Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA) has reached out to Gokwe South community in ward 15 and educated them on the proper ways of avoiding the spread of covid-19 while also assisting them with sustainable projects to navigate life.
Some of the projects involve the importance of hygiene through building better toilets and proper wells for safe water. MeDRA has brought decent standards of living for the Gokwe community, and residents who spoke with this publication showed appreciation of the great work done.
“Recently, MeDRA staff visited us to provide a covid-19 awareness support and they provided us with information, education and communication (IEC) materials as a means of boosting our information by providing us with an indepth knowledge on the disease,” said Mai Mtumbi.
“Under the WASH project by MeDRA Zimbabwe in our ward we started a participatory health and hygiene campaign which was initiated to educate, inform and promote safe hygienic practices in our village. Our group is called ‘kunzwa nekuita’ which means ‘hearing and doing’. We started with twenty one members and to date we are now nineteen, other members have dropped due to health complications and age concerns,” said Anna Mukaranga.
“As a group we are also engaged in Internal Savings and Lending (ISAL) to boost household income by operating a poultry project. We started with fifty chickens and to date we are managing hundred chickens in our project,” said Mai Mapata.
Another woman identified as Mrs Tobaiwa stated that they are now engaged in health awareness campaigns in the community to encourage villagers to adhere to covid-19 health protocols.
“Apart from engaging in ISALs we are also into participatory health and hygiene education. In response to WASH objectives which includ maintaining safer and cleaner practices while also encouraging communities to maintain cleaner homes by ensuring that their surroundings are free from litter. We also make sure they exercise personal hygiene through the use of soap and water to wash their hands every time. Today our community can manage to erect tippy taps at their homesteads, dig rubbish pits and utilize the use of blair toilets as a result of our awareness campaigns.
“We were not sure about the hand washing practices, social distancing, symptoms of Covid-19 and the referral path way of reporting a suspected person but the flyers and posters they gave us with clear instructions on how best to prevent the spreading of the diseases helped us a lot,” she said.
Headman Marumisa also expressed gratitude to MeDRA organization for their gesture through educating his community on the importance of covid-19 prevention and introducing great projects.
“I would like to thank MeDRA for supporting us with IEC materials which we can use to spread the message on how to avoid the spread of COVID 19. In addition, l do feel there is a need for sanitizers and masks to be given to Communities and also to keep training them on practical ways of prevention.
“I would like to give thanks to MeDRA by supporting the community especially the vulnerable including persons with disabilities and the elderly people since they find it hard to feed themselves. We also see blair toilets and wells being built to improve the livelihoods of our people, that is wonderful for the community,” he added.
MeDRA facilitator identified as Junior spoke on the need to maintain safe hygiene practices in the village while also involving them in sustainable projects that help them navigate the harsh economic conditions of the country.
“We are fighting covid-19 in the community through implementing safe hygienic practices. There are other groups that were formed in Marumisa, Dzawanda, Muvangiwa villages which are doing various types of projects such as piggery production, chicken production, rabbit production amongst others” said Junior the supervisor.
MeDRA is a Christian local NGO owned by the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and has a spiritual approach to sustainable development.