Overview of the work of the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe
Notwithstanding the difficult situation in Zimbabwe, positive things continue to happen throughout the diocese. Parishes do continue to support the diocese despite the difficult circumstances that are prevailing. Last year’s Donor’s conference was a great success. We raised a considerable amount of money to support diocesan projects.
Funds from the Croydon Link are allocated by the Central Zimbabwe Diocese, through the Budget Support system, to support:
- Medical care, and
- Income generating projects.
One of the diocese’s major thrusts is the provision of education. There are a number of schools that are run by the diocese. St Patrick’s High School continues to produce good results.
Because of lack of state and local government resources, schools run by Rural District Councils are facing crisis. Many communities in which these schools are built are requesting that the Anglican Church become their responsible authority. The diocese now has a total of seven primary schools and two secondary schools, with an eighth in its formative stages. The church has acquired 12 hectares of land for the purposes of building a primary school at St David’s situated in Sunrise, one of the new rural settlement areas. Construction of the first classroom block has just started.
St Hugh’s Mazinyo school
We now have a new secondary school – St Hugh’s high school in Mazinyo Gokwe South. A classroom block was dedicated at the primary school. There are lots of improvements going on. The rectory was roofed and the finishing touches are being made. Clinic construction is in progress. God willing, six structures will be dedicated in October 2017. The Secondary school wishes to have “A” Level classes. ‘O’ Level results need to improve. This is, potentially, a big Mission School with both primary and secondary schools. Current enrolment at the primary school stands at 941 pupils and Early Childhood Development (ECD) has a total of 156 pupils which indicate 3 to 4 classes per grade.
Other classroom block construction projects are being funded by the Central Diocese in partnership with the local community. Thanks to the new classroom block funded by the Link, the community received a wake-up call and they realized that there was a lot that they could do using their own initiative.
St Patrick’s Hospital
Health is the other thrust that the church is involved in.Currently we are operating a clinic that serves the St Patrick’s high school, members of staff and the surrounding Chiwundura communities. The hospital project continues to grow. The 1st phase was dedicated to the Almighty God at a colourful event that took place in October 2015. Bishop Jonathan from the Croydon Episcopal Area and his team were part of this event. Three local bishops graced the occasion; Bishop Cleophas of Matabeleland, Bishop Godfrey of Masvingo and Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda of the hosting diocese.
Work on the construction of the hospital is still ongoing. Since the dedication, new developments have happened. We managed to finish brick work up to roof level on the female ward. Most of the funds that were received from the Link Budget Support system have been channelled towards the construction of this part of the hospital as well as the maternity ward. The building materials were purchased using the grants we received from Croydon but the labour costs were paid from local funds. We have also identified a roofing contractor who has already made timber trusses for the female ward. The company has already been paid in full and the work on the trusses is at an advanced stage. At the moment we are experiencing heavy rains and we are waiting for the improvement of the weather so that the actual work of roofing the female ward can start.
The diocese is working on the process of equipping the new hospital building. We do have partners in Australia – Holroyd New Life Church – who are sourcing medical equipment for the new hospital. In our last communication with them, they reported that they have secured permission from Nepean Hospital to obtain 40 functional manual medic raft hospital beds. Ben Wright, the coordinator of this project in Australia, indicated that they have been assured by a medical company Surge Quip that they will donate a manual operating theatre and additional 20 hospital beds. They have requested further medical equipment including items such as defibrillators, Anaesthetic machine, ultrasound humid crib, IV pumps, a Vaporizer for the anaesthetic machine, and Vital signs monitors, surgical instruments, and mattresses for the beds. The equipment will enable St Patrick’s hospital to function and serve the school and surrounding community.
£9,000 pounds has been donated by Christ Church South Nutfield in England, through the Link account in Croydon, that the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe decided will be used to cover the cost of the shipment of the equipment from Australia to Zimbabwe once it is ready. The funds will be paid direct into Holroyd New Life Church account in Australia.
St Patrick’s Clinic went through a period when it was facing challenges transporting seriously ill patients from the clinic to Gweru General Hospital because the old ambulance was failing. Through the Link relationship that exist between Central Zimbabwe and Croydon Episcopal Area, a collective effort was made to buy a new ambulance with the particular support of Christchurch, South Nutfield.
In addition to health and education activities, the diocese is involved in numerous projects. The two main categories of projects are capital development and income generating projects.
To improve income the Diocese has decided to form a company. The process of registering the company has been completed and the company is trading as Exceeding Great Trading (PVT) LTD. The Diocese has appointed a Board to run the company and other income generating projects.
At present the company is involved in selling stationery to some of our Diocesan schools. It is supplying stationery to St Patrick’s High School and St Martin’s Primary School. The idea is to supply all diocesan schools and institutions with stationery and our hope is that other schools will join in and support this project. Other related school requirements being are being looked into such as school uniforms and sports equipment.
The Diocese is also supporting agro based income generating projects, mainly at St Patrick’s farm. The beef herd is one such project that is very promising. We are in the process of building on an existing herd. An additional 11 cattle were bought, including one bull and 10 cows in calf and we now have a total of 44. The reason for buying more animals is to improve productivity and profitability levels.
The chicken project at St Patrick’s farm is still running and our major market is the school. Negotiations are at an advanced stage with Fair Hill for an out-grower chicken production scheme. The project will be based at Harben Park. The first site for 4000 broilers was pegged and another site for further 3000 broilers was approved.
The Diocese is also working on establishing butchery and a mini-supermarket at St Patrick’s to meet the meat and grocery requirements of the community at the mission. Work on the construction of the infrastructure required has started. The completion of this project will mean that the diocese would have opened another new source of revenue.
Horticulture is another project that the diocese will get some revenue from. The diocese has invested in water to ensure that there is adequate water for the gardening project. A borehole was recently drilled and fully equipped using local funds.
The Mothers’ Union, using their own resources, is working on an events garden project. The diocese has given the Mothers’ Union one of the plots at Harben Park. They have already constructed a Caretaker’s cottage on the plot. Currently they are busy preparing the garden by planting shrubs and flowers. The idea is to create a place which people can hire for outdoor functions such as garden weddings.