Critical Conversations

Earlier this week Davis was part of a meeting hosted by Tearfund and Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ).

This group discussed the truth about people with disabilities and ideas for how they can be participating more in their community. Truth is, people with disabilities are just as valuable as the rest of us and have a significant role to play. Our homes, churches, work places, etc. are incomplete without their voice and contribution.

A big thanks to Tearfund, EFZ and 20 more leaders in Zimbabwe who are pioneering change through the right conversations!

 

A New Foundation

It can be so confusing when we think we have it all figured out and then our plans crumble. This is what the Mambure’s recently endured with the last school property they worked hard to obtain and develop. So much hard work went into the previously mentioned school location (Royal Creek), yet due to significant rent increase COA had to walk away and wait to see what God was going to do. Here we are about six months later with an update!

Davis and Lucia own a small property in Budiriro which they believe can be used to serve as a starting point for the learning center. COA is investing what they have in making faithful steps toward fixing up the property. Right now they are digging a broader foundation around the home with hopes of continued growth.

Together, let’s have faith that this small and dusty snapshot will complete it’s transformation into barren land!

New Village Support Group

Families and children know they are loved because of their pastor and COA. Last year COA hosted a teaching with pastors to share the truth of value and purpose for those with disabilities. One pastor in particular was touched by this message and asked how he could do more in his village to walk alongside families.

After many acts of love, this pastor and COA were able to launch a support group which will meet regularly with leaders and families. For the first time in this village, families of those with disabilities will know they are not alone and will have friends within their own community to learn, love and grow with their children.

Delay not Denial

Due to a significant increase in Royal Creek grounds rent, further school development on this property has been put on hold.

There are many important conversations and events going on in Zimbabwe right now which all greatly impact the progress and direction of launching the school. We will continue to provide updates on this aspect of COA Ministry programs. Please stay with us in sharing the story of how COA is reaching families and communities through other aspects of their ministry.

Here are a few of the other ways COA is leading right now:

  • Presenters at a workshop hosted by VIVA Network – ‘Building Supportive Environments for Children with Disabilities through Building Disability Friendly Churches’
  • Launching a new support group in the rural village of ChiNyani
  • Continuing to listen to, teach and care for over 100 existing families and children
  • Empowering church and community leaders regularly

 

Is it Working?

lettuce 1-19YES! The income generation projects underway on Royal Creek Center grounds are taking off. Here’s a summary of the update Davis sent this morning…

The first and second batches of chickens sold out. We sold a total of 441 chickens which helped pay the rent at Royal Creek for two more months. In the garden, lettuce is almost ready and we hope to deliver 300 heads during the coming weekend!

Teacher Talk

Meet Mrs. Priscah Mango, Royal Creek’s first teacher. Mrs. Priscah will be very involved with the Early Child Education and Development Program. She has been working very hard getting the classes and materials ready for her students!

How’s It Growing

We have an update on two of the income generating projects that will help pay school expenses. Davis just sent these pictures yesterday…

2000 heads of lettuce are now growing lush and green!

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150 chickens have been raised well and are ready for the market this week! We also want you to meet Martin (below). Martin takes great care overseeing the garden and helps out with the chicken project often.

Lettuce Begin

lettuce

Just got word from Davis that lettuce has been planted in the garden at Royal Creek. This is one more step toward making the school sustainable and of course providing nutritious meals for students.

We will post a picture of the lettuce as soon as it begins to sprout.

 

The Seed In Her Heart

COA began through the joy and suffering of a mother’s heart. From birth, Lucia Mambure loved and embraced her first child who has cerebral palsy. In midst of this love Lucia experienced deep emotional pain as she watched her son struggle to walk, talk and feed himself.

In an effort to seek assistance for her son’s education, Lucia embarked on a long journey which led her to government offices, schools psychological services and even to the Minister of Gender in Zimbabwe. What she found was that there were no schools that support children with developmental disabilities in Zimbabwe. Lucia was advised to find out if there were any other women suffering from the same predicament. Her findings were appalling as she discovered that many women were ostracized and stigmatized in the society and consequently resorted to hiding their children with disabilities in homes. This new found awareness compelled her to mobilize women experiencing the same emotional pain she was so familiar with. Soon after support groups were formed in communities of Harare and Chenga Ose Association took root.