Rumbidzai has gone through a lot in her life: abandoned by her mother; suffered severe malnutrition; and exhibiting convincing evidence of physical and mental abuse.
“Rumbie,” as she is now fondly known, is just 2 years old and had spent the first years of her life in unimaginable pain, hunger and fear.
But that is all history now, as today she has found herself in a loving home at the Lerato Children’s Village in Zimbabwe and into the caring arms of founder and director Margaret Makambira.
When Rumbie arrived at Lerato last August after being referred there by the country’s Department of Social Development, Margaret reported she and staff noticed immediately that she had what they described as “a running stomach” and that “the child had swollen legs, and this clearly shows that the child was severely beaten.”
Margaret, after decades of taking in children in such distress, knew exactly what needed to be done saying they started the healing and recovery process by “giving her shelter, love, care, clothing and food,” something the toddler had never known before in her life.
“Rumbie was undernourished and when given food she would quickly grab…and eat hungrily,” she added.
A few weeks after arriving at Lerato, she was taken to a nearby clinic for a complete checkup where it was determined that in terms of growth, especially given all she had gone through, she was “developing well,” and her reflexional skills were also in proper range for her age.
In the passing months of eating a balanced diet of healthy foods three meals daily, she has gained weight and is now no longer considered to be malnourished.
“Rumbie was also taught socialization skills – such as the clapping of hands when given something, greeting elders, saying ‘thank you’ and kindly asking for what she wants,” Margaret reported.
Rumbie is just one of who we at Bread and Water for Africa® describe as our “miracle” children, those who have overcome unimaginable horrors and thrived at the children’s homes and orphanages we have been supporting for nearly 40 years, including the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya, the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre in Zambia and Lerato.
Margaret and our other longtime partners in orphan care have for decades faced, and overcome, challenges, but today’s are unprecedented as severe drought throughout sub-Saharan Africa is resulting in crops withering in the parched soil and livestock dying of thirst, and combined with rampant inflation resulting in food prices rising on practically a daily basis.
But thanks to our supporters across the country, we are able to provide grant funding to provide meals for hundreds of hungry orphaned children and youth every day, ensure they have a warm bed to sleep in at night, their health needs are addressed (such as in Rumbie’s case), and they have the opportunity for an education and hope and expectations of a brighter future.
And as for little Rumbie, Margaret wants our supporters to know that because of them:
“The child has found a better home whereby she plays with other children and enjoys her right to basic needs that is shelter, food, clothes and love.”
What more could one ask for?