MUTARE-Access Forex, a unit of Access Finance Zimbabwe, in partnership with a development arm of the Catholic Church assisted vulnerable members of society with food hampers amid call for corporates to increase their support.
The intervention in partnership with Caritas saw a total of one hundred and fifty households in Sakubva receive hampers of various basic commodities aimed at limiting the movement of the vulnerable in search for food during the current lockdown.
The recent drought affecting at least 5.5 million Zimbabweans together with macro-economic challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the resultant subsequent lockdown have had devastating effects on families and communities.
Access Forex, a bureau de change which provide remittance services for Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, mainly in the UK and South Africa recently committed an initial US$200 000 to assist vulnerable segments society and communities across the country who are now reeling from the negative impact of drought and the global coronavirus pandemic.
Isau Bwerunofa said the intervention began in Harare and will be stretched through other major cities to boos food security and to limit movement of the vulnerable members of society that survive from hand to mouth.
He said as a responsible corporate citizen Access Forex was complementing government efforts under the $100 million fund recently announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Prof. Mthuli Ncube.
“This is a program that we have come up with in response to government initiative to help deal with the COVID19 pandemic. These are unprecedented times for our country and it requires everyone to put their money where their mouth is.
“Recognizing the plight of our people who live from hand to mouth vending, the vulnerable people in our communities, the elderly, orphans and people with disabilities and to support government we decided to chip in and ensure people stay at home and stop spread of the pandemic.
“This initiative is our small way as a responsible corporate to citizens of supporting the Government which needs help form all of us to deal with these challenges,” Gwerunofa said.
He also challenged other corporates and Zimbabweans in the diaspora to join the effort, and contribute to the goal of committing US$1 million to serve those in need and help improve their lives.
In Mutare, Caritas supervised the selection of 150 vulnerable households comprising of the elderly, disabled and orphans with the assistance of Ministry of Social Welfare, local Pentecostal and Apostolic sects.
Nhamo Hondoyemoto programs coordinator for Caritas Mutare said the selection process was multi sectoral and comprehensive to ensure that the rightful people befitted from the program.
Hondoyemoto said the organization joined hands with other local churches and the Department of Social Welfare to select beneficiaries and carried out a door to door verification exercise to before finalization of the list.
“We are the Catholic Church but when we are doing development work we do not discriminate according to your church or political lines or discrimination according to social lines, so we invited all churches around Sakubva to assist in this initiative to feed the needy.
“First port of call was the Department of Social Welfare that gave us a list from Zororai Old People’s Home, then churches we had United Methodist, Anglican, Salvation Army, The Pentecostal Churches as well as various sect of the Apostolic faith.
“From the beginning up to the verification exercise, we took a sample size of 15 households where we went door to door with the Ministry of Social Welfare and we are happy to say government was happy with the selection and the verification of the vulnerable communities.
He added, “After this distribution exercise we are going to hand over this list of beneficiaries to government so that they can also update their database.”