By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
20 March 2014
A UK-based charity worker has urged Zimbabweans in the diaspora to come together and do more to assist those who are still stuck in the rut that is Zimbabwe.
The call was made by Sharon Thompson, Programme Coordinator at London-based charity Zimbabwe’s Children, which helps scores of disadvantaged children and their communities.
“Many people in Zimbabwe are hardworking, intelligent and know what exactly they need to do but need a bit of help to get out of their circumstances,” Thompson said.
For her part Thompson is working with the Batsirai Project which is based in Hatcliffe Extension in Harare and helps orphaned and vulnerable children.
“Our involvement was an offshoot of a larger British Broadcasting Corporation documentary ‘Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children’ which showed the suffering of Zimbabwe’s orphaned children.
“In 2005 a community volunteer approached us asking for help following the destruction of homes in Harare during the government’s Operation Murambatsvina, which also destroyed Batsirai Children’s Home.”
“The orphanage was struggling with the increasing number of children and we worked with the lead volunteer to identify 26 of the worst cases of orphaned and vulnerable children in the Hatcliffe area, who had been out of school for long periods of time and desperately needed support.”
Thompson said although they have managed to offer sponsorship for the children fundraising is always a challenge, hence her call for Zimbabweans to step forward and help.
“We have also helped the guardians of some of the vulnerable children to start income generating projects so that they can be self-sustaining and be able to feed themselves and pay fees for themselves in the long run.”
Thompson said the British public as well as some Zimbabweans and South Africans who watched the BBC documentary have given her charity some financial support.
“But given the challenges in Zimbabwe more is needed and those in the diaspora are better positioned to help,” she said.
More details on the charity Zimbabwe’s Children are available at zimbabweschildren.org/