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: 150
Number of Care Workers: 12
Coordinator Name: Nyaradzai
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 and in 2018, a Life Centre building was constructed.
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.