Pedzisai is a 10 year old boy in Bikita, Zimbabwe who was born with no hands but he manages to write using his mouth and toes. In April 2019, a concerned teacher at Vushe primary school, where Pedzisai attends school, Priviladge Mahamba approached Viomak for help. Pedzisai’s 35 year old mother Florence Maheya and his 44 year old father Emmanuel Maheya are not employed and they survive on handouts from the community. The couple has 5 children and 3 of them are not going to school because the parents cannot afford the education expenses and they are also struggling with paying for Pedzisai’s school fees, uniforms, text books and stationery.
The mother said when Pedzisai was 3 years old they took him to a doctor at Silveira mission hospital who did not suggest artificial hands at that time. The doctor said due to Pedzisai’s young age artificial hands if not properly done can be painful so it needs specialists and Pedzisai was still too young for artificial hands. The doctor gave Pedzisai’s mother bus fare back home and since that time no help has come their way to assist the family. The mother said the family would like to access specialist medical care and buy artificial hands for Pedzisai, buy a special custom chair and any related equipment, help to pay for his school fees for the long term, buy him uniforms, stationery and assist with any other education expenses. Pedzisai is very good in soccer but has no sports kit.
Viomak spoke to the headmistress at Vushe Primary school, Mrs Mekitilda Matenga – Makuku who said the school is also in need of funds to improve school grounds to be more children friendly, thus need cement for terracing and pavement rumps, computers, computer lab, furniture, administration block, teachers’ houses as they have 9 houses and 20 teachers, fencing teachers’ cottage , painting classrooms and teachers’ houses, library, toilets for teachers and learners , text books and stationery for learners and levies and school fees for other learners. Mrs Mekitilda Matenga – Makuku also gave Viomak a list for Pedzisai’s needs. Viomak donated zw$700 for Pedzisai’s school uniform, sports kit, stationery, levies and school fees.
Robert is an 8 year old physically challenged Zimbabwe boy in Shurugwi .In January 2018 a well wisher approached Viomak asking for help to source wheelchairs for physically challenged children in Shurugwi rural areas and Robert was on the list of the children in need . Robert’s parents are not formally employed and his mother is an illegal small scale gold panner. At the time of approaching Viomak for help, Robert was not going to school because he had no wheelchair and on some days he would rely on other students to carry him to school. Robert also uses pampers and he would miss school as well on many occasions as he soils himself and can not attend school without pampers. During the rainy season he also misses school because he can’t run in the rain to and from school, more so it would be too muddy for him to crawl to school. Viomak approached Good Samaritan in UK who went on to buy a wheelchair for Robert and shipped it to Zimbabwe. On 05/02/2018 Viomak sent the well wisher Florence us$40 to buy some pampers for Robert.
Visually impaired Nyararai Chamuka 40 years old, and his 32 years old bed ridden crippled wife Tendai Njaravani live in poverty stricken Epworth, Zimbabwe. In May 2020 a well wisher Chaplain Muchabaiwa approached Viomak seeking help for Nyararai and his wife Tendai. Appealing to Viomak for help Muchabaiwa who is a Chaplain in the Zimbabwe republic police and stationed at Support Unit said, “I once helped Chamuka with a cell phone way back. Chamuka is a prominent blind beggar who usually operates at Town House. His wife is crippled, and they are now starving in Epworth, lodging their own room. His wife is critically ill and I personally visited them, they are in dire need of help. With the onset of Covid19 lockdown rules, the situation of the poverty stricken family got worse after which Nyararai phoned Chaplain Muchabaiwa his source of hope to inform him that his family was on the verge of starvation and his wife was seriously ill. The family was also on the verge of eviction from the one room they rent over non payment of their rent which is us$5 a month. Chaplain Muchabaiwa visited the family in Epworth and daunted by the desperate situation he immediately sought help. Speaking to Viomak on whatsapp having been referred by another well wisher to Viomak, he said there was no hope for help in sight until he spoke to Viomak. On 07/06/20 Viomak immediately arranged a visit to the family in Epworth, Domboramwari section.
Nyararai was born blind and is hard of hearing. Nyararai passed 6 ordinary level subjects and he is fluent in braille. The couple has 4 children three boys and one girl namely, Tawanda 13 years, Tinotenda 10 years, Prosper 4 years and Prayer 2 years. The three boys, Tawanda , Tinotenda and Prosper stay with Nyararai’s mother in the rural areas .Prayer who is the last born and only girl stays in Epworth with her parents. Nyararai has a brother but the brother ignores pleas to help Nyararai and does not visit or send anything. Nyararai and his wife are not employed and have no reliable formal or informal source of income. Nyararai said he walks to Harare city centre where he begs for money in the streets from passersby to fend for his family. He said he walks to the city centre because he cannot afford bus fare and the to and fro journey drains him and also takes time as he cannot see. Even on a good day he does not make enough money to buy a loaf of bread which is currently roughly around Zw$60. While Nyararai is begging at Town House, his wife and daughter will be home awaiting his return which is in most cases a bowl of empty hands.
Due to Tendai’s illness, a persistent cough since 2019, their situation has worsened. No one is constantly available to keep an eye on Prayer, their child as the mother spends a lot of time lying down and is bed ridden. Her health deteriorated due to lack of food and TB medication. Tendai who was born with no disability was paralysed when she was two years old after falling ill from an unknown disease. Nyararai said apart from him being visually impaired he has no serious health issues. In May 2019 Tendai’s relatives helped to take her to Chitungwiza hospital after which they told her blind husband to take care of his wife alone as they could not handle her demands and stresses. Following this neglect Tendai’s health deteriorated as Nyararai could not afford to take his wife to the doctor. The family is assisted by neighbours Makonyere and Maria with day to day tasks of living such as personal care for Tendai and Prayer and cooking and doing laundry for the family. Maria said supporting Tendai with personal care is no easy task as she has been carrying Tendai to give her a bath. Maria said she has developed chest problems due to the weight on her muscles. The women also assist the family with fetching water, laundry and they have been helping the family since 2019. Maria asked to be assisted with gloves, washing soap, pampers and food to cook for the family.
The Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) used to pay school fees for Tawanda and Tinotenda but they have since stopped. Nyararai is struggling to pay the school fees for his children, more so to buy school uniforms as he has to beg for the money. The family is poverty stricken and Nyararai who is totally blind is also struggling to fend for the other children in the rural areas. Nyararai said he is also asking for assistance for his children’s educational needs.
Before the family moved to the current accommodation they were staying in a squatter area which was later destroyed leaving the couple homeless. Their situation prompted well wisher Saungweme, to look for accommodation for them at his uncle’s place where they currently reside. Nyararai’s landlord, Mupeti offered to help the desperate family with accommodation only after his nephew Saungweme approached him for help otherwise he was hesitant to offer them accommodation due to the physical challenges. The room that Nyararai rents needs some touch ups and they cannot afford the rent .The window is broken and the floor is sandy. The roof has holes and during the rainy season water leaks into the room and the door needs fixing. They have no money to pay for more decent accommodation and more so many landlords are not comfortable to offer them accommodation due to the physical challenges. Their woes worsened after a thief broke into their room and stole their blankets so they need blankets as well. The landlord said Nyararai and Tendai have no family helping them and appreciates Viomak and Good Samaritan coming to their aid. The landlord was most of the time the front man assisting the family after housing them. He would cook their food and dinned with them. Nyararai reiterated that currently no organisation or individuals are assisting them besides Chaplain Muchabaiwa who checks on them. Nyararai asked if they can be helped with groceries as lack of food is a huge challenge. Viomak sourced help for the family and bought initial groceries for the family worth Zw$1 659.48 comprising , vaseline petroleum jelly , sugar beans , soya chunks , dried kapenta, powdered milk , cooking oil , rice , flour , mazoe orange drink , tea bags , washing powder . Nyararai also asked for assistance with seeking medical treatment for his wife, assistance to start income generating projects to sustain his family, such as airtime vending, selling of basic commodities such as cooking oil, salt, peanut butter, dried kapenta and non perishable products in a tuck shop, venture into small scale farming such as horticulture and decent accommodation where they can reside with their children in peace. Viomak arranged for Nyararai’s wife to go and see a doctor and Good Samaritan paid us$50 for the doctor’s consultation and bought her nutritious drinks.
Nyararai gave a chilling and very touching account regarding how some people look down on physically challenged people like him and are not treated like human beings in many instances .He called on Viomak to continue advocating for the rights of the physically challenged and educate the populace so that they can acknowledge that the physically challenged should be treated as human beings who also play a pivotal role in our society. Viomak was acknowledged as a powerful human rights defender and disability advocate to remove myths and misconception on such downtrodden societies. Nyararai acknowledged and appreciated the help received and reiterated that some people pledged to help the family and made promises which were not fulfilled. He looks forward to getting more assistance and hopes the same hand extended to him and his family will be extended to all other physically challenged and needy people in society. Nyararai acknowledged Viomak and Good Samaritan as an answered prayer and he pins all his hope on them and God. Viomak also bought blankets for the family and she and Good Samaritan continue to assist the family with groceries, paying their rent and any other related help.
Rabson Chikerema and 13 years old Tsitsi Chikono live in Gutu, Zimbabwe and are living with albinism and poverty. In September 2019 Rabson approached Viomak for help. Rabson said he founded an organisation Nyashadzedu Disabled Trust and he is looking for about Zw$4000 to start a chicken project and sunscreen lotions for him, Tsitsi and their other members living with albinism. Rabson said he has experienced the discrimination and hardships of living with albinism and other disabilities since childhood. He said his organisation gives its first preference to people living with disability and the aim is to mobilize and sensitize people into accepting people with disabilities and confront stereotypes about people living with disabilities and convince society that physical impairment is not a mental limitation. He said the objectives of the organisation involve uplifting people living with disabilities, facilitating sustainable livelihoods through self-help and community projects, facilitating accessibility to medical aid, facilitating disability insurance and funeral society facilities through developmental projects, advocating and lobbying for inclusive policies and programmes through anti-discrimination campaigns, strengthening and leveraging on productive networks with local ,regional and international organisations that cater for people living with albinism and facilitating provision of education resources, movable and immovable property for the advancement of the organisation’s vision throughout the province of Masvingo in Zimbabwe. Rabson said his organisation wishes to have offices in Mushayavanhu and Tashinga in Gutu district.
Rabson and Tsitsi are examples of Zimbabweans living in extreme poverty and cannot afford to buy needed lotions for their skin. Tsitsi’s father is late and her mother is married to another man. Tsitsi lives with her maternal grandmother who is mentally challenged and struggling to cater for her needs and the other 3 children being taken care of by the grandmother. The grandmother struggles to feed and clothe the children. Tsitsi is also a needy learner and her school fees are paid by BEAM. Her grandmother cannot afford to buy her school uniform and the teachers at Matombo primary school where she learns had to organise fundraising activities to raise money to buy her a tracksuit and a school uniform. The school also provides lunch for poverty stricken children. Viomak visited Rabson in Gutu and gave him bottles of sunscreen lotion for him and for Tsitsi.
Abraham Matewu is a physically challenged homeless man in Zimbabwe with no next of kin. One sunny day, Viomak was visiting cancer stricken Simbarashe in Murehwa and on her way she saw Abraham crawling by the roadside looking for food. Viomak and a well wisher stopped to offer help. Abraham said he is homeless, lives in a plastic shack by the road in the low density affluent suburb of Borrowdale. His daily life routine involves scrounging the streets for survival and on the fateful but lucky day he met Viomak , he had crawled for more than 10 kilometres looking for food with no help in sight. Touched by his plight as Viomak offered help, another Zimbabwean man also offered to help Abraham and another Zimbabwean woman, Hannah also stopped to check if everything was alright and if there was anything she could do to help Abraham. The man gave Abraham some money and Viomak gave Abraham food and drove him back to his shelter assuring him that she will look for accommodation for him and provide for him. Abraham was complaining of an ongoing running stomach and was not taking any medication and could not afford seeing a doctor. What bothered Viomak most is Abraham’s plastic shelter is in a residential area, more so an area for well to do people but Abraham said no one is bothered about his circumstances and during the rainy season water pours in the shack. After they met, Viomak visited Abraham on 28/11/20, 29/11/20 and 6/12/20 bought groceries for him and looked for accommodation for him. Viomak discussed Abraham’s case with Good Samaritan in Britain and agreed to look for accommodation for Abraham pay rent and continue to provide for him. Viomak sourced accommodation for Abraham paid rent and when she went to get Abraham she could not find him as he had gone wandering and Viomak had to travel.
Great grandfather Simbini is a 100 year old Zimbabwean who was left stranded and homeless with his wife after cyclone Idai destroyed their shelter leaving them with the clothes they were putting on and their lives turned upside down. In April 2019, a well wisher in the area, Ndaizivei Nyikayaramba approached Viomak for help with food, clothes, shoes and shelter. The desperate couple built a wooden structure and did not even know where their next meal was to come from. In addition to the poverty woes, grandfather Simbini has heath problems which include prostate cancer and he needs medical attention as he is not getting treatment for it. Also in desperate need are 4 physically challenged in need of wheelchairs and food and 6 orphans who lost their parents in the cyclone. Viomak was to also seek assistance for 13 years old Trust Moyana with a disabled hand and diagnosed with macrocephaly, a condition in which his head is abnormally large. Also in need is 13 years old Kisswell Mbeure diagnosed with microcephaly, a condition in which his head is abnormally small, resulting in a hearing impairment due to abnormally small ears. The parents are living in poverty and cannot afford medical costs for their children. Meanwhile cyclone Idai donations never reached many victims in need because some would be well wishers and government representatives stole the donations. Social services and ZanuPF supporters also distributed the donations on political grounds, leaving apolitical victims and vulnerable elderly and children stranded. Viomak assisted the grandfather Simbini family with Zw$250 to buy food. Two weeks after receiving the food and thanking Viomak for the help, grandfather Simbini succumbed to prostate cancer and poverty. Viomak sent the widow Zw$150 for coffin, Zw$500 for funeral food and Zw$100 for transport, totalling Zw$750.
Never Bundo is a warts stricken 44 year old Zimbabwean man in Marange , Mutare , Zimbabwe. In November 2015 a well wisher who is a Member of Parliament, approached Viomak for help after seeing Never bed ridden with no help in sight. His legs were swelling, rotting and covered in warts which were also protruding on his back. Viomak sent money to the well wisher and arranged that the well wisher take Never to the doctor, pay us$20 consultation fee and also buy food for him. Never was diagnosed with an infectious virus and needed money for further medical care as his condition was deteriorating and he also needed a special diet.
In February 2020 a well wisher approached Viomak over a desperate family in Zimbabwe in need of medical care. The pair, a brother and a sister developed uncontrollable growths and word has it that they were bewitched by a neighbour over farming land. It is believed their mother conflicted with a neighbour over who owns the farming area with the neighbour claiming that she owns the farming area and asked the pair’s mother to stop farming on the area. The two women exchanged bad words with the former promising the latter that she will pay for it. As time went by the latter died after a mysterious illness struck her and the mysterious illness then struck the children, brother and sister. The brother has been to Parirenyatwa hospital, had surgery, and the growth disappeared for a while and it started growing again. Viomak assisted the brother and sister with a charity appeal seeking a traditional healer to assist the two and offered to arrange transport for them to travel to anyone who can assist them.
Tabeth Sithole is a Zimbabwean woman from Ndunduma village,Chipinge , Zimbabwe . She is one example of the many women who Viomak is empowering and helping with various needs especially poverty, neglect and domestic abuse. In 2014 Tabeth approached Viomak for assistance following neglect by the father of her child who dumped her after impregnating her .Tabeth was struggling to take care of herself and her 11 months old child after the father denied responsibility leaving Tabeth homeless and on the verge of poverty. Tabeth needed help with food, clothes, blankets and rent. Abused and sexually exploited, she is finding it difficult to fend for her child and herself. The father of the child, Prosper Mutseyami a married opposition MDC-T Member of Parliament (MP) for Musikavanhu area, took advantage of Tabeth who was employed as a maid at the couple’s house and sexually exploited her resulting in the birth of a child. Prosper deserted her and the child and refused to take a birth certificate for the child. The MP would facilitate for her off days when Parliament was in session and would meet her at Meikles hotel in Harare where he sexually exploited her several times without his wife’s knowledge. The corrupt MP also built his house using Community Development Funds meant for a clinic at Mbeure Business Centre. Viomak assisted Tabeth with a charity appeal and two donors pledged £100 (about us$170) and us$100. Viomak also shared the appeal with Tabeth’s ecocash number for well wishers to send cash support directly to her.
Mercy is a cancer stricken and HIV positive 44 year old woman from Chiredzi, Zimbabwe. In November 2019, a well wisher approached Viomak for help. The well wisher saw Mercy stuck at the largest referral hospital in Zimbabwe, Parirenyatwa hospital, formerly Andrew Fleming hospital. The hospital is now just a shell and Mercy was stranded with no finances for even bus fare to go back home and no medical care as doctors were on strike on top of the lack of resources at the once well equipped hospital during white rule. Mercy is unemployed and her husband left her after she fell ill. She said due to the cancer on her private parts she struggles to walk and she has previously had chemotherapy. When Viomak visited her at the hospital she was walking very slowly and she was in excruciating pain. She said she was diagnosed with the cancer about 8 years ago .In 2017 she had anal cancer which disappeared after treatment and now the cancer is on her genitals which are now disfigured following chemotherapy episodes. Mercy has been in and out of Chiredzi general hospital and this time around she was referred to Parirenyatwa hospital hoping she will be treated of the cancer. Mercy was on the hospital ward awaiting the doctors to end their strike. She said she was willing to wait for the doctors and would go back to Chiredzi if nothing materialised. However, she didn’t even have bus fare to go back to Chiredzi. She said she was supposed to go and see a specialist, gynaecologist but she did not have the consultation fees. Viomak asked her to go and check the consultation fee and Mercy later confirmed that she had checked and the consultation fee was Zw$400 and she also needed special treatment which she could no afford.
In August 2020 a desperate Mrs Ndege approached Viomak for help with medical costs after her epileptic husband fell in the fire at work. After a discussion with Viomak the wife decided to sell their luxury car to raise us$800 to fund her husband’s medical costs. Writing to Viomak the wife said, the family lives in Cherima , Marondera and her husband has been epileptic since 2018 . The husband is a security guard at a mine in Chegutu and one night at work due to cold weather he lit a fire and he had an epileptic fit and fell in the fire and burnt his legs. His employer said they would not assist because as per work protocol he was not supposed to light a fire while on duty at work. He was admitted at Chitungwiza hospital and he had debridement and his fingers were removed. From that point no medical staff assisted him due to staff strike and also the family could not manage to pay the doctor who removed his fingers. Additionally, the man is supposed to have skin graft two times and dressings but the family have no money. Another doctor assisted her husband and did granuflex and granugel dressings but his condition got worse and the wounds started to rot. They owe the doctor us$366 for the dressings. Another one did two operations and they are charging us$60 per operation and the family cannot afford the costs. The wife sold their TV set for us$50 in an effort to raise us$120 for the two operations. She aid they have relatives but they cannot afford the costs as well as they are also living on low wages and have their own families to take care of. The wife also said her husband has lost a lot of weight and he is no longer able to sit unaided. Viomak ran a charity appeal and the car was bought.