Mthwakazi Queens-UK (MQUK), a non-governmental organisation, has donated food hampers to people living in the outskirts of Bulawayo in a bid to cushion them against the effects of COVID-19 lockdown.
The beneficiaries were from St Peter’s, Mazwi and Robert Sinyoka settlements in the outskirts of the second largest city.
MQUK is a women’s organisation that helps women develop self-worth, build reliance and create economic and social stability for their families and communities.
Speaking during the handover ceremony Saturday, Julliet Bhethule, Chairperson of St Peter’s village, appreciated MQUK for reaching out to them during the challenging lockdown period.
She went on to appeal for more donations adding the pandemic had negatively impacted the whole community.
“We would like to thank MQUK for extending their hand to this village,” said Bhethule.
“Most villagers here are unemployed. They survive on selling firewood and manure. We appeal to you that you may help us with capital to help youths start projects. They have hand skills such as making detergents, bead work, sewing mats and gardening among other skills.”
One of the beneficiaries, Sazini Ndiweni, expressed her gratitude to the organisation, revealing that they sometimes go to bed on empty stomachs.
“We are really finding it difficult to survive in this lockdown; sometimes we go to bed without eating,” she said.
“Thank you for choosing us to be the beneficiaries of these food hampers.”
Jester Banda, Chairperson of Mazwi Village, expressed gratitude for the assistance rendered.
Banda said most villagers in the area were relocated from squatter camps and were unemployed.
At Robert Sinyoka, Phathiwe Banda, secretary of the village also said villagers were struggling to cope with the lockdown period.
Cleopatra Nxumalo, representing MQUK in Bulawayo, said they chose to donate to the peri-urbanites considering that most of them do not have an income.
“We are hoping to come back and donate to a bigger number as we realize that villagers are struggling to make ends meet,” said Nxumalo.
“We do really wish to keep on extending our hand to villagers during this lockdown.”
Sazini Malaba, founder of MQUK, said the organisation was moved by the plight of the villagers in the COVID-19 era, hence their assistance.