First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa hands over preparation kits to expecting mothers in Chimanimani recently. — Picture: John Manzongo

A lot of great work being carried out by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa through her philanthropic work to better the lives of Zimbabweans is a glimpse into the First Family’s vision for the future of the country.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa hit the ground running since the coming in of the Second Republic in 2017 and she has never turned back on assisting the disadvantaged.

As the founder and patron of the Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady is championing the provision of basic amenities to vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe.

Before becoming First Lady, she was very influential towards the establishment of women’s banks in Silobela, Zhombe, Kwekwe, Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, Mvuma and other areas in the Midlands.

She managed to kick-start women empowerment through ownership of livestock and handicrafts such as sewing, knitting and clay pot moulding.

As a promoter of good hygiene, many rural homes were improved in the Midlands during her tenure as a parliamentarian, giving them a new breath of life.

She was also the one behind encouragement and promotion of women to take part in cross border trading as a means of self-sustenance.

In 2017, when she became the First Lady, her marvellous works intensified through the Angel of Hope Foundation which houses her initiatives of empowering the vulnerable.

The First Lady has been a blessing to Zimbabwe, especially to the needy that are continuously in her mind when she initiates projects to improve their lot.

Angel of Hope Foundation, through the First Lady, has managed to give hope to many Zimbabweans.

There can be no doubt that she has spearheaded philanthropic work spreading its wings to the most marginalised communities, advocating for the preservation of their culture, as in the case of communities in the far corners of Zimbabwe.

In respect of her tireless efforts, the First Lady, through her foundation, has managed to visit countless communities and institutions donating foodstuffs, bed linen, stationery, ICT and medical equipment, and initiating comprehensive self-help projects like fish ponds, nutrition gardens, orchards and free range chicken rearing.

The resounding work by the First Lady in recognition of her generous work towards women and children’s health resulted in her being appointed as Ministry of Health and Child Care’s Ambassador for Maternal and Child Health.

The First Lady continues to be involved with people’s livelihoods and has been an active member of the Organisation of African Ladies against HIV/AIDS, the organisation renowned for actively equipping youths with knowledge on sexual health matters and discourages premarital sex.

The First Lady has been impartial in terms of empowering women and her list includes chiefs’ wives and those from diverse backgrounds.

Marginalised communities continued to be facilitated with medical specialist’s service, such as the provision of accessible and free cervical, breast and prostate cancer screening through the First Lady’s free mobile clinic screening programme.

The First Lady also launched the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (HPV), an anti-cancer programme expected to benefit over 800 000 girls aged between 10 and 14.

In fact, the First Lady has been to remote places like Kanyemba where she changed the lives of previously marginalised Doma people in the Zambezi Valley through engaging in income-generating projects and building of conventional houses.

In the past, the Doma people used to sleep in tree houses and relied on hunting and gathering for food.

But the future of the community was brightened, thanks to the First Lady’s initiatives through her charity arm, Angel of Hope Foundation, which assisted the villagers with resources to improve their well-being.

Having women and children at heart, the First Lady has been actively providing sanitary wear to women and girls, the sanitary wear she continues to donate includes reusable sanitary wear for the disadvantaged.

Government continues to recognise the developmental work being done by the First Lady.

She has been commended by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and other stakeholders for her keen interest in addressing and engaging adolescents by way of interactive sessions on a country-wide schools programme discussing issues around child abuse, early marriages, teen pregnancies, drug abuse, bullying and school drop outs.

This year, the First Lady through her Angel of Hope Foundation delivered desks, chairs, uniforms and stationery for 130 pupils at MayPark Primary School in Mashonaland Central Province.

She also donated specialised beds to hospitals in Bulawayo, Midlands, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central provinces.

Inmates at various prisons received an assortment of foodstuffs and toiletries which eased their plight in the wake of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

The First Lady complemented Government efforts by donating tonnes of maize meal and rice, packs of washing soap and boxes of cooking oil at Ruwa Rehabilitation Centre.

The First Lady has been to many areas of the country where she has been teaching people about how to properly behave to protect themselves from being infected by Covid-19.

She held several meetings throughout the country where she emphasised on following the World Health Organisation and Government regulations on preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Communities were taught on the importance of putting on masks, sanitising or washing their hands, social distancing and staying at home.

The First Lady also empowered people in areas she visited to start production of personal protective equipment to help their communities fight Covid-19, while at the same time empowering themselves through the projects.

Recently, the First Lady introduced the concept of Nhanga/Gota/Ixiba, as she spearheads efforts to fight teenage pregnancies, immorality, drug abuse and disrespectfulness, among other vices which are now generally associated with today’s youths.

In what has never been seen since independence, the First Lady is advocating for a return to the traditional way of life which had in built mechanisms to foster morality.

Themed “Dzidziso yaAmai munhanga/mugota/ixiba yevachirikuyaruka”, the concept involves elders playing their traditional roles of imparting wisdom in youths, while also teaching them the dos and don’ts of life.

The First Lady has been to several rural areas where young girls and boys were taught the traditional roles and urged to impart the knowledge to others.

On Saturday last week, the programme went a mile up when the First Lady took it to Harare’s Mbare suburb, where urban young girls and boys had their minds opened to another world they had never experienced.

The Mbare community invited the First Lady after observing and appreciating the educative initiative that teaches responsibility among the youths.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrate Amai Mnangagwa for her sterling work and leadership qualities.

SOURCE: The Herald

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