By Sandra Matendere
Gweru – Catholic women of St Annes have mobilized food stuffs and clothing aimed at assisting Batanai Old people’s home which houses ten people . Mrs. Chingombe, the chairperson of the guild at St. Mary’s Senga parish who led the women in the charitable gesture said the donation will go a long way in assisting the elderly in the home.
“We saw it noble to help the poor and underprivileged in our society according to the mandate given to all Christians by Jesus Christ in the gospel. We will continue to do similar works in future so that the poor and elderly can have some comfort in their homes,” she said.
The groceries included basic food commodities like rice, mealie meal, meat, sugar, milk and salt among others while clothes like T-shirts, trousers and dresses were also donated.
Mr. Banda who spoke on behalf of the elderly at the home said they were grateful to the gesture and that they survive by receiving food handouts from well-wishers such as churches .
“Our lives depend on people like you because we do not have any other source of income. We are not employed and we don’t receive any pensions to survive on. We are very grateful that you remember that there are people who need assistance in this community, people whose life depends on you,” Mr. Banda said.
Due to the economic hardships bedeviling the country some homes for the elderly and orphanages have been facing challenges in terms of meeting the basic needs of the inmates.
Lately, St. Annes women have been carrying humanitarian work country wide like visiting prisoners and patients in hospitals.
In 2016 women from St. Anne’s guild around Gweru diocese embarked on an initiative to support the young prisoners at Hwahwa Young offenders’ prison. The women gave presents to these prisoners and these included soap, toilet shoes, and food stuffs. The initiative was motivated by that year’s pastoral theme of the 2016 catholic calendar—Year of Mercy. The same year the catholic women from St Mary’s parish in Gweru housed desperate Midlands State University students in their own homes located in Senga suburb for free. The initiative went a long way in cushioning the students against the harsh economic climate which had seen some of them struggle to pay rentals and even dropping out of the university due to failure to meet the basic tuition fees.