In the true spirit of never forgetting your roots, the Mufakose Ladies UK or Mufakose Diaspora Ladies is remembering more than their families and relatives back home by helping the needy in the township where they came from.
Zim Abroad Magazine caught up with one of the ladies Lorraine J. Mudzimu who is now living in London.
She was born and grew up in Mbare, Harare before she moved to Mufakose where she attended Makundano Primary School and Mufakose High School and then proceeding to Harare Polytechnic College.
After leaving Zimbabwe for London she attended the London School of Management and Hilton University where she received the Diploma In Travel and Tourism and Events Management Diploma.
Lorraine is presently involved in an events management business.
Explaining what led her and colleagues to give back to Mufakose she said: “A child was injured during a football match, he was taken to the hospital and they couldn’t help him and died. Then we knew there was a problem. Upon doing research with the clinic we realized they did not have basic things to run a clinic. Gloves, thermometers, simple cotton for maternity wards.”
“I am very passionate about this project and happy the ladies have come together to help. I grew up going to that clinic and if I can make a difference and save a life, I will definitely do it,” she said.
Through their help when members of the Mufakose community visit the clinic they can now experience an improved health facility where nurses there are able to offer assistance in several ways. This includes the facility being able to cater to patients with blankets for the sick as well as assisting the maternity ward with the basic equipment for mothers and babies.
“I can say slowly but surely we are funding the project from our pockets. But as we fund the project from our pockets the process is a bit slow. So far we have bought 20 blankets, baby scale, glucometers, gloves, digital thermometers just name a few.”
The main challenge is cash, as we are a group of about 80 members contributing ten pounds per person and some items are can be way over the budget we can afford. Presently we want to buy a baby resuscitator which costs $8000, 00 and it will take us at least 10 months to save. Also we are appealing for assistance from the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe as they do not currently work with us in terms of getting the letters of approval of goods we want delivered.
Lorraine advised others who may look up to her group as role models, saying: “Don’t give up, give it a go. We started as 10 members only and we must remember that where we came from is home. Help the best you can and set yourselves small tasks monthly and it does make a difference to our home country and in these hard times it eases the pressure off the local community.”
Asked what motivates her to do what she is doing for the residents of Mufakose, she said: “I am a Mufakose lady through and through. Who I am today is thanks to Mufakose. I was raised by a community. I remember I used to play hockey and the locals would chip in to hire a mini bus to go for training and games. I remember Custom Kachambwa (our coach for Eradicators Hockey Club based in Mufakose) would move mountains to make sure we attend those games. He inspired me to do for others as well as give back to the others after me.”
Mufakose Ladies UK does not just look after the clinic, as others from the group work with an orphanage where they pay fees, supply clothes and food. For older girls, they help with sanitary towels, and all big girl stuff they need.
Also, they make sure they assist especially on the sports side of things.
“We try to catch them young. I grew up swimming at my local swimming pool and I have loads of memories there going for Coca Cola swimming competitions at Les Brown which was a very big deal growing up. So I am hoping one day we have all those facilities up and running keeping kids out of the streets and create employment for locals,” said Lorraine.
At the moment the Mufakose Ladies UK group is not registered but they are looking at registering as a charity to help raise more funds and be able to receive increased assistance from other organisations on the larger projects. They are looking at raising five thousand pounds to be able to open a charity.