One Saturday morning in May 2011, I visited an orphanage in Mkoba. The Midlands Children Hope Centre had lost their support and were in desperate need of assistance. Determined to help, I went home to Scotland and raised funds. Thanks to the Dundee Church of Christ, Just Do It Theatre Group and Helen Court another previous volunteer, as well as several other donors we raised US$3000, enough funds to hopefully make a difference to the lives of these kids. I had some ideas of what I wanted to do but did not want to make any decisions until I had sat down with Question (yes that is his real name!) the founder of this orphanage.
June 10th 2012, I returned to Antelope Park, had a discussion with Question to find out the needs and made my plan. As well as providing some essentials I wanted to give them "fishing rods instead of a fish", so to speak. Something that would help them provide their own income. We purchased a new large chest freezer as well as a new cooker. The “fishing rods” were to be chickens, Cobra floor polish and candle making supplies. The day old chickens that we purchased would be reared as broilers and sold. We needed to provide food as well as vaccinations for all the birds and so Question, a Norwegian volunteer called Morton and I picked up 100 tiny day old chicks from the supplier in town and paid for another 100 to arrive in 2 weeks. I also bought a good generator for them as the electricity cuts out frequently. I gave basic food hygiene training to the staff and talked about the importance of cleanliness in the preparation of food, not just from a health point of view but for the long term survival and growth of their business.
We purchased all the materials for candle making. The locals in Mkoba have to travel to town for them and so they will be a good seller in this community. Cobra floor polish is also widely used. I chose the name for their new fledgling, pardon the pun, business TRIPLE C. Chicken, Cobra Polish, Candles.
The kitchen and prep areas needed a good coat of paint and so Cody, Sarah and I spent a morning painting. On my last Friday I went into town and bought kitchen utensils and a large cooking pot as well as some blankets and many other small things that were much needed.
My last Saturday and it was party time at the orphanage. I got there early so I could help prepare. The kids had a super time. Roast chicken,sausages, rice and tomato and cakes and ice cream cones all served by the seven volunteers who came. There was dancing to the music blaring out from the speakers. I had bought balloons to decorate the place. They had a great time with the volunteers.
It was sad to leave them as this is the last time I will see them this year. I will be back next year though and will keep in touch with them. I hope that TRIPLE C will prosper and produce some good money to help fund the work of the orphanage, at least to cover the basics.
By Alan Calder McNicoll
The project has been helping out with the nation immunization program and received the following letter from the Zimbabwean authorities to thank the project for its support during this campaign.
And here we can see the now completed new building at the Mickey Mouse pre-school
Or maybe you would prefer to get more hands on. We have two options available to you to join us in Zimbabwe to give of your time to help advance these projects: