To provide a safe and secure environment for orphans and vulnerable children
Midlands Children’s Hope Centre (MCHC) was founded in 1996 as a response to the growing number of street children living in Gweru, Zimbabwe. The centre works with orphans and vulnerable children and runs a rehabilitation shelter in Mkoba township, west of Gweru. Currently the shelter has 24 boys, all of whom attend the local school.
The Centre also runs a Drop-In Centre for children living on the streets, with the aim of rehabilitating them into mainstream society and education, and reunifying them with their families. A community kitchen at the Centre caters for the city’s destitute with a free meal for them each weekday. Without it, they would go hungry and many would be forced into criminal activities to survive.
The Drop-in Centre is a crucial part of the overall project for the MCHC, as all the children who now reside at the orphanage were once street children themselves. Through the dedication of staff and volunteers who work at the Centre, they are able to build a relationship of trust and hope with the children who use the service. This often encourages them to stop living on the streets.
You can read testimonials from the children who have benefitted from this program here.
ALERT through our ACT division, with our partner Antelope Park provide both manpower and material support to the MCHC and Drop-In Centre. We assist by contributing to rental costs, electricity and water bills, donating household furniture and other equipment, funding the school fees of the children, providing toys, assisting in establishing income generating projects, and on a weekly basis provide grocery supplies.
2011: A volunteer program was launched to attract individuals from around the world to come to the MCHC for extended periods to support the staff in their duties. Bedding for the children was replaced and electricity bills for the home paid for. Groceries were supplied to feed the children.
2012: The volunteer program was extended to also assist at the Drop-in Centre. Land was provided to the MCHC by Antelope Park to build a new, larger and more secure facility.
2013: Completion of revenue generating program for the MCHC through the construction of three chicken houses. Installation of a new water tank, erection of a security fence, foundations built for the new orphanage building.
2014: Antelope Park volunteer Alan Calder-McNicoll founded Champions For Children. The first donation to ALERT was $7 only. Less than one year on, an incredible $30,000 has been raised. "Without the help of two lion volunteers, Christina and Eva from Sweden, who joined me at the start we would not have achieved anything like that. They now have 125 people in the Swedish Branch of Champions For Children." Alan said. "We never want to be an NGO or a charity. We are just a bunch of volunteers who have developed a network. We exist solely to help ALERT and The Happy Africa Foundation fund its children-related community projects. We are all about self-sustainability through income generating projects. We will only be working with projects for a limited period. It's all about building local support networks within the community." For more information about Champions For Children, visit: www.championsforchildren.info
We would like to extend our gratitude in particular to the Midlands Children's Hope Project Norway, Alan Calder-McNicholl and to Reece Walsh who have made significant donations to help fund the vital work of the MCHC, especially in the creation of revenue generating schemes to help support the home more sustainably.