zimbabwe, and who were concerned at the growing number of orphans in the community due to the AIDS pandemic. These orphans, although being housed by their extended family, were not going to school and their caregivers were struggling to provide for their basic needs.
In the beginning orphans were identified through local community knowledge and each home taking care of orphans was visited. In Zimbabwe it is traditional for orphans to be taken in by their extended family. The extended family could be an uncle or aunt or an older sibling but most often the caregiver would be the maternal or paternal grandparent /s. Having identified orphans living with their extended family in the community of Banket, our members would then begin a program of regular visits to the orphaned child / children and their extended family to ensure that these vulnerable children were being properly cared for
The Management committee of the Mumvuri Project agreed that the main objective for Project operations would be to pay for the school fees for orphans living with the extended family in the community and to supply a food parcel to the orphan to take back to his/her extended family. In this way the burden on the caregiver (extended family) would be lightened and the orphan/s would more likely be welcomed into and accepted by the family. It also reduces the possibility of the orphan/s being abused by the extended family. The Project is blessed with ladies of wisdom and compassion who are always available to advise, counsel and pray with orphans and their caregivers.
In the first 5 years of operation the Project received generous donations from local farmers which included money, fresh vegetables and / or mealie meal. The Project grew rapidly and quickly needed a place of it’s own to operate from. The Rural Council Authority was approached for land in the high density area of Banket town and was blessed with a large plot in the perfect location. Development of the land became a reality very quickly and in a short time two large classrooms were built along with a kitchen and ablution facilities.
Through the generosity of our donors the Project was able to sink a borehole and to purchase a pump in order to have a continuous supply of fresh water. The result of having our own borehole has been that the Project was able to grow it’s own vegetables and to plant a variety of fruit trees, banana, mango, lemon, peach, guava and avocado and to keep a beautiful garden all year round. Orphaned children of all ages love to visit the Project, to sit on the lawn, eat the fruit and to simply feel at home and cared for in the pleasant surroundings.
One of our goals at the Project is to raise funds through income generating projects in the local community. With this in mind the Project began an ECD (Early Childhood Development) school for children up to 6 years of age. This is an ongoing project and has proved to be very successful over the years where even through the hardest times in Zimbabwe’s recent history the crèche has remained popular with parents in the community. All orphans registered with our project and who are between the ages of 4 to 6 attend our ECD school for no fee.
The ECD school’s teaching curriculum is supplied by the Ministry of Education and in addition to this the children are also taught Christian morals and popular Christian stories from the Bible. Each day the children are given a mid-morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack. Part of the children’s education is sports, teaching ball throwing and catching skills amongst other games during outdoor activities.
Having a base for Project operations was an amazing gift from God bringing with it a number of blessings to make orphan care and operations simpler. Food parcels could be stored on the premises and instead of having to deliver food parcels to each orphan family they could now be collected from the premises by the child/children and or their caregiver. The perfect venue for meetings and prayer sessions being located within the community where orphans and caregivers can always find assistance when needed simply by visiting our Project, within easy walking distance from their home.
It may seem amazing that the Project has survived the harsh years of Zimbabwe’s economic down turn and yet why should it be? This Project is loved by God and it is no wonder that He has continued to bless it through the years.