The Story of Chinaka Community
With Chinaka sitting on the border of Mozambique, many families struggle without the consistency of fathers in the home because they travel between the two countries in search of work. Polygamy is common with men taking on many wives and fathering many children, but taking little responsibility for them. There is also a high level of sexual crime and domestic abuse. Unfaithful husbands are notorious for leaving their families abruptly. HIV/Aids is rampant throughout Chinaka and although antiretroviral drugs are available, they are extremely costly and out of reach for the most vulnerable families. Similarly, malaria is a common and widespread danger and many people live at risk of this deadly disease because of a lack of education about its risk, prevention and treatment.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 15
Coordinator Name: ROSEMARY
Distance from MUTARE Local Office: 125 KM
Basic Services Started: 2015
Most people in Chinaka are completely reliant on their small plots of land around their homes to grow crops, mostly maize, to feed their families from harvest time to the end of the year. Because of two seasons of failed crops, these families simply do not have enough food. Once the maize is finished, they will have nothing to eat. Unemployment is very high in the community because the main industry is agriculture. The drought has driven the prices of staple foods - maize meal, oil and vegetables - extremely high.
The local volunteer Care Workers recognise the desperation in their community and are constantly assessing the vulnerability of the children under their care. In March 2016, the number of children cared for increased from 50 to 75, and again in April to 100. The Care Workers are providing a hot, nutritious meal every day of the week, as well as providing support for basic education and basic health care. With the help of the board members, the Care Workers have also constructed a shelter at the Care Point where they prepare food. Both the board of the Community Based Organisation (CBO) and the Care Workers meet regularly for Relationship Groups where they are able to speak about and receive healing from the burdens of life. This has been essential for the Care Workers who face so many challenges.
Sekai* is five years old. Although she stays with both her parents, a bad fall at ten months of age left her permanently disabled, unable to walk, sit or play like other children her age. Her Care Worker, Caroline, noticed Sekai one day as she was doing a home visit nearby. Caroline’s intervention ensured that despite her physical challenges, Sekai would be able to access a daily meal and basic health care support. She has been able to visit the hospital regularly and has recently been able to sit and stand up on her own.
The Hands at Work office in Mutare currently supports six Community Based Organisations, which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The office provides training, networking, and encouragement to those Community Based Organisations like Chinaka. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.
BE INSPIRED BY STORIES FROM CHINAKA COMMUNITY
MORE FROM ZIMBABWE
As the Care Workers invested into her life, Kamali has learned how to trust and interact with others. The deeper the Care Workers have invested into her life, the more that they have been able to find out about her story.
At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call. Prudence shares her story and the journey that has led her to fully trust and serve in South Africa.
When Nicholas* was just five years old, both of his parents tragically died in the same year, leaving him in the care of an uncle. His uncle was emotionally and physically abusive but with no one else to turn to, Nicholas was trapped in his home. His uncle refused to pay school fees so Nicholas was unable to attend school. Nicholas’ Aunt Mildred* visited the family and was appalled by Nicholas’ physical and emotional state.
Today I met Sarra*. A mother of three, who lost her husband sixteen years ago. Left as a widow, her husband’s brother came in and “claimed her”. He used her solely for sex, and she bore two of his children in the subsequent years. He took no responsibility for her or her children, and has now completely abandoned them.
Care Workers are the key in bringing healing and transformation to the lives of our children. They are men and women from the local churches within our communities who recognize their Biblical mandate and answer their call to care for the most vulnerable children. They demonstrate what it means to give freely, love unconditionally, and sacrifice everything. Often, Care Workers face their own traumas and live in dire poverty, just as the children they care for do, but their determination to persevere and care despite their own circumstances challenges everyone they come into contact with. They are greatest in the Kingdom of God!
At Hands at Work, our volunteers are called by God from all over the world to serve the most vulnerable in Africa. Each of us has a unique story of how we were transformed when we stepped out in faith and were obedient to His call. Farai tells his story of following Jesus in Zimbabwe, and how compassion for the poor and a desire to mobilise the local church has defined his life.
Jade joined Hands at Work in February as a volunteer from Australia, committed to serving in Africa for one year. After orientation in South Africa she travelled to Zimbabwe where she spent one month building relationships with the team of local leaders, and gaining a deeper understanding of the vision and heart of Hands at Work.
Honde Valley is a desperately poor community in Zimbabwe. It is here where 8 year old Nomsa* lives with her mother, Maiba*, 34, and her sister Grace*, who is 15 years old. They stay in an old house that desperately needs repair.
At just four years of age, Gideon became an orphan, losing both his mother and father after they had suffered from long illnesses. Gideon has become the man of the house. He bears the weight of responsibility to find work and give his family a daily chance of having food on the table.