The Story of PIMAI A Community
Pimai A is nestled in the stunning mountainous region of the Honde Valley, close to the border of Mozambique. The people living in Pimai A face extreme challenges every day. The community is very spread out and very mountainous and as a result, many children have to walk incredibly long distances to reach their school, leaving them exhausted before they even begin to learn. In many cases, children will walk over 2 hours to school.
Children currently supported: 150
Number of Care Workers: 9
Coordinator Name: Tanyaradzwa
Distance from MUTARE Local Office: 105 km
Basic Services Started: 2015
Farai Gunhe, a man who had grown up in Pimai, saw the huge need around him and so in 2008, formed Pimai Christian Caring Trust, a Community Based Organisation (CBO) with the vision to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children in the community. In 2009, Farai left Pimai Christian Caring Trust to form the Hands at Work Mutare Service Centre and is now the Service Centre Coordinator. A local lady, Jane, became the coordinator of the Pimai Christian Caring Trust. The CBO has continued to grow and is now split into 3 separate CBOs: Pimai A, B, and C. Jane is currently the coordinator for all three CBOs.
Though the valley is known for its lush plantations and farms, drought has swept through this region leaving many without employment or the ability to grow their own food. Many local people are completely reliant on their small plots of land around their homes to grow crops, mostly maize, to feed their families. Staple foods that can be found in shops have been priced completely out of the reach of the poorest and most vulnerable. With the added challenge of a near-to-total crop failure, the level of vulnerability is dramatically increased for those living in this part of the valley. The volunteer Care Workers of Pimai A have identified and increased the number of children being cared for from 75 to 125 in 2016. This increase has added a heavy demand on water resources from the church, where the Care Point is located. The local Hands at Work office is currently looking into other sources for water.
Hands at Work aims to provide one nutritious meal to each child per day, as well as provide access to education and basic health care. The Care Workers regularly visit the children build up strong relationships, enabling them to support each child physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This also helps them to accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them.
Jacoline* is 14 years old and in grade 7. She is on her own much of the time. To bring in an income her mother is often travelling to the city where she sells bananas. This takes her away from Jacoline for two to three weeks at a time. Jacoline wishes her mother would stay home but she is grateful that she has the support of caring ‘mothers’ from Pimai Christian Caring Trust, who know her and visit her in her home.
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 Pimai A. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.