Isdore Guvamombe Assistant Editor
They grew up in the dusty streets of Unit M, Chitungwiza, playing mock house, boxes and little everything else with girls of their age.
In fact, they did all domestic chores that girls in their locality did and played like others did. But they also concentrated on school.
Being in the early 1980’s they embraced the “education for all concept” and went the distance in school with their male counterparts.
Today, the Chikwature sisters, Vimbai, Dorcas, Chipo, Tendai and Angela have made a mark through their charity organisation, Generous Heart, which has become an envy of many a parent in Unit M and beyond.
The organisation has donated water and food hampers to ease the community’s Covid-19 lockdown woes.
After high school and attaining professional qualifications, most of the sisters left for Europe as professionals, way before the great trek at the turn of the millennium and have been working there since then.
Realising that the community they grew up in was reeling under critical water and food shortages, worsened by the Covid-19-induced lockdown, the sisters have undertaken to supply 50 000 litres of water per week for free in Unit M.
They also give food hampers to 60 elderly and disadvantaged people in the high-density suburb.
“From our various bases in the Diaspora, we realised that we could make a difference for the people in our original community back home.
“We are not rich, but we give the little that we have back to the community hoping it will make a little difference.
“We bought water and food hampers. It is not much but we realised it makes a difference especially under the Covid-19 lockdown which makes it difficult for people to travel freely or to work for their families.
“We grew up as girl children in our community and we hope to send the message that girls can contribute to the well-being of their communities if given equal opportunities with to go to school and develop professional alongside their male counter parts,’’ said one of the sisters, Vimbai.
In an interview, one of the beneficiaries Mrs Gracious Mupfunye said the girls had shown great kindness and respect for the community they grew up.
“We are touched by the gesture. These girls grew up here and left for the Diaspora and now they have remembered us.
“They have set the bar high for others and it is indeed a challenge to all pour girl children in this community that education can take you to greater height.
“We wish them well in all their future endeavours. We also hope they will continue remembering us. God bless them,’’ she said.
Over the past few years the Chitungwiza municipality has been failing to supply adequate portable water to its residents.
Day and night, women queue for water hours on end at the few boreholes drilled in the town and others have become so desperate to the point of fetching riverbed water.
“We are now expanding our water supply to areas such as ST Mary’s where we are told people there face similar problems. We wish we could help everyone in Chitungiwa in all its units but our resources are limited.
“Things are equally hard here in the Diaspora but we try our level best to help with the little we can.
“This coming week people in St Mary’s will receive some water from us. It will obviously not be enough but it is worth a try. Who know we can save a few lives,’’ she said.
The water donation comes at a time when most parts of Chitungwiza have gone for months on end without running water.
The few who can afford have drilled boreholes but are themselves reluctant to allow their neighbours to fetch water due to high electricity costs.
“We realised that water has become a commodity that is hard to get in Chitungwiza. In fact, we are thinking of bigger plans like coming up with a permanent solution to the water problem.
“We are considering engaging council and drilling boreholes with supporting reservoirs and infrastructure, resources permitting.
“We grew up with these people and we feel for them when they have problems. Not that we can solve all their problems. We know the Government has a lot on its hands and we a not to help as much as we can,” said Vimbai.
She added: “There are a lot of disadvantaged people we grew up with and had their ability to work for themselves and their families affected by Covid-19.
“We have prepared hampers for them. They get a few groceries. Again these are not enough but they will get something to cushion them. WE love the community we grew up and will do all we can to help with the little we have.’’