There is a wonderful group of loyal staff members, some of whom have served the home for over 25 years. They include care staff, a nurse, development officers, maintenance and administration staff, teachers and study mentors. In 2012 we said a fond farewell to Astonishment Mapurisa. He had been Superintendent of the Home for 11 years and introduced many positive changes in that time.
“It has been very good to have personal contact with Astonishment…Thanks to [his] guidance and friendship, the Friends have enjoyed 11 years of cooperation for the benefit of the children of Zimbabwe…We shall miss him greatly and wish him well in his new placement.”
Rev Margaret Mawire became the National Director of Childcare and the Superintendent at MRCH in 2012. She oversaw the continuation and development of the projects at the Home. The Community work was consolidated and the onsite Secondary school was registered with the education department and became an official national examination board.
In 2017 we said goodbye to Rev Margaret and at the beginning of 2018 we welcomed the new National Director, Rev Linrielink Mutendzwa. to MRCH and we look forward to working alongside him for the benefit of children in Zimbabwe.
There has been investment in training for all staff in their particular area of duty from gardening and animal husbandry to childcare and administration. Many of the staff attended a very successful team-building weekend away together in 2008 and there are plans to do this again if funding allows.
“Our goal is to develop the whole child, spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual. We need more staff development. The children are like little birds with broken wings – we need to repair their wings so they can fly and achieve their goals in life. We need support to grow, I get support from Mr Mapurisa.” Staff member
Childcare workers are on duty 24 hours a day for 30 days before they have 13 days to go home to their own families. Relief staff come in rotation to enable regular care workers time off.
The MRCH Senior Childcare officer and Transitions officer work hard to find family members and encourage them to foster the children or have the children stay with them for the school holidays. This gives the children experience of life outside the institution of MRCH. If family members are untraceable then volunteer foster families are located from local churches. The Senior Childcare officer and Transitions officer work closely with community volunteer centres, often based in local churches, where children can find help and support. These two staff members also visit the foster families regularly to make sure they are still safe places for the children to spend their school holidays and to check if the families need more support themselves.
In 2019, the Senior Childcare officer at the Residential home in Epworth, Lloyd Kupeta ,was transferred to run the non residential Community Outreach site in Donga. This is in a rural area about 20k from Gweru, without electricity and with a borehole for water supply. Lloyd visits schools to find vulnerable children and their families who need the support of the work of MRCH. He also finds and trains volunteers from local churches to help care for around 50 children he has identified.
In 2018 -2019 the two longest serving house mothers retired. Mercy (32 years) and Lillian (31 years) had seen many changes and developments at the home. Possibly the biggest one being the change from dormitory living, when Mercy looked after the girls and Lillian the boys, to watching 4 semi detached bungalows being built and then moving into 8 family groupings with a housemother to care for each mixed age family group of 10-12 children.
Unfortunately, Action for Children has now withdrawn support of most overseas projects to concentrate on UK projects and the development officer posts are discontinued as of 2017.
Detailed information about the work the staff do is available.