All the buildings have been refurbished and most have changed use. The old dormitory buildings have been developed into a new administration block and accommodation for staff, volunteers and visitors. Teenage girls live in part of one building and the older boys live in the independence units.
These young adults, who are getting close to leaving the home, look after themselves, cooking and washing etc but in a protected environment. They may stay at the home until 18 years old. Staff look for skills training for young people after they take O level exams and if they have nowhere to go they can stay in the indepence units. They are not asked to leave the Home until they have a job and are able to live in the community.
A great deal of effort is also being put into landscaping the Home with both flower areas and vegetable patches. There is a significant on-going refurbishment programme.
In 2014, Mark Edmonds, a retired Australian banker who had been a volunteer worker for World Vision and Uniting World, contacted Friends of Matthew Rusike children’s Home to tell us that he wanted to do something about the “water issue’ at the Home. At the time both water and electricity were more off than on for most of each day. About the same time Lynda and Graham Jones in the UK and members of FoMRCH, had worked hard to raise enough money to pay for a generator and its maintenance to help solve the electricity difficulties. This was life changing for everyone at the home.
For 4 years, Mark has continued his fundraising and support returning each year to install an irrigation system for the crops, poultry and piggery areas, upgrade the plumbing system to all the buildings, erect new chicken sheds and hothouses, introduce a much wider variety of food crops with thousands of seedlings, bought laying hens to provide eggs then build a propagation shed out of recycled materials so that the gardener, Lovemore, can produce seedlings of his own.
These additions have radically changed the diet of the children and adults at MRCH, added to the income of the home by selling extra produce locally and given extra training opportunities to teaching the children about self-sufficiency.
You can see many photos of all these new projects on our photos page.