Zimbabwe: Building A Home For Orphans in Need

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Murehwa is one of the 64 districts in Zimbabwe. It is located 62 miles northeast of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.

Kadenge area is one of the most populated areas in Murehwa with over 9,000 people.  

In 2006, an estimated 1.7 million Zimbabweans were reported to be suffering from HIV/AIDS. The number has increased since.  The epidemic has reached a stage in which it has impacted almost every individual within the society, either through personal contraction of the disease or through a relative who has been infected.   

The largest population of orphans in the world -- 1.6 million -- is in Zimbabwe. Most of the children are being orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. There has also been an astronomical rise in cases of child headed families.  

The Murehwa district has not been spared from all these challenges that have beset this nation. There is a great need to have children cared for in a home where they can get hope when their parents die.

It is in response to this huge challenge that the Tanyaradzwa Children's Home was born.

Priscilla Chitekwe founded the Tanyaradzwa Children’s Home in March 2007. At that time, there were only 20 children at the home. Now, 3 years later, the orphanage has 180 children up to age 14. 

Run by a 7-member board and with the assistance of 8 volunteer workers, the orphanage not only offers a home to the children, but also gives spiritual guidance to them.  Every Sunday the volunteer workers take the children to church. During the week, pastors from the community visit the orphanage to teach and pray with the children.

The orphanage became a partner with LIFE Ministry, in May 2007. Since then, the children have received food, blankets, clothing, medicines, and sewing machines provided by Global Aid Network.

The Tanyaradzwa Children’s Home is currently housed on a property with 3 structures. One building is used as the main area to give shelter to the children. The others are a small hut and a kitchen. 

However, the space is too small to provide room for all 180 children. In light of this, Global Aid Network in collaboration with donors is helping to build a new home for the children of the orphanage. This construction project started in July 2009.

The community was so excited about the prospects of a new home for the children that women from the Kadenge village made more than 30,000 bricks for the construction of the orphanage. 

A plan is underway to construct 5 duplexes -- each to house 8 children and 2 adults. Each duplex will have 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet. 

It is anticipated that in accordance to Zimbabwean culture, the remaining children currently living at the orphanage will be taken in by their relatives.

Additional plans for the compound include drilling a borehole to provide water for the homes. 

Furthermore, plans are underway to put in place an agricultural program as well as a venture to raise and sell chickens, conduct dairy farming and to run a piggery. These programs will help provide food and meat for the home and it is intended that these products will also be sold to earn income for the home.