Mothers' Union in Masvingo

Diocesan President - Mrs Albertina Tawonezi

Diocesan Coordinator - Mrs Miriam Vela

The Mothers' Union of Masvingo is a branch of an international Christian organisation with 4 million members. Mothers Union provides a network through which its members can serve Christ in their own community - through prayer, financial support and actively working at the grassroots level in programmes that meet local needs.

The Mothers Union in Masvingo is headed by a team of 40 women. It also incorporates the St Agnes Guild for girls from five years old to marriage and the St Veronica Guild for single mothers. We run capacity building workshops and training in each district.

Through their outreach projects, Mothers' Union teams build relationships at Church, District and Diocesan level with the poorest members of the community, listening to their needs and talking about the issues affecting their lives. Where possible they offer assistance to those in need of food, clothing and school fees, stationery and other school requirements. Donations come from members.

Current Mothers' Union income-generation projects include chicken rearing, sewing MU and school uniforms, and peanut butter production.

The Mothers' Union organised the construction and funding of the Daramombe Maternity Home in 2009 as a waiting shelter for expecting mothers. Expecting mothers were experiencing problems in having a place to wait for their due date in the rural areas of Chikomba District. Some of them ended up giving birth on the way to the clinic and this was risky to both the mother and the child. As a community service, the Mothers' Union built the home to give shelter to these rural women. The Mothers' Union is responsible for the upkeep of the home and the food that is given to the mothers.

Mothers' Union Coordinator describes the work of the Mothers' Union in Masvingo

What is your role within Diocese?
To plan and organise the Mothers` Union, the St Agnes Guild for girls and the St Veronica Guild for single mothers.

What are the greatest challenges faced by the community of Masvingo?
Poverty, unemployment, scarcity of the US Dollar and HIV & AIDS pandemic are the greatest challenges. Most of our members are unemployed. They are peasant farmers.They fail to produce enough food for their families because of poor rains in their Regions and at times fail to get decent meals. Some fail to send their children to school. They also fail to participate in church activities nursing relatives and husbands who are HIV positive.

How are you striving to meet those needs?
We are encouraging our members to start income generating projects. We help the members get resources to start and implement the projects. Our problem is funding, but we are trying our best to start projects in different Districts and make them sustainable. We also do Outreach at Church, District and Diocesan level. The programme caters for those in need of food, clothing and school fees, stationery and other school requirements. Donations come from members.

Please describe a typical day in your week.
Office work, receipting, filing, communicating, stock recording and report writing. Organising Executive and Council meetings and Lady Day celebrations. Buying and selling items for fundraising. Visiting our members in their Districts to build relationship and networking.

Please describe a project/aspect of your work that is particularly close to your heart.
Implementing income generating projects in our churches. This helps our members eradicate poverty, improve their living standard and be financial stable. Projects also build relationship within our members and they gain survival skills. They are also empowered with different managerial, planning, monitoring and stock recording skills. These skills also help them manage their daily life. When they are financially stable they support church activities. Our current projects include chicken rearing, sewing school uniforms and peanut butter production.

Can you tell us about one individual whose life has been changed by this project?
One member in the chicken rearing project had her life transformed. She had problems in caring for the orphans left behind by their parents and sending them to school. She can now afford to meet most of their needs when they share profits. They get food, clothing and they go to school with enough resources. The chicken rearing project helped her lead a better life. But there are many more people who need help. It would be good to help the unemployed youths who leave school without five O-levels, so they can afford to supplement the subjects they need and go to college.

Is there a passage from the Bible that expresses your life’s goals?
Romans 8: 31-39 gives me encouragement to express my life’s goals in doing God’s work. God has called me to work for Zimbabwe and her people by being the M U Coordinator. Through this work I visit the members in different districts uplifting and reviving them spiritually. The visits enable us to build a network of relationship, know each other better and discuss their problems and find ways to assist them. This passage strengthens me to encourage others to be committed to God’s work. I may encounter difficulties and resistance but I keep on working for him without fear.

If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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