Matthew Rusike Children’s Home operates a multifaceted program which combines residential care and community based orphan care initiatives in Epworth, Zimbabwe. Most of the community based children are orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, therefore some of them are not only affected but also infected by the pandemic. Under the MRCH Community Based Care program, the health, nutritional, psychological, and educational needs of these children are addressed.

Matthew Rusike Children’s Home in 2014

A Deeper Look at Community Based Orphan Care in Zimbabwe

Since its establishment in 1960 as a residential care facility for orphaned and vulnerable children, Matthew Rusike Children’s Home has developed into one of the largest child welfare organizations in Zimbabwe, caring for over 6,092 children in its Residential and Community Based Orphan Care Schemes and employing a staff of 50 in its childcare services.

As a multifaceted program MRCH has decentralized its childcare operations to various Methodist Church in Zimbabwe districts through home and community based care initiatives. Community Based Care (CBC) was a response to the growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children in society, largely due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Modern trends have proven that children grow better when assisted in their natural environment as opposed to being put in an institution.

MRCH Community Based Care has enrolled over 7,000 children in various interventions such as school fees, food, clothing, rentals, and medication. These CBC programs are possible with the assistance of trained volunteer community caregivers. The caregivers also raise awareness in the communities to uphold children’s rights. They address child abuse and immoral activities perpetrated against children, being advocates for vulnerable children.

MRCH has also begun setting up Community Resource Centers using the church facilities for Psycho Social Support services. At these centers children are assisted with guided play and games, counseling, supervision of homework, health checks and provision of supplementary feeding. Alongside these programs, MRCH has a Community Health Program in place for children who are chronically ill, many of whom have been infected with HIV.

Following are a few itemized costs associated with the work done by Matthew Rusike Children’s Home which are areas of need:

  • Primary school fees plus uniform, shoes, stationery: US$255 per year
  • Secondary School fees plus uniform, shoes, stationery: US$400 per year
  • Tertiary School fees (post secondary/college age) range from US$1,300 to US$1,560 with other needs as transport, library fees, stationery, pocket money, food and rentals which add up to US$1,400. Together with school fees, costs may come to US$2,960 per year.
  • Resources are needed for workshops to train the community volunteer caregivers. Workshops run for 3 days for 26-35 people. Every year 8 workshops are run if resources are available. Cost of each workshop ranges between US$700 to US$1,000.
  • The home is in dire need of a good vehicle in the form of a twin cab, preferably four wheel drive. Approximate cost is US$48,000.
  • If you are interested in more information or are able to give assistance to identified vulnerable children in these communities or other needs listed, please contact:

    Matthew Rusike Children’s Home
    P.O. Box H99
    Harare, Zimbabwe
    Cell numbers: 263 772 416 221-4

    Contact: Cindy Chapman