The old orphanage was a good place. Here, the children had a roof over their heads, they had warm meals every day, they got the opportunity to go to school and they had adults who cared about them and took care of them. However, this orphanage came with its fair share of challenges. The home had only 14 beds, which meant that the 30 children that lived there had to share beds and sometimes sleep on turn. The children did not have mattresses in their beds, the walls were dirty, and they did not have a dining table nor a proper living room, which meant that the children had to eat and do their homework outside. Their front yard was too tiny for the amount of children that lived there, and it was therefore little space to play or to relax on after the children got home from school. The school fees continued to increase for each trimester, and the children were continiously sent back home from school as their school fees were not being paid. This was the main reason why MCHP was created - to cater for the childrens school fees.
With these challenges in mind, MCHP and MCHC decided that it was time to build a new orphanage for the street children. In October 2014, we bought a land of 5000 square meters, just at the edge of the Mkoba township. Here we are building the new orphanage. The first house was finished in 2015, and we are now about to finalise the second house. Each house is to accommodate a total of 10 children and one mother/father. This is because it is a requirement by Zimbabwean law that the houses look and function like family houses. In 2018 we will work towards making the orphanage more sustainable, especially when it comes to food. One of our main focuses will be hygiene and nutritional food.
The HOPE garden
The HOPE-garden is divided into two pieces. One part is where all the children get their own plot. If the child runs away from the orphanage or is asked to leave due to bad behaviour he loses the rights to the garden. If he is reaccepted, he starts afresh. The children themselves are in charge of taking care of their own plot and will have to grow their own vegetables, always under the supervision of the MCHC staff. The money they gain from selling these vegetables will be put in the child’s account created for them in the bank by the centre. Accurate records for each child’s funds in the account will be kept by the house mother at the orphanage and each child’s funds will be made available to them once they turn 18 years old and are ready to leave the orphanage. This way, the children learn how to work for their own money and have capital and get off to a good start when moving away from the orphanage.
The other part is for the orphanage to use for their everyday needs. This is to ensure the orphanage gets nutritional and healthy food.
The fire pit
The orphanage has got a firepit where the children and their house mothers can socialize. This is to be a social place where they can make food, talk, have fun and build relationships around the fire.
The caretaker’s home
It is a requirement by Zimbabwean law that every orphanage has a home for the caretaker. The caretaker is responsible for general maintenance of the premises, security of the premises and assets and ensuring there is order at the home.