Boitumelo Makhurane, Chronicle Reporter
A UK-based organisation has donated sewing machines, laptops and grocery hampers to residents of Mabutweni suburb in Bulawayo.
The project was spearheaded by a UK-based Zimbabwean, Mrs Fikelephi Jackson, who is the chief executive officer of a charitable organisation, Against all Odds Still Standing Charity UK (AOS).
The organisation which believes in the principle that women should not engage in prostitution and other degrading practices for survival, has also started income generating projects such as sewing, poultry and hair dressing among others for vulnerable women in Mabutweni.
The food donation of mealie-meal, cooking oil, salt and sugar comes as many households in the city have been left stranded as Covid-19 economic disruptions have adversely affected breadwinners.
Speaking during the presentation of the donations at Harvest House International Church last week, AOS public affairs officer Miss Sandokuhle Ndlovu said the donation of sewing machines was to ensure that women from Mabutweni suburb engage in self-help projects.
“One of our objectives is to teach people how to catch fish as opposed to giving them fish hence this donation of sewing machines. We seek to restore hope and rebuild lives of women through empowering them by giving them tools like these sewing machines to start income generating projects,’’ she said.
Miss Ndlovu said the organisation is on a drive to bring positive change to the Mabutweni community.
Ward 13 Councillor Frank Javangwe urged the beneficiaries to use the sewing machines to produce masks which are in high demand following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful to the organisation for this gesture, the groceries will help the residents as some are fending for their grandchildren whose parents are out of the country. I urge the beneficiaries to produce masks and sell them to residents in Mabutweni.
Ms Esnath Ndlovu (55) who received a sewing machine said: “I am grateful to the organisation for the sewing machine as it will help me in my dressmaking business. I used to borrow a sewing machine from my neighbour now I can use my own machine and grow my business,’’ she said.
In March this year, AOS drilled a solar-powered borehole for Mabutweni residents.
Residents are now guaranteed adequate water supplies. — @Boity104