Mthabisi Tshuma, Business Correspondent
A TOTAL of 150 residents from Bulawayo’s Makokoba suburb yesterday received food hampers under the “Feed a Million Challenge” initiative, which is being rolled out by Bureaux de change and remittance services provider, Access Forex.
The intervention is part of the company’s efforts to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on the less privileged. Access Forex has committed US$200 000 towards a target fund of US$1 million aimed at supporting up to one million vulnerable groups across the country with food aid through a partnership with Caritas Zimbabwe.
Among the Makokoba residents who received the hampers at St Patricks Primary School were the elderly people, the disabled and members of child-headed families.
The beneficiaries were identified using an electronic database for purposes of transparency.
Access Forex executive director of operations, Mr George Chirwa, said through the donations, they hope the livelihoods of the needy will be transformed.
“The need for food aid is massive across Zimbabwe. This is due to the shortages induced by the climate change, drought and the economic recession,” he said.
“Through working with other corporates we believe we will be able to raise US$1 million to buy food for the needy,” said Mr Chirwa.
The food hampers comprised mealie-meal, rice, cooking oil, flour, pasta and salt.
Caritas Zimbabwe Bulawayo Development Coordinator, Mr Welcome Sibanda, said the targeted 150 families in the city would receive the food hampers for the next three months.
“In light of the pandemic, we worked with the Access Forex to identify 150 families in Makokoba and the programme is expected to run for three months. We chose mostly the elderly so that they can stay at home as they are the most vulnerable to Covid-19,” said Mr Sibanda.
Area councillor Mr Shadreck Sibanda, said members of the informal sector in the suburb were also taken into consideration.
“Most of the people who benefited have no source of income as many of them were in the informal sector but cannot operate now due to the lockdown,” he said.
Clr Sibanda said the beneficiaries will be able to stay home during the lockdown because they now have food.
Access Forex is a unit of Access Finance Zimbabwe that provides bureau de change and remittance services for the Diaspora mainly from the UK and South
Africa while Caritas Zimbabwe is the official Catholic agency for humanitarian and development work in Zimbabwe. — @mthabisi_mthire.