Presbytery of Zimbabwe Ministry for Children at Risk - November 2017 Update
This project was formerly known as “Lovemore Home.”
Dear friends and partners,
We would like to share some news about the Presbytery of Zimbabwe (POZ) Ministry for Children at Risk and specifically about the Lovemore Home boys. It has been a long journey placing the boys with foster parents and in schools after Lovemore Home closed. In August 2017, Lee Cooper from South Highland Presbyterian Church, Frank Dimmock and I traveled to Harare to visit with the POZ. Doug Tilton, PC(USA) mission co-worker and Southern Africa Regional Liaison, also joined us. Included on the agenda during our visit was the Lovemore Home boys’ reunion, among other things. The reunion was held on August 19. Many of the boys living in Harare came to the reunion, and it was a joy to meet each of them. They have grown into handsome young men.
Most of the former Lovemore Home residents attend either Gloag High School or Mhondoro Presbyterian High School. Both schools are managed by and belong to the POZ. The Presbytery assigned a minister, Rev. Gleness Mambi, to visit the boys regularly, pray with them and discern their needs.
From her latest visits, Rev. Gleness reports the following: “I am happy to report that we made visits to the schools where the boys are – Mhondoro and Gloag. We visited Mhondoro on October 2. We bought groceries and had lunch with the five boys that are there – Hastings Manene, Wilderness Nyirenda, Brandon Lee Chinyanga, Shingirai Sibanda and Tinashe Mujakachi. We prayed with them and encouraged them to work hard. We also bought groceries for the boys at Gloag High School – Simbarashe and Milan Tasunungurwa. The boys who are in Form Four (seniors) have started writing their Examinations. Milan wrote three subjects in June and passed them all. I do hope that he is going to continue with his good work as he sits for other subjects in October/November. We made an initial visit to Nyasha Runodada in September and found a place for him at Glen Forest Secondary School. We bought him new uniforms and paid his school fees. We do have concerns about Glen Forest – it is a satellite school and the learning environment has limited resources. It is also a long distance from where he lives. The decision to enroll him at that school was prompted by the desire from the foster parent to move him to a boarding school since he had just recently joined the family and needed sometime to bond with other than family members. However, we discussed the issue with the foster parent and agreed that he will be transferred to Mhondoro the beginning of next year (2018). We will make a follow-up visit soon. When we visited Mhondoro, we let the school authorities know that Nyasha would be coming to join the others and everything looks good for now. We pray the foster parent will cooperate and let him join the other boys. We visited Nyasha a second time on October 27. We purchased groceries for him, and he is doing well. I confirmed that the fees for all the boys are up to date except for Nyasha at Glen Forest. We are still investigating to know how much has not been paid.
Four of the boys are now university students at Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU), University of Zibambwe (UZ), and National University for Science and Technology (NUST). They are pursuing their dreams, and it is a joy to watch them. Please keep them in your prayers. We have one young man, Ian Busu (pictured at the top of page one) who has completed his teaching degree at Solusi University and now has a teaching job.”
The university students have settled in well. Rev. Gleness reports that she and the treasurer, Ms. Vicky Chatikobo, helped the boys open bank accounts, which is one of the university’s requirements. During our visit in August, we met with all four boys and enjoyed going shopping with them. Lee Cooper also brought bags full of items collected by her church for the boys. Rev. Gleness plans to visit the NUST boys in Bulawayo by mid-November to negotiate reducing costs and to meet the Church Association Representative in Bulawayo so they can integrate the boys into their community.
The Presbytery of Zimbabwe continues its mission to care for vulnerable children at risk through education. We are grateful to all of you who support this work, and thank you for allowing us to empower and partner with the church in the work of the Kingdom.
Please pray for the people and the country of Zimbabwe, for both the economic crisis and the political situation.
May God bless you!
Ebralie Mwizerwa for The Outreach Foundation
Read more about the Presbytery of Zimbabwe Ministry for Children at Risk by clicking HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $10,000 to accompany the Presbytery of Zimbabwe in equipping these children with skills through education.