ORPHANAGES and old people’s homes in Bulawayo have appealed to well-wishers to assist with donations in cash and kind as they are facing hard times.
Speaking during a tour of Entembeni Old People’s Home, John Smale Children’s Home and Luveve Girls Training Centre by the Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Lovemore Matuke on Saturday, officials at the homes said they were failing to pay for services and their infrastructure was collapsing.
“We are appealing to well-wishers to help us to renew the fencing because the place is no longer secure especially for our girls. They are also victims of peer pressure and at times they sneak out of the school,” said an official at Luveve Girls Training Centre.
John Smale Children’s Home appealed for funds to renovate some houses amid fears that ceilings may collapse.
“The place is no longer safe for children as they are at risk of the ceiling collapsing while they are inside,” another official said.
Entembeni Old People’s Home Sister in Charge Miss Jesca Matavire said the home is failing to pay workers and owes service providers.
“We owe Zesa more than $15 000, Bulawayo City Council, TelOne and NSSA over $12 000 each. At least the Insurance and Pensions Commission pledged to clear 50 per cent of our Zesa arrears. We appeal to well-wishers and the corporate world to help us clear these outstanding bills,” she said.
Cde Matuke urged the private and public companies to support vulnerable groups in the country and not to wait for foreign donors to help.
“The Government has the main responsibility of ensuring that the vulnerable are taken care of by setting aside a certain amount to cater for their needs. However it’s a collective responsibility where private and public companies should join hands and support old people’s and children‘s homes,” said Cde Matuke.
He encouraged the homes to come up with projects which would help sustain them rather than wait for donations only.
“We encourage you to come up with projects that will help you generate some money to complement donations. Just sitting waiting for donations may cripple your services here. We are looking forward to seeing self-sustainable homes,” he said while at Entembeni.
Cde Matuke also said Government will amend laws to end the sending away of orphans who are over 18 years from orphanage as they face challenges of surviving due to economic constraints.
The deputy minister donated clothes, boxes of shoe polish, boxes of oven cleaners, counter books, cooking oil and boxes of bathing soap.
Meanwhile Khayelihle children’s village which has reconnected 40 orphans who are above 18 years with their families said it faces challenges during the process of reuniting them with their families.
Source: The Chronicle