Tendai Rupapa-Senior Reporter
COMPLEMENTING First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s tireless efforts through her Angel of Hope Foundation to remove ladies of the night and those into drug and alcohol abuse from the streets, Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) has partnered her foundation by offering short courses to the women for free.
Amai Mnangagwa is doing all in her might to restore the dignity of women by removing the ladies from the streets and introducing them to income generating projects so that they earn decent money.
She has been working flat out to rehabilitate and empower the women countrywide by ensuring they do something decent and be able to look after their families.
Recently, she met ladies of the night drawn from Mbare, Waterfalls, Hatcliffe and Domboshava whom she encouraged to shun prostitution and divert their energy on something dignified before rolling out empowerment initiatives for them.
Touched by the First Lady’s efforts and hard work, ZOU decided to work with her and offer short courses in Faculties of Agriculture, Applied Social Sciences, Commerce and Law, Education, Science, Technology and Arts, Culture and Heritage Studies to the beneficiaries in all the country’s 10 provinces.
The targeted beneficiaries of the Angel of Hope Foundation-ZOU partnership empowerment initiative include the disabled, orphans and members of the previously marginalised communities who are able to work and have a better life. This falls under the First Lady’s all-encompassing drive which is leaving no one behind.
ZOU said it deemed it highly strategic for national development to complement efforts of the humanitarian programmes being run by the First Lady through her foundation.
The varsity’s Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Gundani said the humanitarian projects had touched the hearts of multitudes of Zimbabwean citizens and were contributing towards improving the well-being of citizens.
“This is consistent with Education 5.0 where community service and engagement is one of the five pillars,” he said.
“It is in this context that the ZOU seeks to complement the First Lady’s initiatives.
“The First Lady’s impressive nationwide activities, which include the open prison for women in Marondera, children on the streets rehabilitation in Chiredzi, initiatives meant to rescue the youth from harmful behaviours, girl child empowerment, promotion of inclusivity for people living with disabilities as well as reclamation and reaffirmation of dignity among the elderly have moved the hearts of the ZOU community.”
As a public university founded and mandated to lead in social transformation, Prof Gundani said, ZOU was positioned to complement the First Lady’s nationwide undertakings through its established regional campuses located in the country’s 10 provinces.
Currently, 62 percent of its 2021 student enrolment are women, confirming ZOU’s commitment to the national vision of women’s empowerment.
Amai Mnangagwa has been doing a lot in assisting all vulnerable groups in the country.
This comes at a time when a 76-year-old widow donated blankets and bags of grain to the First Lady and her Angel of Hope Foundation for onward distribution to the needy as her philanthropic works and efforts to ease the plight of the less-privileged motivate the nation to give.
Gogo Filder Molly Chikerema said she had seen it fit to land a helping hand to the First Lady, who alone cannot manage to satisfy the needs of the vulnerable groups, without assistance.
The donation will boost the already running programmes being undertaken by Amai Mnangagwa to cushion vulnerable families.
The First Lady, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, is doing a lot in uplifting the lives of unfortunate members of the society and she has left no stone unturned in ensuring that disadvantaged groups have access to food and improved healthcare facilities.
Amai Mnangagwa’s concern for the welfare of the elderly, the disabled, orphans and other underprivileged groups has seen her going around the country’s 10 provinces, giving out an assortment of foodstuffs, toiletries and blankets to the targeted groups.
Gogo Chikerema showered praises on the First Lady and said her humility and conduct spoke volumes about the dignified woman she was.
“We are happy with what is being done by our mother the First Lady who is going around the country helping those in need,” she said.
“As a woman, I feel that if women cannot uplift each other, who else can elevate us?
“What she is doing gratifies us very much and may she continue on that trajectory. Her love and conduct are plausible as a mother who loves her nation. As a widow, I tried to come in handy to her in helping people. She is the mother of the whole nation who knows those in need.”
Gogo Chikerema thanked Amai Mnangagwa for encouraging women countrywide to work hard and start income generating projects.
“Amai is always encouraging women to work hard,” she said.
“I am 76-years-old and a widow, but I am hard working. This maize that I have donated to her, I grew it at my farm and I also do various types of vegetables in my garden.”
Gogo Chikerema said the First Lady’s educative sessions were on point as they dwelt on making women understand their value in society and not sit on their laurels.
“Women must never wake up after 7am daily, but as early as 4am to prepare for their husbands and children before doing other chores or projects,” she said.
She described as valuable, the teachings that Amai Mnangagwa is giving youths nationwide under her Gota/Nhanga/Ixhiba Programme designed to mould responsible and morally upright citizens who are keen to use their own hands.
“Amai is correcting children’s behaviour which had gone astray,” said Gogo Chikerema.
“However, as parents, we are role models of our children hence we should lead by example and have time to give wise counsel.
“I applaud the First Lady for coming up with Nharirire yemusha programme meant to empower parents and guardians with skills to effectively watch over their families, promoting good morals and dignity.”
To Angel of Hope Foundation, no gift is too big or small as anything could transform the life of someone, somewhere.