NMB Bank on Thursday last week handed over to Dzikwa Trust, groceries, toiletries, masks and sanitisers to assist the trust in feeding more than 850 vulnerable children in and around Harare’s Dzivarasekwa suburb.
The Trust’s centre in Dzivarasekwa normally provides a hot meal every day except Sunday to more than 400 orphaned and vulnerable children, most of whom are on its education scholarship programme.
With the effects of Covid-19 having increased the number of families in need and hence the number of vulnerable children, the trust has extended to more than 850 the number of children it is providing with a daily hot meal.
The trust guarantees those who enter its programme in Grade One that it will obtain finance for their education up to at least ‘O’ Level. It finds sponsors for those who do well at ‘O’ Level to proceed to ‘A’ Level and even university. A total of 109 children assisted by Dzikwa Trust have graduated from universities. Two-thirds of the children being assisted with their education are girls.
The NMB Bank team that went to the Dzikwa Trust Centre today to hand over the groceries and personal protective equipment (PPE), led by Head of Marketing Lindiwe Thebethebe, met some of the university graduates whose education was funded through Dzikwa Trust.
The assistance Dzikwa Trust gives to orphaned and vulnerable children arose 28 years ago out of the vision of Seppo Ainamo, who comes from Finland, after he helped an eight-year-old orphaned boy from Dzivarasekwa. He and his wife, Oili Wuolle, went on to help more children, setting up Dzikwa Trust and sourcing funding in Finland, in other countries as well as from local donors. They both work as volunteers for the trust coordinating and overseeing programme delivery.
Welcoming the NMB team to the Dzikwa Trust Centre, Ms Wuolle, who is the programme director, stressed the important role that banks like NMB play in the economy. She said their generosity through their corporate social responsibility programmes was appreciated. She pointed out that Dzikwa Trust depends completely on donations.
Handing over the groceries, toiletries and PPEs, Ms Thebethebe said she was impressed by the way in which the centre remained focused on its objectives and endeavoured to ensure the children became well rounded individuals.
She expressed the hope that many other corporates would come on board to help fund the centre’s activities.
“When we go back we are going to see how, apart from monetary donations, we can come in to assist,” she said.
Friends of Dzikwa Society executive secretary Priscilla Takawira showed the NMB team around the centre and some of the new developments taking place there, which include the building of a skills training centre to benefit the community. The Friends of Dzikwa raises funds for Dzikwa Trust.