The Lerato Children’s Village, operated by our longtime partner in Zimbabwe, Shinga Development Trust, strives to fulfill the needs of orphaned and vulnerable children by offering a quality home environment and services that promote the physical, social, spiritual, psychological and emotional growth of the children and youth who live there.
Thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® we are able to support its mission by providing grant funding for its orphan care and school fees assistance programs to help enable them to reach a successful and healthy adulthood and attain self-sufficiency.
Many of them are placed into the Lerato Children’s Village after suffering unimaginable trauma, often at the hands of their own family members.
Founder and director Margaret Makambira reported recently of taking in a young girl who was being neglected and emotionally abused by her grandmother.
“She was accused of being a witch by her relatives,” Margaret reported.
“The home became a loving home for her. Needs assessments were done and she was found to be psychologically traumatized, withdrawn, and could not play with the other children very well.”
But following counseling, and the loving environment provided at Lerato, the girl, who had never attended school, is doing well in her classes and now enjoys playing with the other children.
However, other children in Margaret’s care occasionally require much more individualized care.
Such is the case of a 3-year-old boy named “Alone” who is deaf, non-verbal, blind, and with cerebral palsy and cannot walk, or even sit when he first arrived there.
“He was referred to Lerato by the Department of Social Development after being abandoned by his mother,” Margaret told us. “The child was left by his mother at the home of the alleged father, who also denied responsibility for the child which led to the boy’s stepmother taking the child to the police.”
The police took the child to the Department of Social Development which referred the child to another home, but it refused to accept the disabled boy.
“The child was later brought to the Lerato Children’s Home where he was welcomed despite his condition,” says Margaret. “Lerato became his loving home as we tried our best to cater to his special needs.
“Despite the fact that Lerato is still a young home with little experience with children with special needs, we have been successful in assisting him with love, shelter, medications and more.”
Margaret is also ensuring that Alone can live his best life by taking him to the Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital for medical assessments, the Nzeve Deaf Centre for physiotherapy, and at home helping him do physical therapy while keeping him under constant monitoring.
“Through these sessions the child can now sit with support,” Margaret reported. “The other children at the home (his new “brothers” and “sisters”) can now play with him very well and are taking turns caring for him. He is now physically fit considering the state he was in before he arrived at the home.”
Today, thanks again to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, the boy named “Alone” is no longer alone.
In fact, Margaret told us that one of the children who has bonded with him says his name should be changed to Moses.
“’Alone is a harsh word. We are here for him.”