First Lady Auxillia pilots castor bean project in Kanyemba

PREVIOUSLY marginalised Doma people of Kanyemba in the Zambezi Valley are having their lives changed through engaging in income-generating projects and building of conventional houses, courtesy of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s efforts.

In the past, the Doma people used to sleep in tree houses and relied on hunting and gathering for food.

But the future of the community now looks bright, thanks to the First Lady’s initiatives through her charity arm, Angel of Hope Foundation, which is assisting the villagers with resources to improve their well-being.

Amai Mnangagwa yesterday introduced a castor bean production project in one of the villages — Chiramba — among other income-generating projects she has rolled out for the benefit of the community.

The castor bean production project will also be introduced in surrounding villages.

Amai Mnangagwa is currently visiting various empowerment projects she has rolled out in Kanyemba, to assess areas that need further support and aid.

The Chikunda-speaking community used to live in isolation from the rest of the country, as they were reluctant to interact with people outside their culture, but with the involvement of the First Lady, they are now migrating to modern life.

“My passion for the marginalised or disadvantaged communities is to see them being equated to other modern communities,” said the First Lady.

“There is no reason why they cannot be like others, they just need our love and support and through my organisation, Angel of Hope, I am doing my best to transform their well-being through various sustainable projects.

“Comparing where they are now with how they were when I first visited this area, there is great improvement. Even their houses; they are now building brick houses.

“Some of them were living in the bush, surviving on hunting and gathering and when I first came here, they were afraid. They used to run away from other people, but now they are adjusting and are free around those who are outside their culture. We are now friends and we communicate well.”

The Doma people used to live in these types of houses before First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa encouraged them to migrate to modern types of houses.

On the castor bean project, the First Lady said: “It is a pilot project and I want this to extend to all the villages in Kanyemba. It is an income-generating project as the seed will be sold outside the country, bringing in foreign currency for them, which will be used to further develop the area.

“I am happy that they have accepted this project and we will continue working with them in finding lasting solutions.”

Amai Mnangagwa urged the communities to put to good use the projects for sustainable development.

The project brought smiles to the villagers who applauded the First Lady for being a caring and loving mother, adding that she has immensely transformed their lives.

An agronomist, Ms Munashe Mugwadi, educated the villagers on castor bean planting and harvesting.

A villager, Mr Christmas Kachasu, said if it was not for the First Lady, the Kanyemba community would have remained neglected.

“The continued support in our area by the First Lady through her organisation shows commitment she has for the development of marginalised communities,” he said.

“Amai’s love for the disadvantaged communities will forever be embedded in our minds for a very long time.”

Another villager, Mrs Zviitike Kabareti, thanked the First Lady for empowering mostly women, saying the projects she introduced will go a long way in assisting them.

Doma people in new houses – by John Manzongo

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central, Monica Mavhunga said: “In the past, the Doma people were living in the ancient world, but with the involvement of our First Lady, they are now migrating to the modern world.

“There were no schools or clinics in some of the areas, but when Amai Mnangagwa first visited this area, she heard all the villagers’ concerns and went back and pleaded with relevant authorities, leading to a school and a clinic being constructed.

“Also roads leading to Kanyemba are being tarred, thanks to the First Lady.”

Following her previous visits to Kanyemba, the First Lady facilitated the construction of a health centre and drilling of boreholes.

She also introduced community gardening and irrigation schemes among other sustainable projects.

Source – The Herald

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