I would like to bring you a few more stories of the young people we support in Zimbabwe. Last time I sent accounts from St Francis, Shurugwi. We have several young people in the Eastern Districts.
Here is what Valentine Simango has to say:
I stay in Penhalonga near Saint Augustine’s mission. Tariro For Young People has sponsored my education for the past nine years. At the moment I am studying Accountancy at Mutare Polytechnic. I should now be going for attachments to gain experience of life in the business world. I have applied for on the job training to many different companies so am waiting to be called for interviews. Unfortunately, lockdown has delayed this.
Every month, I receive some food items from TFYP through Mr Komayi. He pays directly to a shop which is in my home area and then I go and collect the groceries. Without this help I would have a very poor diet. We really appreciate his support to us because he is there for us 24/7. Whenever we are in need he responds quickly to our problems.
During leisure time in this lockdown I help my mother with the garden, planting vegetables like tomatoes, onions and so forth. I am also reading newspapers and books to prepare myself for interviews
Life in this lockdown is very hard and I have experienced many hardships in this pandemic
Rejoice lives in Chipinge and recently passed her O levels well enough to go into Sixth Form. She writes:
Normally I am at School at St Matthias, Tzonzo. That is about 250 kms from my home. During lockdown I have to stay at home and I help my mother with household chores
Early in the morning I help her with watering the garden so that we can sell vegetables to earn a living.
After house chores I study with my neighbor friend.
Since gatherings are prohibited we are not going to church but we pray indoors with my mother.
Because of lockdown my mother cannot work as she is a street vendor (selling airtime and snacks). She is finding it difficult to pay rentals but fortunately Brother Edwin Komayi helps me with my monthly food requirements.
I really want to get back to school and get on with my studies.
Munyaradzi Mlambo (pictured on my right)
Finally I would like to share with you the story of Munyaradzi. He wrote this just before lockdown but he is a good example of what the kids go through before Tariro picks them up.
My name is Munyaradzi Mlambo. I was born on 12/06/99 and grew up in Chipinge.My father passed on in 2010.This made life hard for us. It became difficult for my mother to raise six children on her own since she was not employed but she always tried her best.The situation forced me to delay going to school. We used to sleep with empty stomachs and we had to beg food from well wishers. Food was like a totem to us .We hardly ever had proper food and we used to rely on fruits like mangoes and guavas when they are in season. We used to wander up and down the streets of Chipinge in search of food.People used to call us street kids and we didn’t care because that was reality.
One day when I was roaming the streets with my cousin Samuel we met people from Simukai outreach. We told them our story and they were eager to get us enrolled and that’s when l started going to school. Unfortunately the organization only got us enrolled and didn’t not manage school fees and stationery. It became difficult for me to concentrate on my school work because we used to go to school without food and we would go home after school and only to find nothing there at all. My tribute goes to my aunt Mrs Mureyani who brought the idea of going to Church and l was baptised and confirmed in the Anglican Church. This really strengthened me and that’s when l started looking to God for strength. I really enjoyed going to church because I knew the Lord Almighty would not forsake me. Then came Father Nicolas Stebbing and his colleague brother Edwin Komayi. They asked for the less privileged young people of the church and I thanked the Lord l was on the list with my cousin Samuel. Father Nicolas called for us and we told him our difficulties. He said they will help us to complete our education and not only education but they would also provide food and clothes for us. They bought us new complete uniforms and l was overwhelmed with happiness because l used to go to school barefoot and people would laugh at me.This really boosted my self esteem and started to become one of top performers at school. Father Nicolas asked my aunt if I could stay with her since my mother lived in a one roomed house. TFYP really built hope in me and l am a different person and my life has changed a lot.
Unfortunately my cousin couldn’t make it and he ran away. I now see myself as a winner not a loser. TFYP got me enrolled at a legendary school, St Augustine’s High and currently l am doing my Advanced Level at the same school. l never thought l would be a student among other students. Because of TFYP l am now a dream chaser and by the grace of God l am to be a lawyer. l really thank the Lord Almighty for bringing such lovely and caring people in my life and it is indeed my dream to do the same in return to the less privileged young people, the Lord Almighty being my helper.
Thank you for your continuing support. We are making plans to find ways to fill the education gaps this lockdown will leave and this will cost money. Do please keep us in your prayers.