I am Child-Care Officer in the Bulawayo District of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ). I have teams of volunteer Care-Givers in each of the ten Circuits of the District who generally keep an eye on the orphans (and other vulnerable children) in their local communities. It is only in extreme cases that children are taken out of their local community to be placed in a residential institution. I visit the circuits and take clothing, school exercise books, pens, pencils and so on to give to the children. I also arrange payment of school fees or levies for some children. I am also part of the District’s Healthy Living Team, which visits mainly rural communities around the District. The focus of the programme is to improve the health of individuals and communities within the District, to teach participants the nutritional value and importance of using local and traditional foods and influencing them to adopt healthy eating habits and lifestyle. Also to prepare God’s people for the work of service in their community. This in turn will have a positive impact on reducing illness caused by bad eating habits. This will reduce hospital bills and will limit the cost of food in communities, improving the lives of participants, their families, friends, neighbours, church family and patients.
Jonathan’s work: Teaching at Thekwane High School
I teach Mathematics at Thekwane, a Methodist boarding school near Plumtree in the Matebeleland South Province of Zimbabwe. The school has many challenges, but has recorded a number of successes too, including improving academic results and sporting and other achievements. Securing a good water supply has been a major task facing the school and community, this being a semi-arid part of Zimbabwe. Recently a new pipeline has been laid to bring water from a source ten kilometres to the east of us.
Our local church: Hillside Methodist
We are very much involved with the life of our church at Hillside in Bulawayo. Isabel is a member of the Ruwadzano / Manyano and she is part of the Praise and Worship Team which leads our Sunday morning services. Jonathan is busy each week with the Sunday School (also known as Junior Church, if you like). We usually have about 40 or more children and from 1 to 4 teachers and helpers.
We are also both members of the Matthew Rusike Children’s Home Bulawayo Committee. We also assist in the running of feeding schemes for young children at Thekwane Primary School and at Twayi-twayi.