The Story of Chigodole Community
The community of Chigodole is located west of the nearest town of Chimoio. With little opportunities for employment, many people rely on farming as their source of income, but if the rains fail, this proves challenging. A lack of consistent education is a challenge and many children have dropped out of school. Young girls in particular are left with very little hope, as many will be offered up for marriage before they finish school.
Children currently supported: 50
Number of Care Workers: 16
COOrdinator name: Theresa
Distance from Chimoio Local Office: 33 KM
Basic Services Started: 2018
In 2017, the Regional Support Team (RST) in Zimbabwe started visiting Chigodole Community on a weekly basis because of the immense vulnerability that was clearly evident. At the end of October, the RST and the Hands at Work local office in Chimoio met with five church leaders, each representing a different church, and a group of potential Care Workers. They were able to share the vision of Hands at Work, and the potential Care Workers were keen to be involved because of what it would mean for their children and the systemic needs in the community.
One of the church leaders, Pastor Madomasi, began meeting regularly with the Chimoio local office team and was identified as a ‘Man of Peace’ within the community. Eventually, a group of eight Care Workers were appointed, one of whom, Theresa, identified aptly as the ‘Mother Theresa’ of the community; a lady who has a big heart and is courageous as she fights on behalf of the children.
The Chimoio local office team were introduced to the local chief who welcomed Hands at Work into the community. Through Holy Home Visits, the Care Workers and the Chimoio local office team were able to identify the most vulnerable children who would be invited to come to the Care Point. The latter half of 2017 was spent getting to know the homes of the children well and identifying the needs of the children in terms of education and schooling. Over time, more Care Workers from the local churches who have a heart to serve the most vulnerable, have committed to caring for the children.
The Chigodole Community Based Organisation started providing the three essential services of food security, access to education and basic health care for 50 children in April 2018. However, the care preceeded this date when the Care Workers, together with the Chimoio local office team, were able to help many of the children start school in January, marking the beginning of a new school year.
Officially at the beginning of April 2018, 50 of the most vulnerable children began coming to the Care Point daily, where they received a hot and nutritious meal from 18 Care Workers who are committed to caring for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. The Care Point continues to be operated out of one of the local churches.
Ten-year-old Miguel* lives in the rural community of Chigodole, miles away from any paved roads. His dreams of going to school were cut short when his father became ill and passed away. Miguel’s mother, Alima*, cares for Miguel and his three siblings alone.
The desperation of Miguel’s family and Alima’s struggle to support her children was apparent to Maria, one of the Care Workers. She began to visit them in their home regularly, encouraging and praying for them, and bringing the love of Jesus into their midst. As the Care Workers observed him, it became apparent that he was losing his sight. But with the support and encouragement of Maria, Alima found the courage to take Miguel to the hospital, where he was immediately transferred to another town for cataract surgery. He is now home with his sight restored! He no longer withdraws or feels anxious. Miguel knows where his next meal is coming from, and he knows he is loved and cared for.
The Hands at Work office in Chimoio, currently supports three 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 Chigodole. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.