Through its Urban Food Assistance and Livelihoods Program, HOCIC, on Saturday was honoured to receive an Award of Excellence and a Certificate of Appreciation from Bulawayo ward 17 community members and Pumula Youth Leadership Forum respectively. The Thanks Giving event took place in Robert Sinyoka as a token of appreciation to HOCIC and its donor partner, Latter-Day Saints Charities (LDSC) for the food assistance which came as a drought relief to ward 17 since October 2019.
The UFAL Thanks Giving event was attended by the Honourable Member of Parliament for Pumula constituency Sichelesile Mahlangu, Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo, Bulawayo Residence Association, Pumula Youth Leadership Forum, Ward 17 community facilitators, beneficiaries’ representatives from Methodist, St Peters, Robert Sinyoka, Mazwi together with HOCIC and LDSC members.
HOCIC have been assisting 706 families in ward 17 with food baskets on a monthly basis. The program has been targeting the chronically ill, people with disabilities, the elderly and child headed families.
HOCIC’s UFAL program came at a time when Zimbabwe was facing serious drought due to a streak of low rainfall and the Covid-19 global pandemic that brought many restrictions which tied up the villagers to get money to buy food as no one was allowed to travel. The Pumula constituency Member of Parliament together with ward 17 Councilor applauded HOCIC for assisting the community members in such difficult times.
“I am out of words, HOCIC together with Latter-Day Saints Charities have done great work by taking care of the vulnerable people in this ward. Well done HOCIC,” said MP Mahlangu.
The beneficiaries gave testimonials on the good work done by UFAL program. They exalted UFAL for intervening during a torrid time of hunger caused by low rainfall patterns and unemployment. Some of them wept, kneeled and begged for the extension of the programme until the rain season so that they have hope that they will earn better yields for sustainability.
“I used to spend much of my time in the bush searching for grass to make sweeping brooms (umthanyelo/mutswayiro) which I sold and sometimes I exchanged for anything because of desperation,” said Gogo NaEu.
“I am kindly begging please HOCIC, don’t leave us too soon,” she pleaded.
On top of the food assistance given to Ward 17, HOCIC has managed to assist in purchasing building material for one of the programme’s beneficiary Nothando Mlalazi whose house was destroyed by wind. HOCIC has also been conducting complimentary livelihoods trainings in ward 17 as a means of equipping its beneficiaries with entrepreneurship skills which include re-usable pad making, mobile gardens floor polish and liquid dishwasher making. It is undoubted that HOCIC made an indelible mark in ward 17.