THIS IS HOW FAR THE LORD HAS TAKEN US – EBENEZAR FOUNDATION

The charity foundation based in Melbourne, Australia, is all about raising funds for the direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution or helplessness, particularly to disadvantaged people not only in Australia but Zimbabwe as well.

Formed as a company by three members – Maidei Belinda Zivengwa, Sifundo Mpatiwa and Munashe Chigumadzi, the organisation was registered this year in July 2017, with the charity arm being registered one month later.

Maidei Belinda Zivengwa, Sifundo Mpatiwa and Munashe Chigumadzi, the ladies behind Ebenezer Foundation

“Ebenezar`s main focus is to help the societys less fortunate. We aim to improve the well-being of those who find themselves in a position of need through no fault of theirs. Our efforts are directed at sourcing or buying equipment for children with disabilities and supporting an endeavour by local Zimbabwean optometrists to provide eye-care through surgical outreach programmes, i.e removal of cataracts, and reducing the impact of avoidable blindness by treating all ophthalmic medical conditions, said the foundation.

What inspired the idea of such an organisation was that the group had been doing informal charity in the community in Australia and back home in Zimbabwe. Helping out has always been a passion of ours. We felt the time was right for us to do something on a bigger scale and not be restricted to our local communities. We thought of widening our focus by picking an institute or school in Zimbabwe to assist. King George XI of Bulawayo, a school for children with disabilities came to mind. This choice was closer to our hearts as we have family members here in Australia involved with organisations dealing with people with disabilities.
We decided to share the idea with everyone else and getting everyone around us involved, they said.

Ebenezer Foundation also assists disabled children

The foundation’s motivation is steeped in the Bible and it really works for the members to wake up daily to do the work they are doing as an organization.

Ebenezar means, this is how far the Lord has taken us for that we are grateful. It is our wish to extend that to those disadvantaged back home so they can be able to function and get basic needs for their everyday living. The dream of achieving our goals is what keeps us going. The vision is what motivates us to extend the little we have to the less fortunate. We are blessed to be in this position and as such we would like to extend the blessings to others as well.

Through their work they have been highly received by various communities as an organization.

The community we live in received us in a tremendous way.We held our first fund raising event on the 7th of October 2017. It was a women empowerment high tea. The support was overwhelming; tickets were sold out, with women from other states travelling interstate to support. We had High Tea (SA) founder members, Bonnie Chimanikire and Ntombizodwa Sibanda travelling from South Africa to support.

People called, checking on us and encouraging us. The reports we are getting from women who attended, are that the event was beautiful and a success and there are questions about when the next one is due. We managed to raise a quarter of our target with that one event.

Despite the modest success of their organization, they have challenges as a group.
This includes balancing work, family and the charity commitments which are all proving to be a big challenge. So far they have managed through the support of family, but they know the bigger the charity becomes, the more time consuming it will be. Nonetheless they say that they knew what they were setting themselves up for and cherish the challenge.

They have been busy as an organisation, although very new and they said: As a relatively new organisation we are in the process of setting up other fundraising events in Brisbane, and Melbourne for next year (2018) as well as sourcing funds for the ophthalmic project in Zimbabwe.

The trio see a great future for their humanitarian efforts. They are all thinking big to achieve beyond what they are currently.

In the next 5 10 years they would love their initiatives such as the ophthalmic outreach program to have done a lot by covering more regions in Zimbabwe and employ more than one doctor (Dr Zhou), like it is doing at the moment. Also, they are keen to have a polyclinic in Bulawayo to cater for the disadvantaged.

The organizations founder members are all happily married and are thankful for the ongoing support and encouragement their families have given them during the formation of the charity and the subsequent events hosted.

Not least of all, they said in conclusion: The nature of our jobs all three of us speak volumes about life impacting, which not only limits to physical being but as well physical needs. We are determined to see Ebenezer do more in helping our communities.

Zim Abroad Magazine
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