FIRST LADY Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday fought back tears as she fed dozens of children aged between one year and 17 years at Kudavana Children’s Home in Zimunya as she officially launched her breakfast programme for Manicaland province.
As the mother of the nation was interacting with children, her teams from Angel of Hope Foundation visited other homes in Sakubva and Makoni district where a replica of the programme was conducted at Zororai Old People’s Home and Chitendero Children’s Home.
The three homes were in for a rare treat when they feasted on a delicious breakfast, courtesy of the First Lady.
Her hands-on approach left guests and dignitaries awestruck as she served the children tea with bread, fried and boiled eggs, baked beans, jam and margarine.
Kudavana children’s home has an enrolment of over 50 children and among them were an eight-year-old girl and her 12-year-old colleague who shed tears of joy while being served by Amai Mnangagwa.
“We feel honoured to be served by you Mama, we appreciate your love,” they said while wiping tears.
“I love you vana vangu with all my heart,” she said while fighting back tears.
The two girls grew up moving from one home to the other until they finally settled at Kudavana Children’s Home in 2016. They said they neither know their parents, relatives nor how they came to stay at children’s homes.
Amai Mnangagwa had to sit down and feed some of the children who are below three years.
The mother of the nation donated maize-meal, powdered and fresh milk, sugar, eggs, bread, jam, baked beans, margarine and tea bags to the homes for continuity of the programme.
The home’s psychologist Miss Jotina Vambire described the First Lady’s visit as therapeutic as it gave children a sense of belonging looking at the love that was extended to them.
“Our children come here through different circumstances and the biggest thing we give them and encourage even our caregivers to give them is love. These children need love. We feel very warm with the love that has been shown to us by the First Lady. We used to hear that she was visiting other children’s homes and our hearts longed to have her here as well. She has shown our children love and today our hearts are fulfilled because the mother has shown our children the love we longed for.
“We have five siblings who saw their mother being killed by their father and when they came here they had post-traumatic disorders. We tried to show them love. This woman was murdered because of infidelity accusations, this is domestic violence and it traumatised the children. He beat his wife with a pestle in full view of the children. We have seen Amai going around the country denouncing domestic violence, we thank her for that.
“Our hearts are gratified because when our mother comes here the children will know that there are people who care for them. Our mother is not selective and her heart bleeds for the downtrodden. She eats with them and cooks for them which uplifts the spirits of those children.
They feel encouraged, even their self-esteem matches that of children who grow up with both parents,” she said with happiness written all over her face.
Kudavana Children’s Home’s director Mr William Pepukai could not hide his happiness.
“We are humbled by Amai’s gesture. I have been seeing her on television assisting several children’s homes and today was our day. The children were happy to spend time with her, even the community at large. Zimbabwe is very big and she has a lot of responsibilities but today she saw it fit to visit this home and feed the children,” she said.
Speaking at the same event, Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Nokuthula Matsikenyere said she was touched by the First Lady’s benevolence.
“We did not know there is such a home but we have been shown by the First Lady who has come from Harare. I feel touched. Keep up with your good heart, God has a purpose for this. Since the First Lady got into office, we are starting to see a life we did not know. Our cultural values are being revived, orphans are now being looked after, our children are now being taught to be morally upright and look after themselves. We continue praying for her that God continues blessing her,” she said.
In her brief remarks, the First Lady said children were close to her heart and said they needed to be treated with love.
“These children are gifts from God and they deserve to be loved. I want to thank Blue Star Logistics which decided to partner Angel of Hope Foundation. I do not look at how small or big a gift is, but I take all that has been brought to the Foundation knowing that whatever I get will assist someone somewhere,” she said.
At Zororai Old People’s Home, 79-year-old Regina Dzirutwe heartily thanked the First Lady.
“The First Lady has done something wonderful for us. We never expected this. It had been long since we last had quality breakfast like we had today and we really want to thank her for that. It is always gratifying at this age and living in an old people’s home to find someone who thinks about our plight. We pray that she gets the gift of long life so that she continues to do her good works,” she said.
Edward Muyapi (77) sang from the same hymn book.
“Our prayer is that God richly blesses her. We have so many people with a lot to spare but for her to consider sharing with us, it is something we should whole heartedly appreciate,” he said.
Zororai Old People’s Home administrator Mr Gondai Gondo said; “We really want to appreciate the thought. It is really caring of our First Lady to spare a thought for these elderly persons.
“We acknowledge and appreciate the assistance that we have always received from her. May the good Lord bless her,” he said.
Yesterday’s theme song was Machanic Manyeruke’s hit “Munyika nherera dzawanda dzinodawo rudo” which dovetails with the love being spread by the First Lady to the vulnerable countrywide.
SOURCE: The Chronicles