Here at Chiedza Child Care Centre we understand the need for children to engage in sporting activities and as such we have invested a lot of time and effort into our sporting development program at the centre. Our main objective with this program is one which is quite clear and simple: To provide an opportunity for children to participate and develop their sporting potentials by availing assistance to enable them to play and compete in national leagues. Our other aim through this program is to engage and promote dialogue among caregivers or guardians of these children in realising positive moral values that can be inculcated in the minds of the young children.
Most of the orphans due to multiple vulnerabilities are not able to excel in their formal education. Over the years we have learnt that some of them are talented in sports which they can derive their livelihoods from. Where they live, the social norms have disintegrated and the moral values the kids possess are disappointingly low. There is a lot of drug
and substance abuse, prostitution and gambling. Children end up dropping out of school. Engaging and participating in sporting development activities helps the children to keep away from engaging in immoral and risk activities. Through this development program we also facilitate the early discovery of individual sporting talent. Orphan care is everyone’s responsibility; this program helps in facilitating dialogue among community members regarding orphan care in their neighbourhood. The program provides a platform for re-visiting of lost moral values within the communities as the guardians of children get to come and support during matches and in that we step in to educate the guardians. The sporting activities will act as a vehicle for communication and social mobilisation among community members.
At the Centre we have a narrow spectrum of the type of sports that are at offer to our children though we are looking on expanding on them. Currently at offer is netball, volleyball, girls and boys’ soccer, softball and basketball. Amongst all the sports mentioned, basketball is the only sport that has remained at a recreational level since it requires
specialised courts which the Centre does have for it to be played well. We had planned to put up a multipurpose court but the budget we had for that project was way below the quotations which we received as it was all used up for grading and leveling of our soccer field which had gum trees which needed to be uprooted .The total for the quotations sourced was $25,000 to build a multipurpose court. We resorted to picking up stones and weeding
so that a lawn could be planted in the soccer pitch but the main challenge which remains is for the other remaining disciplines which need a special court for the sports to be played well.
Our children have many accolades and awards to show in their various disciplines of sports that they participate in. Some highlights of the achievements of our children are shown in the pictures attached. The girls’ team has been playing in the top flight league- Zimbabwe Netball Association league- which is tree top standard and has become the whipping dogs of the league. Coaches from the top flight league who scout for talent in netball have also promised to keep an eye on our children’s performance. They are actually being prepared for competition of their evel and will always have the attacking spirit in a competition and there is the element of learning the interpretation of rules and regulations. Children of their age will not stand a chance at all and this tactic is for every discipline. When training them, they train with the older teams to master rules of the games. The current lot is between the ages of 13-16 years. This is the winning team for 2 years in a row.
To ensure holistic development and instilling a sense of community service, the children are engaged in community service. During community work, they did very well as they had mastered the basics in the planting of a tree, weeding mulching and making a basin, pressing using feet to avoid moisture being lost and are very good at it.
Soccer field development
This has been one of our greatest feat in terms of our sports development program, as already been inferred in previous text- the upgrading of our soccer pitch. As you can see from the difference in the two pictures much was done for the pitch to get to its current status. Goal posts were also installed in the field and nets to completely furnish the field- though nets are only used when we have soccer matches lined up. Despite the kids starting of playing bare-footed, we have managed to get them soccer boots which has boosted the morale of the children through the Australian Sport Outreach Program which also helped with the funds used to buy nets, uniforms and the
goal posts previously mentioned.
As can be seen, the Sport Development Program has enjoyed some good years and has touched the lives of the children in so many ways. We wish to thank our sponsors for all they have contributed to keeping our program
alive. We know that our kids still have much more to add to the sporting arena in Zimbabwe and we hope to be in a position to help them in achieving their dreams.