Zimbabwe has had it’s fair share of economic challenges with HIV/AIDS, massive unemployment, growing urban and rural poverty being the order of the day.The woes bedeviling this beautiful nation are no secret and recently, things took a new twist with the mass job terminations that resulted from a Supreme court ruling that allowed companies to terminate their employee’s contracts on three months notice without benefits. As much as 22 000 workers lost their jobs in less than a month. We have witnessed heads of households losing their source of income. In Zimbabwe it is typical for one to be the breadwinner, not only for one’s immediate family but for members of the extended family as well hence the domino effect is felt by everyone.
In addition to that, there have been demolitions of illegal dwellings in the capital city, Harare, reminiscent of the 2005 “Operation Murambatsvina” by the local authorities. So far, hundreds of houses have been destroyed leaving many families homeless and destitute.
Amidst this doom and gloom, one wonders what is to become of the Zimbabwean child. Many children now live in abject poverty with or without guardians. The Social safety net is well-worn porous. Many children have dropped out of school, due to lack of funding. We have witnessed young girls turning to prostitution, as a way of fending for themselves thereby risking their health and lives to HIV/AIDS. In short, things are not looking good for the Zimbabwean youth and the nation in general.
As Tariro, we are obliged to act in support of the orphaned and vulnerable children to ensure they are empowered through uninterrupted access to quality education. At the moment, our offices are inundated with applications and pleas from desperate parents and guardians seeking to have their children enrolled into our educational support program. Just like our name means, we have the ‘hope’ of a brighter future for our youth and our nation. Please take a moment to to spare a thought for that child suffering because she has no one to fend for her, that child whose guardian no longer has a source of income and that child whose home has been destroyed.
“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”