Des­ti­tute pop­u­la­tion re­mem­bered

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

AF­TER suc­cess­fully un­der­go­ing a six-week Young African Lead­ers Ini­tia­tive (YALI) pro­gramme in Amer­ica, Mr Shep­herd Nyam­bayo re­turned to Zim­babwe armed with skill and has opened a non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion that seeks to as­sist peo­ple liv­ing in squat­ter camps in the city.

Mr Nyam­bayo who has been do­ing char­ity work in the city and beyond said the lessons learnt while he was abroad en­cour­aged him to come and set up an or­gan­i­sa­tion that deals with as­sist­ing the for­got­ten and vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of the com­mu­nity such as the home­less.

“I have reg­is­tered an NGO called As­pire African De­vel­op­ment Foun­da­tion that is deal­ing with home­less peo­ple in the city and the first ar­eas that I have tar­geted are Ngozi Mine and Ca­bat­sha where there are home­less peo­ple. The or­gan­i­sa­tion is mainly to of­fer health ser­vices and aid in the elim­i­na­tion of hunger for these com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

He said he would be tak­ing chil­dren from these com­mu­ni­ties for life skills train­ing and also help them in their ed­u­ca­tion and other so­cial needs that they might have.

My Nyam­bayo said the big­gest hur­dle that they have iden­ti­fied in the two com­mu­ni­ties is that they do not have ad­e­quate identification doc­u­men­ta­tion.

“Most of these chil­dren in the com­mu­ni­ties do not have birth cer­tifi­cates such that it has been a chal­lenge to en­rol them in schools. Again the fund­ing that we want to give in terms of school feels pay­ment may not be worth­while if they do not have the doc­u­ments for them to be in school in the first place,” he said.

He said he is go­ing to en­gage the Regis­trarGen­eral’s of­fice in the city and map a way for­ward to en­sure that they se­cure birth cer­tifi­cates for the chil­dren.

On the ed­u­ca­tion front again, Mr Nyam­bayo said he was in con­sul­ta­tion with part­ners he met while in Amer­ica who have shown in­ter­est in the con­struc­tion of a pri­mary school in one of the high den­sity sub­urbs of Bu­l­awayo. The part­ners said they would con­struct and fur­nish the school in or­der to as­sist the vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren across that sub­urb and also beyond.

“Work is un­der­way in this re­gard and we are hop­ing to get pos­i­tive re­sults from the peo­ple we will con­sult as ed­u­ca­tion is a cor­ner­stone to any­thing they would want to do,” he said.

My Nyam­bayo said while he was in Amer­ica he learnt a lot about the value of sell­ing ideas to po­ten­tial fun­ders, fundrais­ing ef­fec­tively and also fi­nan­cial management for any busi­ness that one would be run­ning. He said many or­gan­i­sa­tions die a nat­u­ral death af­ter fail­ing to man­age the re­sources that would have been ex­tended to them.

An­nu­ally through the Man­dela Washington Foun­da­tion, YALI takes young African lead­ers to the USA for aca­demic in­struc­tion, prac­ti­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and men­tor­ship in the field of pub­lic management, civic lead­er­ship and busi­ness en­trepreneur­ship.

This year 20 Zim­bab­weans rep­re­sented the coun­try in the pro­gramme.

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