Gumunyu is a semi-arid village in Nembudziya Gokwe, about 400 kilometres west of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. It’s an area with hundreds of orphaned children. Many of their parents died and dozens crossed into South Africa and Botswana to seek greener pastures. Grandparents become the new “parents”. Unfortunately, the grandparents are often sick, blind, physically challenged, and/or poor, which makes caring for their ever-smiling grandchildren difficult for them.
It takes a village to raise a child, and these kids never feel lack of love as the village always embraces them with love. Kupakwashe Kufakunesu* is 11 years old; his mother died of AIDS -related illnesses, and his father was murdered in South Africa. He is staying with his maternal grandmother who is partially blind and has limited mobility. Kupakwashe helps his grandmother with household chores, including cultivating a corn field. Actually, the child is the head of this household and the pressure is too much for the child. Before STEP Children of Africa Project intervened, Kupakwashe was involved in menial jobs to pay his school fees. (Note that in Zimbabwe, as in many other African countries, children only attend school if parents can afford to pay for the expenses associated with it.) Your generous support has lessened Kupakwashe’s burden as his school fees, school uniforms, and books are covered.
Trees of Peace Africa is working with volunteers and 50 kids from Gumunyu village by paying their school fees, training them in conflict transformation, and teaching them life skills. To support these and other kids from Zimbabwe, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo, consider giving to STEP CHILDREN OF PEACE AFRICA.
Christina and Lance Muteyo
*Because we value the identity of the children of peace, the child’s name and photo in this story have been changed.