The first country to which God has lead us is Zimbabwe. Members of CMN flew to Harare, Zimbabwe in September 2006 to discern how to implement our mission. We traveled extensively around the country touring existing children’s homes during our visit.
We subsequently learned that poverty has ravaged the once breadbasket of Southern Africa along with the HIV AIDS epidemic that has even struck a family member of a CMN board member. The economy has completely collapsed and inflation is going up daily and basic commodities such as bread, cooking oil or automobile fuels are scarce. The situation has resulted in countless children being without parents and/or homeless. Some children were fortunate to be able to live with extended family. A significant number of children are left to roam the streets. In all these scenarios, the kids are not going to school because inflation has pushed prices beyond most people’s reach. Education is not free and children are required to be in uniform and pay tuition and fees. All these requirements must be fulfilled or you simply will not get an education. Families that can afford it will send one male son, or grandson to school and most girls are not even given a chance.
With this background CMN has begun building an ”Orphan’s Village” on the outskirts of Harare. Our model is traditional style residences to eventually house about 150 children. Each home will be closely supervised by a trained house mom and nanny to serve as a parental figure and a spiritual leader to the children. The kids will attend nearby government schools until we have a school onsite.
After school activities will include carpentry, welding, sewing/knitting, gardening, and care-taking of chicken, pigs, and cattle to develop their trade skills. Certain evenings will be devoted to fellowship and spiritual leadership.