All-Souls Mission orphanage falls on hard times

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All-Soul’s Children’s Home in Mutoko has fallen on hard times with the staff reportedly going unpaid for over a year, jeopardising the welfare of the orphans sheltered there.

BY Jairos Saunyama

The orphanage, one of the biggest in Mashonaland East Province, houses 26 orphans and, according to authorities, there is need for government intervention to save the home from total collapse.

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the institution’s annual fundraising event, All-Souls Mission priest Father Gabriel Mberi appealed to government and other stakeholders to chip in and address the problem at the home.

“We are running the orphanage under difficult conditions. I appeal to the government to assist us in any kind. The staff that takes care of the children has gone for a year now without salaries. We have only eight caregivers, but we are struggling to pay them,” Mberi said.

“The mission runs this place, but government brings children here. We survive on donations, but of late we have not been getting enough to sustain the orphanage.”

Speaking at the same event, Mutoko East MP Ricky Mawere appealed for urgent help. “I understand that the government is operating under a shoestring budget, but something needs to be done,” he said. “I appeal to various stakeholders including the government to provide something to the institution. It is not about salaries, there is need for more things to be done like boreholes among other things.”

The home was founded in 1944 as a response to a leprosy epidemic. The Dominican Sisters residing at the mission responded to the disruption of families by caring for the children who had lost their parents.

On February 11, 1985, the orphanage was formally registered with the Department of Social Welfare.