By Nyasha Mutena
After extending a grand donation of items worth over 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars towards the poultry project at Mutemwa Leprosy Centre this year in July, the Coca-Cola Women’s LINC Zimbabwe Chapter on Saturday showed gratification with the poultry project which was on the verge of collapse before their intervention.
Items donated to the Centre include 300 point of laying chickens, one and a half tonnes of layer feed, nine 12 litre waterfronts, nine ribbed tube feeders and stress packs to help the centre provide members with the required source of protein and revenue.
Speaking during a visit to the centre over the weekend, Coca-Cola Women’s Linc Zimbabwe Chapter President and General Manager, Corporate Affairs at Delta Corporation, Patricia Murambinda had this to say;
“We are happy with the progress so far the poultry project is providing the much-needed protein for all at the centre as well as revenue for other essential needs. The eggs you had for breakfast came from the project,” said Patricia.
The donation came just two months after the Coca-Cola Women’s Linc group handed over a fully furnished block of four classrooms and a modern office to Cheuchi Primary School, a satellite-rural school in Makonde district in Mashonaland West.
Father Linus Mukumbuzi hailed the Coca-Cola Women’s LINC Zimbabwe Chapter and donors alike who remain committed to uplifting the centre and seeing to it that everyone at the centre is well kept in light of the dwindling numbers of pilgrims as a result of the Covid-19 imposed travel restrictions. He however bewailed water challenges that they are currently grappling with after efforts to drill a borehole were futile because the area is too rocky. Also, he says their feeding pipes were stolen recently.
“We continue to see support. Currently, we have had a handful of donations coming in from Coca-Cola Women’s Linc donating chickens which are now laying eggs. We also have other people who come here now and again to give us food stuffs to keep us going. The current challenge we have is water. We tried to drill a borehole over the past few weeks but it looks like the ground does not support underground water at all because of granite.
“So we are still really searching for water source around to supply for irrigation as well as day to day basic water for cleaning, watering our crops and animals. That is very critical for us. Looking into the future, we are hoping that our farming will improve. We have a 6 hectare plot which we hope if we can have farming equipment we can be able to grow our crops and become self sufficiency”, said Father Mukumbuzi.
“A big thank you to our perennial donors who have sustained the institution for years who range from the government, NGOs, private and public entities, churches and individuals”, added Father Mukumbuzi.
Established in the mid-1930s as a leprosy settlement by English Franciscan Friar, Bradburne, the center also provides physical, psychological and emotional care to both post-leprosy patients and the mentally challenged.
Since its inception, the center has been host to thousands of pilgrims who flock the site’s mountain every first weekend of September to revive their waning spiritual lives or seek redemption.
Mutemwa Leprosy Care Centre is home to more than 50 elderly residents, including people affected by leprosy, leprosy disability and society outcasts.
Mutemwa attends to around 1, 200 outpatients per year and supports others who are homeless and destitute. The centre provides physical, material, psychological and emotional care to post-leprosy sufferers, the physically and mentally challenged and the needy.
The care center started as a leprosarium around 1937 with a few patients and growing into a huge leprosarium in the 1940’s and 50’s with nearly 1000 patients. In 1962, with the introduction of the drug Dapsone, which can cure the leprosy bacteria, the center was closed and many patients were asked to seek home based care.
The Women’s LINC is a network of women employed in the Coca-Cola system focused on engaging, inspiring and developing them to drive total business performance and establish a strong reputation as a great place to work for women.
The initiative empowers women so that they can also enable others and influence their environments. It draws its membership from The CocaCola Company, Delta Beverages and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited.
The Coca-Cola Women’s LINC was established to enhance the attraction, engagement and development of female colleagues through opportunities such as industry panels, networking events, mentoring, and community engagement which forms the heart and soul of our operations.