These three big-hearted ladies take care of Tshikota's needy children by providing them with food and clothes, which they collect by way of donations. From left to right are Hilda Munyai, Grace Mungango and Diale Runganani. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare.
Hilda Munyai has a passion for helping people in need. She has been feeding disadvantaged people from the Tshikota Township singlehandedly from her own home since 2014 – an initiative she started on her own. Besides this, she has also been working for the Songozwi Victim Empowerment group for the past 17 years, although the organisation is not functional at the moment.
Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Hilda used to feed about 90 needy youths but, like everyone else, she was also prevented from doing what she had to do with the restrictions that came with the pandemic. However, when these restrictions were lifted at last, she immediately took up her feeding scheme once more. Although the numbers had initially gone down by then, she says these are gradually picking up again.
In 2021, Grace Munganga and Diale Runganani joined Hilda’s noble initiative. Between the three of them, they currently provide food for around 60 learners. “Every Friday morning at around 11:00 we start cooking so that, when the children come home from school, they have food to eat,” said Hilda.
These ladies truly are God-sent servants. Besides providing food to the hungry, they also source clothes and school uniforms for those in need. They recently received about 60 white school shirts from Ackerman’s, which they have already distributed. Some of their other donors also include Premjee and Pick n Pay.
“We don’t get donations from these shops every month. Sometimes we have to dig into our own pockets and use the little we have to buy food for these children. What else are we to do? We cannot just leave them without food,” said Munyai.
In the past, she used her own home, but then some of the donors insisted that she look for a separate place to run the feeding scheme from. “There are several donors who are prepared to help, but they advised me to look for a place other than my home to operate from. I went around Tshikota and met Grace, who offered her empty house and then joined me at beginning of last year,” Munyai said.
So, for the moment, they use Grace’s vacant house to run the feeding scheme from, but they are concerned that the food and other donations might get stolen when they are not there. “Since there is no-one staying at that house, we do not leave the food there. We have to take it to our homes where we can keep an eye on it,” said Grace, who lives with her husband at another house in Tshikota. The ladies are still looking for a more permanent place to run the feeding scheme from.
Anyone who wishes to donate to this initiative, in whatever form, can call Hilda Munyai on 072 636 4386, Grace Munganga on 066 524 1641, or Diale Runganani on 082 621 3115.
Date:22 May 2022 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.