Roselyne Sachiti Features, Health and Society Editor
Covid-19 has affected the most vulnerable members of society globally.
What is clear is that people in the most vulnerable situations who include women, adolescent girls, young boys and men, the disabled and elderly are hit the hardest by this crisis, which is worsening inequalities in society.
Zimbabwe has not been spared.
While this is just the beginning, with more negative implications of Covid-19 on society expected to surface with time, a Zimbabwean registered nurse based in Australia, Olivia Kanosvamhira (41), through her foundation Sister Kanosvamhira Foundation has vowed to continue helping the less privileged back home.
On the first Friday of each month, since last year, she has been sending US$2000 from her earnings for groceries that are given to women, orphans, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.
When Covid-19 came, she stepped up and has been helping 45 vulnerable people most affected by Covid-19 in Shamva.
Last week, using her earnings, she donated grocery packs worth US$2000 lighting up smiles from the beneficiaries.
The grocery packs comprised of 10 kgs maize meal, 2kgs sugar, 1kg salt, 2 litres cooking oil, 2kg washing powder, a bar of laundry and two tablets of bath soap, 1kg powdered milk, 2kgs rice, a crate of eggs, two loaves of bread, 2kg flour, a box of 100 tea bags, 500g margarine, jam, 2 litres Mazoe orange crush, sanitary pads, a live chicken among other things.
Starting off with a prayer, the beneficiaries sat outside a supermarket observing social distance as they waited for their turn to receive the grocery packs.
One by one, they received their groceries from the Sister Kanosvamhira Foundation team members, packed them in boxes, large plastic bags and went home relieved.
One of the beneficiaries Gogo Chikanda could not hide her joy as she received her share of groceries.
She thanked Kanosvamhira for the kind gesture at a time Covid-19 has taken away their means of production and life is rather tough.
“I want to thank sister Olivia for taking care of us before and during this Covid-19 period. She has been giving us food. May God continue to protect her,” she said.
Speaking to The Herald from her Australia base, Kanosvamhira said the foundation is based on bringing hope to those that may be feeling hopeless.
“It is my calling. I find peace, joy and happiness when someone who was not expecting to get anything finds help. That relief and appreciation they get blesses my soul. I see the hand of God in them. I am here because of the glory of God, so that I can do this,” she said.
According to Kanosvamhira, the Foundation is currently assisting 45 beneficiaries but likely to assist more in future.
The beneficiaries, she said, include four university students, 15 Form 1 students, 12 orphans and 14 senior citizens.
“I am helping the seniors with food and wellbeing. The kids are receiving school and university fees, uniforms books and groceries as well.
“This is a testimony of my life. It’s not about attending the best schools that makes people fulfil their purpose and destiny in life. So encouraging students from the same school that l attended facing the same hardships will bring hope for a better future to them,” she said.
Born in Chipadze, Bindura, 41 years ago, Kanosvamhira grew up in Shamva, a community she is now giving back to.
When her father passed on when she was just two-years old, Kanosvamhira and her four siblings were raised by her single mother under difficult circumstances.
Having endured difficulties herself, Kanosvamhira became more determined to give back to the less privileged taking the money from her own earnings.
“There are some organisations and individuals also helping out the less privileged in Shamwa and they are also doing a good job,” she said.
With Covid-19 ravaging communities and affecting livelihoods of the most vulnerable, a giving hand like that of Kanosvamhira will help ease the situation.