THE outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has left a sad trail of hopelessness in many poverty-stricken communities around Zimbabwe.
While some urban settlers are receiving some cushion against the effects of the pandemic, rural communities have endured the brunt of the scourge in silence.
It is this despondency and state of hopelessness that led South Africa-based Bishop Luckie Peter Bepete, who has been supporting urban folks especially the elderly and the orphaned to turn his eyes to the rural folk.
Bepete’s efforts saw Damba School in Binga North receiving a donation of school fees covering the entire enrolment of over 500 pupils.
Damba headmaster Bongani Mudenda said it had become difficult for school development committees to see through their plans as parents hardly have enough money for fees.
The school only has two classrooms and the majority of the pupils learn from under the trees dotted around the school yard.
When it rains, they all scurry for cover in the two classrooms.
Oliver Kapepa, who coordinates the church’s local activities, praised Bepete’s Life Ministries for travelling all the way from Cape Town to help local communities.
The nearby Masibinta High School also received six months’ supply of sanitary pads for its 131 girl children from Grace for Girls, a ministry founded by South African born Pastor Maria Sibongile, wife to Bepete.
The well-travelled Bepete, who hails from Goromonzi and has been living and pastoring in South Africa since 1998, said he was happy to have paid school fees for the pupils at Damba.
When the pandemic started, he began feeding the homeless and the economically stranded in Cape Town, dishing out more than 200 loaves of bread and soup every day.
He also started distributing out food parcels to more than 200 elderly and the orphaned in areas such as Chiweshe, Epworth, Mabvuku, Mufakose and recently in Dzivaresekwa in Harare.