By Mbekezeli Ncube
IN response to severe food shortages at Entembeni Old People’s Home, the Hope for a Child In Christ (HOCIC) has donated food hampers and other stuff at the Luveve-based home in Bulawayo.
HOCIC represents over 50 faith based organisations that focus on orphans, vulnerable children, youths and underprivileged members of society.
It also coordinates the implementation of HIV/AIDS mitigation, advocacy, prevention as well as care and support programmes across Bulawayo, Insiza, Gwanda and Umguza districts in Matabeleland South.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, HOCIC director Sunda Mzeche said they donated to Entembeni because they were responding to reports highlighting the home was facing some operational challenges.
“We are giving out food baskets to vulnerable families in Bulawayo. Entembeni was in need of food and other things like warm clothing and protective clothing for Covid-19,” she said.
“We responded and we pledged that as long as our programme is still running, we will also be giving food to Entembeni on a monthly basis.
“We also pledged that we will help staff members because most of them are voluntary workers. We will assist them with 10kg maize meal, two litres of cooking oil, 1,5 kg beans and 3kg chunks,” she said.
Entembeni can accommodate 75 people. However, for now, they have 48 of which 11 are females. The oldest members are two 103-year-old males while the oldest female is Gogo Lucy Ncube who is 93.
Bulawayo Provincial Minister Judith Ncube was the guest of honour who urged members of the community to assist the elderly rather than forsaking them.
“It is with much appreciation that today we are here to witness the handover of these baskets. I would like to thank you HOCIC for this wonderful initiative they are doing,” she said.
“As we endeavour in our day to day activities, let us not cast away our loved ones when they are old, for when their strength is gone, they need us to be of assistance,” said Ncube.
Administrator for Entembeni Old People’s Home, Naomi Mwamungu said life at the centre has been made easier because of the assistance.
“HOCIC came through for us while the situation was tough. I am hoping they will always be there for us,” said Mwamungu.