The Diocese of Fond du Lac is in a companion diocese relationship with the Diocese of Masvingo in Zimbabwe. We recently received a report on the work of the Mothers' Union there and thought we'd share it.
We look forward to welcoming our guests from Masvingo the end of May.
Compiled by: Thompson Matthias Maduba, Diocesan Development Officer
FUNDRAISING AND OUTREACH
The Mothers’ Union as one of the Guilds within the Diocese are a very strong force to reckon with. The Anglican Diocese of Masvingo and many a family unit and institutions of different natures have benefitted from the generosity and hard work of the Mothers’ Union. In line with the virtuous qualities of a woman spoken of in Proverbs 31v10-31, the Mothers’ Union fundraise on a large scale through design and sale of a variety of Mothers’ Union material and other Guilds under the Mothers’ Union like St. Agnes Guild for the girls and St. Veronica Guild for the single mothers; such items like t-shirts, shawls, scarfs, jerseys, bags, guild books & cards, bibles, hymn books, MU pins and medals, hats and umbrella. Fundraising is the major source of income for the Mothers’ Union. They also assist financially in building churches, rectories and clinics. They paid money to Buhera Rural District Council for St Stephen Murambinda Church’s rates to enable construction of the rectory to proceed. St Martin Masasa was appreciated for hosting Lady Day in 2018 with 20 x 50kgs bags of cement for rectory construction as well.
They built and fully furnished a maternity home at Daramombe Mission Clinic (one of our key Missions in the Diocese). The Maternity home was officially opened by the Minister from the Ministry of Health and Child Care in 2010 and it is the first maternity home to be built in Chikomba District within our Diocese. The Mothers’ Union used funds got from their fundraising activities to build this special facility. The Mothers’ Union have also assisted in enabling availability of clean water facilities including the drilling of the borehole and installing the solar power system to pump the water, 5000 litre water tank and stand at St. Michael’s Mambo Mission in Buhera and bought a 5000 litre plastic water tank and stand for Holy Cross Manyene, in Chikomba District under the Diocese of Masvingo. Buhera is very arid and water for consumption is a huge challenge because it hardly receive any meaningful rains. Last year the Buhera area was hit by cholera due to lack of clean sources of water. The Mothers’ Union has plans to drill more boreholes for the communities in Buhera, if funds permit.
Through their outreach activities a lot of lives have been touched and transformed; of those in Masvingo Remand Prison, Chiredzi Prison, Mutimurefu Prison, Chiredzi General Hospital, Masvingo General Hospital, including the various Old People’s Homes and Orphanages in Masvingo and beyond. The less privileged are also addressed whenever the Mothers’ Union holds the Lady Day Celebrations. The Mothers’ Union has three students who graduated last year from tertiary institutions (2 from Great Zimbabwe University and 1 from Masvingo Polytechnic College) whom they were paying fees for. Currently they have 24 students including 2 university students they are paying fees for using funds got from fundraising activities. They have plans to buy residential stands and build houses for rentals so that their fundraising efforts are boosted and their outreach expands further too.
INCOME GENERATING PROJECTS
The Mothers’ Union also operate other income generating projects within the Diocese, with the aim of eradicating hunger and poverty in the communities. The chief areas of the income generating projects are broiler and layers chicken production, sewing or garment designing, market gardening and peanut butter production. Currently the peanut butter making machines are manual and use charcoal instead of electricity; hence they are considered as negatively impacting on the environment through continuous need for firewood to make charcoal. Funds permitting, electricity powered machines need to be bought in order to improve the outputs and profit of the beneficiaries. The food-related projects are assisting in improving the nutrition levels of both the direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Provincial meetings and Conferences
The Mothers’ Union in Masvingo works with all the structures from Diocesan level up to Mary Sumner, the International Organ.The Mothers’ Union Diocesan leadership attend Provincial conferences such as one held in Blantyre Malawi Chilema Ecumenical Training & Conference Centre in 2017, and at Kanamocentre, Mahalapye in Botswana from 10 – 13 May 2018. They experienced a Provincial leadership hand over take over where Mrs ElizabethMukuwanda (former Bishop of Central Zimbabwe’s wife) handed over the
Presidency to Mrs Judith Shilemuna of Zambia and 2 country representatives were chosen to be committee members.
Furthermore, they attended a workshop for the MU Zone E, comprising of South Africa, Botswana, Malawi Zimbabwe and Zambia which focused on Mothers’ Union Listening, Observing, and Acting (MULOA) in Zambia Lusaka as from 3 – 9 March 2018. Concepts from MULOA have been cascaded to the grassroots levels of the Mothers’ Union since April last year.
Lastly, the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese of Masvingo is a member of the Anglican Mothers’ Union in Zimbabwe (AMUZ). It is an organ which is recognized by the Anglican Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ) and The Church of Province of Central Africa (CPCA). Bishop Godfrey is the Provincial Chaplain for the Mothers’ Union. Masvingo Diocese’s Mothers’ Union will host AMUZ Conference this year in August.