…Donates double allocation to Victoria Chitepo Hospital
AFRICAN indigenous philanthropists have been urged to step-up and help turn around the economic misfortunes of the continent, Easterntimeszim has learnt.
This was said on Wednesday during a handover ceremony of chickens and potatoes to Manicaland’s main referral hospital, Victoria Chitepo Hospital, by the Dave Munos Foundation (DMF). The Mutare based indigenous charity organization has been running a chicken diet supplementary programme at the hospital since January last year but doubled the usual donation in commemoration of Africa Day.
Africa Day is observed annually to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which was created on 25 May 1963. It is the precursor of what is now the African Union (AU). Over the years Africa Day has become an opportunity to take stock and acknowledge the achievements of the people and governments of Africa, as well as to celebrate the great historical achievements of the Pan-Africanist and founding fathers of the continental organization.
Each year, different countries observe the day with various activities, such as panel discussions, speeches by pan-Africanists and political leaders, rallies, cultural entertainment, poetry, symposiums or special university lectures. To-date there are 54 member states in the African Union. However, while Africa Day is a day for all African countries, it is observed as a public holiday in only twelve African countries, Ghana, Mali, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Chad, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia and Mauritania.
The Mutare based humanitarian Foundation donated 105 chickens and 20 pockets of 15kg potatoes valued at US$1000 as part of its monthly chicken diet supplementary programme. This was done in solidarity with the 2022 Africa Day annual commemorations which ran under the theme, “Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the African continent: Strengthening agro-food systems, health and social protection systems for the acceleration of human, social and economic capital development.”
In a statement by the founder of the Foundation, David Munowenyu, a Mutare born and bred businessman who is now based in South Africa, which was read on his behalf by its ambassador, Easterntimeszim founder, Ngoni Dapira, he encouraged the spirit of ubuntu (togetherness) in Africa and urged indigenous Africans in the post-colonial era to continue to try find African solutions to solve African problems.
“In the spirit of individual sacrifice for the common good, we must simply do our best to help grow our continent and empower each other as Africans. As Dave Munos Foundation we decided to focus on our public hospitals and help supplement the protein diet for patients in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, which aims to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture,” said Munowenyu who is a devout Christian.
Munowenyu said he hopes to get more philanthropists involved in the chicken diet supplementary programme at the hospital and expand it countrywide. He said after noticing the severe socio-economic impact of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, he was moved to assist main referral public hospitals like the Victoria Chitepo Hospital which has the capacity to house 250 patients, but could not afford to provide extra protein diets such as chicken, which is now considered as a luxury meal despite having nutritious benefits.
“We hope to get more stakeholders involved. People hospitalized in our public hospitals are our brothers and sisters. Our public hospitals are grappling to provide medication, what more of decent, nutritious meals given the limited fiscal budget allocations given to the health sector. We need more African philanthropists to help our country and continent out of the doldrums,” he said in the statement.
Victoria Chitepo Hospital dietician, Naome Chigonga urged more indigenous charity organisations to support the chicken diet supplementary programme and thanked DMF for its continued support.
“The chicken diet supplementary programme is helping us a lot. Chicken is an important protein supplementary diet, which unfortunately we cannot afford to regularly provide for our patients. We are really thankful for the continued support by the Dave Munos Foundation and its dedication towards this programme,” she said.
The programme initiated in January last year started in partnership with the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Mutare Remand. The Foundation donated capital goods to start a poultry rehabilitation programme for inmates at the remand prison as a career skills training programme to help the rehabilitation process of inmates while serving their sentence in prison. The Foundation then buys the chickens reared by the inmates and donates to the hospital. The Foundation also started buying chickens from small-scale poultry farmers to support small businesses in the community.
Apart from the hospital programme, since 2018 DMF has also been donating occasionally to Leratto Childrens’ Home in Weirmouth, Zororai Old Peoples Home in Sakubva and Zimbabwe New Hope Old Peoples Home in Gatsi, Honde Valley.
Dapira who is a recipient of the prestigious 2019-2020 National Journalism and Media Awards (NJAMA) Human Rights Journalist of the Year award said he was proud of being associated with DMF. He said more of such selfless acts by young entrepreneurs should be encouraged and awarded by Government.
“Government should incentivize charity organisations to encourage humanitarian work. DMF is complimenting Government during a global crisis and this is commendable but for more to join the bandwagon. Government should consider tax free thresholds for Foundations, especially those that want to import charity goods and the application process should not be complex as well as is the case right now,” said Dapira.