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T.C Hardy High School Child MP hits the ground running

by Brian Maregedze
09 Apr 2019 at 08:05hrs | Views
The newly-elected Goromonzi South Junior MP, Fadzai Makuvise of Terence Cecil Hardy High School in Ruwa, Mashonaland East province of Zimbabwe has hit the ground running, already leading other students' philanthropic projects in her constituency. The Junior MP, who was recently elected, walloping nine other candidates to the mantle in an election that was held at Winwood College on 27 March 2019, has indicated that she wishes to raise the bar higher in representation of other children in the August house.

On 4 April, Makuvise (17) led members of the EnviroClub at TC Hardy to Melfort Old People's Home where they donated an assortment of goods including blankets, clothes and some groceries put together by students at her school.

Apart from the donation, the EnviroClub also spent the day with the inmates at Melfort, keeping them company and hearing about the difficult lives they are leading at the home. The students cleaned up the houses, washed the inmates' clothes and also cooked for them. They also watered the vegetable garden at the Old People's Home. The event comes at a time when Zimbabwe's President, Emmerson D. Mnangagwa launched the National Clean Up program in December 2018. In February 2019, President Emmerson Mnangagwa noted for the need to undertake the National Clean Up exercise at every place where Zimbabweans are gathered (ZBC news online, 01.02.2019). As such, the Goromonzi South Child MP, Fadzai Makuvise is living up to the national cause, Vision 2030.

 Speaking on the side-lines of the clean-up and the donation, Fadzai hailed the spirit of generosity that was exhibited by her fellow students and also thanked the school authorities for making the activity worthwhile.

"We have come here because we need to help the elderly members of our society, taking into cognisance that we as youths are not just the leaders of tomorrow but we will also be the old people of tomorrow. As a result I believe that old members of our society should lead lives as comfortable as possible even if they live in homes," Makuvise said.

She also intimated that she would love to see more of these donations to the less privileged, adding that she would also like to visit children's homes and even female prisons to see the challenges that women and children face on a day to day basis.

Fadzai also thanked her school for allowing the students and herself to use the school bus to visit the Old People's Home.

Melfort Old People's Home (MOPH) has been in existence for about 38 years, having been established in 1979 by Sister Noreen, a Roman Catholic nun. She was emotionally moved after she discovered a number of old people residing along the Mukuvisi River in the then Salisbury. The home has since then depended on well-wishers to continue catering for these old people. Currently there are 24 men and 3 women at the home although its carrying capacity is about 55. Some of these people originate from Zimbabwe's neigbouring countries within Southern Africa, namely, Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the north and Botswana in the west, which means some of them have had no rural homes to retire to after leaving farm employment. Going back to their home countries has also been out of the question for some since they need lots of money to relocate. Since some of them were farm employees they do not receive any pension. Their permanent home therefore is now MOPH.   

The Home's inmates earn a living by working in fields and rearing animals. These activities however, are a huge strain on the old men and women, since all of them are past active economic life and have some physical infirmities. The oldest inmate is 98 years old, while the youngest is about 6o.

There are a number of problems faced at the home by the inmates. They are prone to major illnesses, and the home lacks transport to ferry them to health centres. Even when they manage to ferry them to hospital they in most cases are just attended to by doctors and nurses, but still have to buy medication. Some of the inmates at the home are also mentally ill, which means they require extra care.

Currently, the home does not have financiers and depends on well-wishers. The goodies that were donated can sustain them for only a short time. Speaking to this reporter, the TC Hardy School Head, Beauty Shambare, also commended Fadzai and the EnviroClub for taking their time to go and assist the inmates at Melfort. "It makes my heart glow that we have children who are caring for the less privileged and willing to go the extra mile to make sure that the old people's needs are catered for, though in a small way. We do encourage the child MP to scale dizzy heights. She is intelligent and has a bright future ahead of her. We are also thankful to the children who voted for her, bearing in mind that in the past six years we have had three child MPs from our school. These are Fungai Makuyana, who became child Speaker, Paidaishe Chipindura and now Fadzai Makuyana."

The Head said that she will continue to assist Fadzai and other students who have philanthropic programmes lined up this year. On another note, the quest to fulfil the demands of the New Curriculum under the Ministry of Primary and Education in Zimbabwe is being achieved through such initiatives for the sense of social responsibility and also respect for the elderly among the learners in society is inculcated at T.C Hardy High school.

Brian Maregedze is an author, historian and columnist. He can be contacted at; He is the author of, A Guide to Sources of African History: For Advanced Level Examination Candidates (2018).

Source - Brian Maregedze