Starting Tariro House of Hope.

Saturday 29th August was a great day for us. About 60 of us gathered on the front veranda and garden for a mass which formally opened Tariro House. It was also the feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist so he becomes the patron of Tariro House.  

Getting to this opening had demanded a lot of work, especially from Phillip Mutasa and Carl Melville. When Carl arrived a few weeks before the house was a mess; it had been badly neglected by the previous tenants and was barely habitable. Fortunately the landlady was co-operative, agreeing that rent money should be spent on basic repairs. This meant replacing the ceiling and parts of the floor, repainting most of the house, repairing some of the electrics and much else. Then there was a need for furniture. My two sisters contributed a lot of basic furniture, blankets, crockery and cutlery. Other donations have come in and the house is now almost fully equipped, lacking only some bunk beds we shall need for the young people when they arrive.  

On the 11th August we had our first meeting of the Trustees of the House. Here Carl impressed us all with his clear statement both of the principles of the House and the legal and administrative issues which must be dealt with. The house is in the process of applying for registration as the Zimbabwean equivalent of a charity.  The Trustees are:

There are, at the moment, four residents of the house helping to get it started – Carl himself, Edwin Komayi the project worker, Byrone Mushore who is a full time student and Meredith Hannen who has just arrived from Canada .  

There is still not total clarity as to how the house will function and what its aims will be. Generally speaking it aims to help young people who are disadvantaged to get properly started in life. This will probably take three courses:  

Each of these areas carries its own difficulties. Tariro is just about to take in two 14 year old boys on a trial basis. We have already made mistakes and have learned the need to move slowly and carefully. Yet also there is such urgent need to help the young people; we really haven’t time to waste. So at the back of the house a chicken project has already started with a hundred day old chicks under Edwin’s efficient management. Next to it a patch of hard ground has been dug up and sown and we hope it will soon produce vegetables. Other projects are being planned.  

Finance  

Setting up the house has turned out to be more expensive than I thought. Apart from rent there are the utilities bills, basic equipment, food and the basic expenses of those living there. We have had offers of help for school and training fees which is a great relief. As soon as possible we intend to get income coming into the house from the various projects, but even in the improved Zimbabwean economy this will take time to make a real impact. So we are tremendously grateful to all of you who have guaranteed us a basic income; and please, if you can think of other ways in which our funds can be increased, through approaching friends or through other fund raising events we shall be delighted.  

I was really sorry to leave just as things were getting going. It is an exciting project and it is really good to see something new starting in Zimbabwe . Sadly the need for Tariro is terribly evident as one goes around the country encountering orphans at every corner. They cannot be left to go to waste!  

More news will follow soon.  

                                                                                    Nicolas Stebbing CR

Byrone, Carl and Edwin The first Trustees