JAIROS Jiri Children’s centre in Southerton, Harare, was established in 1963 to provide basic education to children with disabilities drawn mostly from marginalised rural communities across Zimbabwe.
The centre has a boarding facility that accommodates more than 161 children in primary school and one secondary school class.
According to the manager of the centre Margaret Mukwe, the school has dedicated staff members who cater for all of the children’s needs.
This dedication has over the years contributed to the school’s high pass rate which stands at 71% at Grade Seven.
Like all such facilities that are operated by the Jairos Jiri Association, the centre has from inception relied on donations from well-wishers to meet operational expenses and children’s requirements.
However, the centre struggles to finance its operations that include staff salaries and other costs in the current economic environment.
Fortunately, the Friendly Diplomatic Golfers’ Association (FDGA), a group of golfers from the diplomatic and business community resident in Zimbabwe made the decision to reach out and lend a helping hand to the centre.
The FDGA donated $5 000 for refurbishing the centre’s kitchen facility which had become dysfunctional due to lack of maintenance.
Refurbishment works that were carried out include rewiring stoves that were no longer working, renovation of sinks and cupboards as well as new flooring and tiles.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony of the refurbished kitchen, president of the FDGA, Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe Jeitendra Tripathi said: “I was impressed by the bright children and the dedication of the staff here at Jairos Jiri centre.
As friendly diplomats, we believe that it is fitting to make this donation because children are the future of the nation, we have to take care of them to ensure a better future as many of them will take up leading positions and contribute to the well being of society. I salute management of the centre for their dedication under such difficult economic circumstances.”
FDGA was established in the early 2000’s.
It was formed to facilitate networking, interaction and understanding among the diplomatic community, government officials, business community and professionals through the game of golf.
Ambassador Tripathi said one of the key objectives of the association is to provide a platform for supporting good charitable causes.
The association mobilises funds for charity from its members and the sponsors of its various tournaments.
Other charitable organisations that have over the years received donations from the FDGA include Mashambanzou, Eyes for Zimbabwe, Tichakunda Early Childhood Development Centre and the Breast Cancer Association of Zimbabwe.
FDGA has a regular calendar of events with a major competition every quarter.
These include the Ambassador’s Cup, the Charity Day and the Nations Cup.
The association uses these tournaments to reach out to a wider community by inviting non-members to participate as guests in the competitions.