By Abel Mamhunze
St Mary’s- A group of young leaders undergoing a Leadership Development program by CIVNET visited Bumhudzo Old People’s Home on the 28th of October 2016 and helped in cleaning the premises, cooking and serving food, washing clothes, blankets and kitchen dishes.
A prior needs assessment visit to the home aroused and necessitated need within the young leaders to pull personal resources together and initiate assistance program beginning with a response to the most basic and daily needs of the home.
Friday 28th October was spent cleaning the home and one of the very fundamental reasons for this is a critical shortage of cleaning utensils. Sweeping brooms, mops, cleaning detergents were brought for use on the day and were handed over to the home but these do not suffice to what the home requires.
The state of the economy has however not spared the home of challenges and it’s hospital is operating in paralysis mode. Funds from the department of social welfare have since ceased to trickle into the home as it solely relies on a quarterly grant from the Salvation Army which is a far cry of the total required to meet the very basic needs.
The centre’s administrator Major Nyaruberu was elated and could not hide her joy at the gesture. She emphasized that Bumhudzo needs support irregardless of how little the support may seem.
“We are very grateful to the support we have received from the young leaders. We appreciate any form of help and no help is small or large to us”, said Major Nyaruberu.
She highlighted that the centre is facing serious staff challenges in relation to the number of people being looked after.
“The home has a holding capacity of 110 but currently houses 33 senior citizens due to constraints. 20 of these require assistance with bathing and other related chores yet the home only has a staff compliment of 6 nurse aides”, continued Nyaruberu.
Bumhudzo has outstanding salary areas for the current staff as well as staff that has been laid off. Critical needs for the home include but are not limited to medicines for hospital and home, cleaning utensils for inside& outside the home, detergents. The nature of care and work at the home requires provision of latex gloves and the home requires 2 latex glove boxes to see them through 7 days.
The water crisis around Chitungwiza has left the home in a quandary as their problem is compounded by the fact that the borehole sunk at the home has run dry and needs to be sunk deeper.
“We are grateful to the Salvation Army and other well wishers who have continuously gone out of their way to ensure that Bumhudzo provides a service in this harsh climate but we are in a critical state”, said Major Nyaruberu.
Bumhudzo Old people’s Home and Hospital is home to old ,sick and destitute citizens and is situated in Chitungwiza’s Manyame Park.Bumhudzo is under the tutelage of the Salvation Army and has been a shelter for the elderly since 1974 with the adjourning hospital built in 1980.
It is one of the five homes established by the Salvation army as a way of assisting and lessening the burden of government on caring for the older citizens in our communities. The old and vulnerable are identified within communities by the department of social welfare and referrals are made to Bumhudzo.
Section 2(21)(b) of the constitution of Zimbabwe gives the State the obligations of ensuring the provision of facilities, food and social care for the elderly who are in need.
“The state and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable measure, including legislative measures, to secure, respect, support and protection of elderly persons. It shall endeavour within the limits of the resources available to then foster social organisations aimed at improving the quality of life of elderly persons”
Now that the current environment is clearly not fostering and facilitating for the above as enshrined within the constitution, communities are now looking into themselves to support vulnerable members of the society such as the elderly and orphans.