Nothando Mlalazi could not help but smile and shed tears of joy as she received keys to her newly built and fully furnished house.
Through a Latter Day Saints Charities grant, HOCIC assisted in the construction of a two-roomed house and fully furnished the bedroom and kitchen of the Mlalazi family whose old mud house in Robert Sinyoka was blown by a whirlwind in March this year (2020) pushing a single mother, her daughter and toddler grandchild to reside in an unsafe dwelling.
The house handover ceremony held on Friday 27 November 2020 at her homestead was attended by The Member of Parliament for Pumula Constituency Honourable Sichelesile Mahlangu, Ward 17 Councillor, Sikhululekile Moyo, officials from Bulawayo City Council, Village leadership, Latter Day Saints Charities Country Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator Mr. Stephen Guwa, HOCIC Staff, organisations that also assisted in other stages of the construction and Robert Sinyoka Community members.
Speaking at the glamourous event, Urban Food Assistance and Livelihoods Programme Officer, Kudzai Mpofu said after seeing a plea for assistance on Facebook by a group of youths from Pumula suburb, HOCIC, who have been assisting 706 families in ward 17 which covers Pumula North and peri-urban areas of Robert Sinyoka, St Peters and Mazwi intervened by first seeking for construction material donations from PPC and Halsteads.
The donation went a long way in helping a group of volunteers mould cement bricks.
However, during a Progress and Needs Assessment on the construction of Nothando’s house on 8 September 2020, Church of Latter Day Saints President Mr. Tendi, Director of Public Affairs Mr. Ndlovu and Latter Day Saints Charities Country Project Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, Mr. Guwa recommended that the Urban Assistance Food Assistance Programme which has been distributing food to Nothando, scale up the assistance by constructing a decent and sustainable house. They also recommended that the house be fully furnished.
“When we heard the sad news about a house that has been blown away by a whirlwind, we decided to come and see for ourselves. It was sad to learn that the victim is one of the beneficiaries of the food assistance programme we have here. We found it prudent that we assist in whatever way we can, which is one of the key values of Christ that bind HOCIC and the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” Kudzai said.
Adding to the efforts that had been made by other organisations and individuals on crowdfunding construction material, HOCIC, through the LDSC grant supplied more cement, window-panes, door frames, doors, windows, roofing material, floor tiles and paint. They also fully furnished Nothando’s house with a bed and bedding, wardrobe, kitchen table and chairs, cupboard aswell as curtaining the whole house.
“The success of this endeavour has been a collective effort. It’s the small things we group up that build into something big. This is the story of how Nothando’s house has been built. When we work as communities we are able to help each other, and that is a key lesson,”.
As a Church, we are glad to assist whenever we can, because that is what we learn from Christ,” Mr Guwa added.
A jovial Nothando could not hide her emotions as she sobbed uncontrollably when keys to her house were handed to her by Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo.
UFAL has been assisting 706 families for 12 months in ward 17 including Robert Sinyoka where Nothando Mlalazi has been a beneficiary. The food assistance was meant to cushion families that are food insecure.
Added to food assistance, HOCIC has been conducting sustainable livelihoods trainings in floor polish making, dishwasher, poultry, borehole drilling and mobile gardens in the ward aswell.
Above these, emergency response such as in the case of Nothando Mlalazi also characterise much of the impact the project has made in improving livelihoods in Robert Sinyoka and other wards the project has been implemented.