By Locadia Mavhudzi
Covid19 disruptions to society have a heavy impact on children especially on their safety, their well-being and their future.
Worphan Orphanage center in Lower Gweru rural area which is home to twenty-five children below 18 years, is facing hard times as donor support has dwindled from both in and outside the country.
Esther Chindozi, the center administrator, said they are in dire need of food supplies to cater to the children.
“At the present moment, 18 children, 15 of them are of school-going age and 3 minors. We are giving them shelter, food, paying school fees and all the basics a child may need. Our most immediate needs range from food supplies as well as sanitary wear for the 10 teenage girls in our institution. We would appreciate even the re-usable sanitary pads to use them for a longer period. We have been financially crippled by the Covid19 situation as we used to get donations from churches which are currently closed in line with the lockdown.”
Chindozi said Vungu Rural District Council has been supportive over the years and the institution was allocated 9 hectares of land to support their agricultural needs.
“Though we have nine hectares of land, it’s unfortunate that we are failing to produce our own vegetables in the winter season because we do not have a borehole. We are appealing to well-wishers to assist us to drill a borehole so that our agricultural activities become sustainable.”
A village head in the area, Mcebisi Velasi hailed the work being done by the orphanage to protect children from extreme vulnerabilities.
“We are proud of the service being offered by Worphan Orphanage because many children in this area are eloping and there are rampant child marriages due to lack of social care. Most families are child-headed as parents are seeking greener pastures in our neighboring countries.”
Child Protection Specialist and Midlands State University Law lecturer, Loveness Mapuwa said that as parents worldwide struggle to maintain their livelihoods, governments must scale up social protection measures, programs, and policies that connect families to life-saving income and health care, nutrition, and education.
“The covid19 pandemic is impacting badly on children who are the next generation. Social protection that includes cash transfers and support for food and nutrition must be extended to vulnerable children.” This is a 15 percent increase in the number of children living in deprivation in low- and middle-income countries
UNICEF has revealed that the number of children living in multidimensional poverty has soared to approximately 1.2 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new UNICEF and Save the Children analysis of 2021. #Women In News (WIN) social impact initiative