Tendai Rupapa-Senior Reporter
NATIONAL airline, Air Zimbabwe, yesterday threw its weight behind First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation by donating a consignment of cooking oil for onward distribution to the needy as part of its corporate social responsibility programme and to complement the First Lady’s efforts.
The mother of the nation traverses across the length and breadth of the country engaging communities through her empowerment programmes during which she hands over food hampers to vulnerable groups that include the elderly, those with disabilities, widows, orphans, among other groups.
Amai Mnangagwa has left no stone unturned in ensuring that these disadvantaged groups have access to food and improved healthcare facilities.
Through her Foundation, she mobilises resources from well-wishers which she personally distributes to the intended beneficiaries.
The Angel of Hope Foundation and the national airline enjoy cordial relations which date back to the year 2019.
Acting chief executive officer for Air Zimbabwe, Mr Tafadzwa Zaza, said the airline fully supported the work being done by Dr Mnangagwa to ease the plight of vulnerable and marginalised communities countrywide.
He said they recognised the immense work being done by the First Lady countrywide, hence the commitment to donate to her foundation.
He paid glowing tribute to the First Lady for a “selfless mother’s heart that embraces all, lighting a candle of hope, love and life in every community, leaving no one and no place behind”.
“We have gathered here today in support of the work that is being done by our mother her Excellency the First Lady of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa to support the disadvantaged people and the marginalised touching all corners of Zimbabwe. So as Air Zimbabwe, we have thought and decided to come in support by making a donation,” he said.
“This partnership came a long way backdated to 2019 when we partnered the First Lady with the young women that came to Air Zimbabwe and were exposed to all departments on Air Zimbabwe and we even flew them around to give them exposure in the aviation industry.
“There is an opportunity for young ladies also to take up aviation as pilots, as engineers as well as cabin crew. In support of the work that Amai is doing we came up with a golf tournament, the first of its kind for Air Zimbabwe in July this year where we said some of the proceeds that we get we channel them towards the work that she is doing. That is why we are here today to donate some of the proceeds that we got from the tournament that we held.”
Mr Zaza said it was part of their stakeholder engagement to support the Angel of Hope Foundation.
“We celebrate the tremendous and outstanding work being done by our mother,” he said. “Through such programmes as Nharirire YeMusha and Nhanga/Gota/Ixhiba many lives of young women, men and children have been transformed, hope and dignity restored, characters of young generations being moulded and aligned to our distinct cultural values. We are standing here today flying our national colour high and proud because of the solid teachings of our elders, a tradition which our Mother is bringing back and instilling into the young generation.
‘We want to say thank you to the First Lady for the work that she is doing in this country. Touching all corners of the country leaving no place and no one behind.”
The airline’s public relations and corporate communications officer Mrs Firstme Vitori expressed gratitude to the First Lady for her various empowerment programmes targeting mainly women.
“Today we are so happy that we have brought a gift to Amai in recognition and appreciation of the great work that she is doing, especially in the life of the girl child,’ she said.
“As women as you see us today, we grew up with counsel from our aunties in the rural areas and that is the culture Amai is bringing back to give to girls the knowledge of what it means to be a woman, to handle yourself as a woman what are you supposed to do. We are thankful for the Nhanga /Gota/Ixhiba programme being spearheaded by Amai and the Nharirire Yemusha programme.”
Mrs Vitori said Air Zimbabwe had recently complemented a mentorship programme for five girls from Angel of Hope Foundation and was willing to work with more.
“We saw this as an important programme that empowers the girl child. We therefore wish to thank the First Lady for the work she is doing and we pray that God strengthens her and we will be there to support her, not only as an organisation, but as women. We thank you for covering all the corners of the country where you are leaving no one and no place behind,” she said to applause.
In accepting the donation, Dr Mnangagwa thanked Air Zimbabwe for extending a helping hand.
“I am grateful to Air Zimbabwe for coming on board to assist me in easing the plight of the needy,” she said. “We all have a duty to ensure the safety and well being of our citizens in need and marginalised communities.
“I am happy that Air Zimbabwe decided to donate this precious liquid which every household cannot do without. This donation will contribute immensely in assisting the underprivileged and the marginalised residing mostly in rural areas.
“This donation will go a long way as the demand for the presence of Angel of Hope is increasing countrywide. I thank you very much for this kind gesture.”
Angel of Hope Foundation has been operational since 2018, to support the vulnerable populace in accessing health services that will enable them to lead healthy lives and to assist disadvantaged groups in gaining resources they need to be income secure and lead a dignified life.
The foundation responds to communities by addressing economic and social vulnerabilities to enable them to cope with economic demands in life.