by: Mai-lynne Deibel
I spent the summer of 2012 doing volunteer work in the city of Gweru, Zimbabwe. I worked on a project call “kids and lions”. I lived at Antelope Game Park and every day me and the other volunteers were driven to different places in the Gweru area. We worked at a few different places like a middle school, a kindergarden, and my favorite – the drop-in center (Midlands). At the drop in center, we would first walk around Gweru, picking up homeless people, mostly kids, but some adults. We would take them back to the drop off center, which was located in a church. There we would talk to them, play with them and give them a hot meal. For most of them it would be the only meal they would get that day.
Spending time with these kids was heartbreaking, but also giving in so many ways. I got very close to two young streetboys, age 11 and 13. My first day there I sat and talked with them and they told me how tired they were and how cold it was to sleep outside. I told them they could sleep now and that I would satch them while they slept. Both boys put their head in my lap and slept for hours.
These kids have nothing more than the clothes they had on them and, with nights in Zimbabwe in July often dropping to zero degrees Celsius, I can’t even imagine what is must be like for them, sleeping under a bush by the street with no shoes – only a shirt and shorts. When I last spoke to the people at Midlands, I was told that the boys now finally moved into the orphanage and started school. I am just so grateful for the opportunity to meet and get to know those wonderful boys. They have no idea how often I think about them or how much they have changed my life.
About Midlands Children Hope Project:
Midlands Children Hope Project was started up after Anita Svendheim and Thomas Nordberg’s volunteer trip to Zimbabwe in 2011. Here, they visited Midlands Children Hope Centre that work for the street children in Gweru. Every day was a struggle to cover the children’s basic needs, especially in a community where the street children are portrayed as thieves and criminals in the making. As a result, Midlands Children Hope Project was created.
1) To cover the street children’s school fees so that they will have the motivation, knowledge and opportunity to create a different life for themselves.
2) Support the build of a new orphanage for the children where they will grow up in a good environment. Here, the staff will also have the opportunity to put up projects to make the orphanage self-sustained.
Midlands Children Hope Project is a charitable organization by Norwegian law and work with sponsors in Norway, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We do not take anything to cover administrative expenses, so every dollar that is given to us will go straight down to the orphanage in Zimbabwe.
How can ACN Peace Committee help?