Monica M. is HCOC’s amazing Village Caregiver for the Jonga Village. Here we find three OVC siblings under the supervision of Monica, two males and one female all under the age of 9, all born with HIV. The Siblings lost their mother at a very young and tender age to HIV and left in the care of their father, who is also chronically ill with HIV. Although he does his best to try and care for his children by gold panning for family survival, it’s very difficult. HCOC’s Social Service and Medical professionals have intervened with support. The Children receive regular health checkups that include viral loads and HIV medications. The family is given monthly food supplies, spiritual support, and education. They are in desperate need of repairs and renovations to their house and need a freestanding outhouse constructed. We were able to deliver extra clothing to them, but more clothing is still needed.
Munzeiwa Village is carefully watched over by caregiver Patricia K. One of the many OVC’s at Munzeiwa is a sweet 6-year-old boy with severe disabilities affecting mobility that makes him rely on others for feeding and daily functioning. He lost his mother to illness just after childbirth along with a sibling. He is cared for by his father and left with his elderly grandmother each day as his father goes to find work and food in the fields. The grandmother has many health and mobility issues herself. On the day we visited, Gogo (Grandmother is Shona, their tribal language) was on a mat on the floor with both ankles injured and swollen causing the father to have to stay home to take care of his son leaving no food to be found for the day. Given all the challenges of this family, the father is very supportive of his son and loves him dearly but unable to care for him on his own in this very rural village. He would like a stroller so he could bring his son with him to the fields everyday instead of having to leave him inside with Gogo all day. HCOC provides monthly food supplies and well as medical care.
At Chioreso Village, it is our honor to introduce you to caregiver Patricia M. Patricia has served as a caregiver for HCOC since 2001 and has fostered countless children in her area. She covers several Villages for HCOC and is a stable, comforting voice to all the children. “IC” is one of the children who benefit from Patricia’s love and dedication in Chioreso. She is a teenage young lady who is in Form 2 of her education paid for by HCOC. As with many of the children, IC receives lunch while at school through HCOC’s feeding program, along with any monthly food humper she might require, school uniforms and feminine hygiene education/supplies. The Social Service and Welfare department offer her continued health education as being a teenage girl in the rural areas can be very confusing and unsafe. We are so grateful for Patricia and all our caregivers!
Dadirai M. is HCOC’s caretaker for Madamombe Village. Brother and Sister “Yara and Art”, age 12 and 15, live as a Child Head Household. Both parents died in 2010. They had an older sibling living with them up until 2019 when he left to find work elsewhere. “Yara” has chronic health issues and fell out of a tree in 2021 causing additional health issues that HCOC has helped treat over the years. They also benefit from monthly food supplies, school fees, uniforms and winter clothing and blankets. They are under drug adherence monitoring and viral load testing.
The Bvekerwa Village has caregiver Angelina B. Here we find two brothers ages 16 and 9. They were orphaned at an early age and currently stay with their 80-year-old chronically ill paternal Grandmother. Considered a Child Headed Household, the family receives food support, blankets, and educational support. HCOC renovated one of the homes for the boys as they were staying in a one roomed house with their grandmother. Board members of Zimbabwe Mission Partnership and Renewed Hope Charitable Foundation were able to deliver clothes and shoes during their visit in July of 2022.
Caregiver Smolly M covers the Matidenha Village. A male child age 13 with chronic health conditions is one of the OVC’s in this village. While the Colorado Board Members were visiting in July of 2022, a runner came to the HCOC grounds to find help. This child had been run over by a motorcycle, injuring his head and causing burns on his legs. HCOC’s staff nurse, Beauty, was able to go and attend to the child. If it was not for the quick action of the caregiver, nurse and prayers by HCOC’s spiritual leader, the outcome for this OVC could have been much different. Before leaving to return to the States, Members were able to visit and watch the progress and wonderful healing of this child.
Tecla M. has a large area to cover as caregiver for the Sadza Village. One of her many charges is a boy we’ll call Shine. Shine is a teenager with a smile that never ends, even with a challenging life. He is a double orphan, losing his mother to illness and being abandoned by his father. He enjoys helping his “foster family”, a family that lives very near and helps him when they can, mold bricks so they can extend their living space. He does this gladly knowing his own shelter has only half a roof and no shutting door. He begins his day hiding his personal belongings from thieves in a field and ends each day retrieving them. He is in dire need of a safe structure to live in and keep him and his belongings safe. Since his outhouse is unstable and may fall at any time, he would also like aid from HCOC to reconstruct it
In the Maidei Village, there is a family we will refer to as the “Hanna family”. There were initially five children in the household but two have completed their studies and moved to the capital of Harare to work and send what funds they can back to their siblings, 1 female and 2 males, all young teenagers. They lost their father in 2015 from complications of Tuberculosis. The mother has mental health issues and often leaves for long periods of time. Their elderly grandfather tries to assist but he suffered a stroke in 2019 and now has mobility issues, leaving him unable to work or provide support. They have an aunt that checks in on them from time to time, but she does not live close. HCOC has made many interventions and is happy to report that the family is doing well. HCOC continues to provide monthly food supplies, school fees, school uniforms, winter clothing and blankets, along with counseling and monitoring. The caregiver for the village is currently Patricia K.
Caregiver Tsitsi R. watches after 2 sisters in the Gandazha Village along with many other children. The sisters are living with both parents but due to mental and behavioral health issues the parents suffer, HCOC has found the children are the ones taking care of the parents. For this reason, they qualify as vulnerable children. HCOC has intervened to help the children become educated and nourished. It was discovered by the village caregiver that all meals were being prepared and provided by the girls. Along with supplying monthly food packages, HCOC also makes sure both parents get medication treatment from the clinic. This has allowed the girls to start attending school on a regular basis where they can be served a hot meal at lunch.
In the Sadza Village, the caregiver is T. Manyepa. Mercy is a female child attending Form 1 at Naymashato Secondary School and is the eldest with four siblings. Mercy’s mother separated from her husband not knowing his whereabouts. She then remarried and went to live with her new husband, abandoning the children. When HCOC started support, none of the children had attended school in over a year. There was no food or clothing. Mercy went to the school feeding center with news that they needed help and had not eaten in many days. Thanks to HCOC, all the children have what they need and attend school on a regular basis. They currently live with their Grandmother who is 86.
Located around Gandazha Village is a family of 5 children. The oldest is a male age 26 and girls ages 8 and 5 along with twins. Their village caregiver is Tsitsi R. Because the mother suffers from a mental health issue, the father left to marry someone else many years ago. He is unable to be located or confirmed alive. This meant the family was left without anything for many years. The oldest male has been the head of household but due to a back injury from a fall has had difficulty providing for his siblings. During the rainy season, HCOC found the house nearly unlivable. Together with the community, HCOC mobilized brick molding to repair the house. They also found there to be no toilet, so HCOC helped build them one. Ongoing efforts and support from HCOC are distribution of monthly food supplies, clothing, school fees and uniforms. They also received winter blankets.
Moleen Kasikwa is the caregiver for Chitengu Village and has 13 children she assists. Two of them are the Morris brothers, age 6 and 10. They stay with their grandmother who is in her 90’s. Their father died some years ago and their mothers where abouts are unknown. The brothers receive interventions from HCOC due to the grandmother is unable to provide for all their basic needs given her age. They receive food supplies, blankets, school fees and stationery. With the boys still at a young age, their grandmother worries what will happen to them when she is no longer around for them. She is very grateful for the support of HCOC and prays for their continued support.
Kale is a male child attending Nymashato Primary School. He lives outside of Gandazha Village under caregiver T. Rwambiwa. Kale lost his father when he was an infant. His mother then left and her whereabouts are unknown. He lives with his Gogo (Grandmother) who has a mental health condition and his Great Gogo who is bedridden. Kale has become their primary supporter and caretaker. He often hunts for birds with a sling shot he made and sets traps for field mice. He is considered a Child Headed Household with HCOC and receives monthly interventions of food and clothing along with school fees and uniforms.
We witness so much good being done in all the villages, but this last year sadness struck. In the Village of Guvamombe, caregiver Nelly S. lost one of her OVC’s to Aids. A young boy who battled HIV from birth. HCOC was there every step of the way during the ups and downs of his health. Supplying extra nutrition packs and medication, religious support, and monitoring. Helping him get back to school when he was healthy enough to attend and being by his side when he had no strength to lift his head. With so many children being helped and saved, one loss is still one too many for HCOC, The Caregivers, USA Board Members and all the donors who support and pray for the children.
In Memory of “M”.