Mash East correspondent
Single mothers and young girls who have turned to prostitution to take care of their families should embrace the Pfumvudza programme to bring food on the table, First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa said on Thursday.
In a speech read on her behalf by Zimbabwe Women’s Bank chief executive Dr Mandas Marikanda at an interface meeting with single mothers and girls in Chivhu, the First Lady said these women should do small grain farming so that they could feed their families with healthy food.
“I have come here as a follow up after I was informed that most of the women who had turned into social vices to earn a living are willing to shun their acts and start doing projects to feed their families,” she said.
“As women, you should be firm enough to work hard and bring food to the table. Let us embrace the Pfumvudza programme, which is meant to alleviate hunger, especially in rural areas. This will help you secure food at household level.
“I also urge you to embrace small grain farming so that you can secure healthy food for your children.”
Amai Mnangagwa urged the women to work in groups so that they could harvest in abundance.
She also introduced new projects, which the vulnerable women should engage in besides farming.
“As the patron of Angel of Hope Foundation, I have come with new projects which can help you earn a living. Some of these projects include baking, manufacturing detergents like soap and lotions. I hope you will embrace the knowledge I am giving you and use it to transform your lives,” she said.
The First Lady also discouraged women from terminating pregnancies as it could affect their health.
“For those who were impregnated out of wedlock and got dumped, do not lose hope,” she said.
“Do not ever think of terminating that pregnancy because you might risk having diseases like cervical cancer. There is life after break-ups and as a woman you have to take responsibility of your children by working hard to bring food to the table.”
After the First Lady’s address, The First Lady handed over bakery equipment, flour, and potatoes to the women. One of the vulnerable women, Pamela Katsora, narrated her experience as a sex worker and thanked the First Lady for showing concern.
“I got into this profession when I was 16 years old. I thought it was the only solution to life. The experience was painful as I could be beaten or sometimes used for peanuts,” she said.
“I am so excited that Amai has come to our rescue with her projects. We want more of these projects so that we become prominent business women. We will never look back at our painful life again.” Mashonaland East Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Senator Aplonia Munzverengwi expressed her gratitude to the First Lady for showing concern to different vulnerable groups in the province. would like to thank Amai for giving us the opportunity to focus on marginalised groups, which are women and children,” she said.
“She has come to empower vulnerable single mothers and young girls who turned to social vices and engaged with local truck drivers instead of being in school or at work.
She said the First Lady’s charity work would help eradicate poverty and help improve the livelihood of women in rural areas.
Legislator for Chikomba West constituency Dr John Mangwiro thanked the First Lady for her philanthropic work and suggested that the women should be given land for them to do full-time farming, and be enrolled in nursing classes as well as vocational centres.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the First Lady for creating time to spend with single women and girls,” said Dr Mangwiro. “Most of them have left the prostitution profession and are already doing different projects like selling dried carpenter and sugar beans through the Debra Chuma Foundation. Now that the First Lady has come to their rescue, my wish is that they should be given land to do their farming projects together. I will also help those with qualifications to get enrolled in the nursing profession.”