Destitute population remembered
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.