Home » General » Mother of Peace – a Cradle for the Disaantaged

Seventeen-years-ago, Lucy Ndakura (not her real name) was born to a mentally challenged woman in Mutoko. She had nowhere to go nor did she know any of her relatives.Even the circumstances leading to her conception had been a mystery to the whole community in Mutoko.

But God had other plans and she soon found herself accommodated at Mother of Peace where she has flourished to be a g teenage preparing to take the challenges of the world head on.

In a few months, she will be sitting for her Zimsec Ordinary Level examinations.

Her story is not an isolated case. Many have gone through the institution to success. Since its establishment in 1994, Mother of Peace Children’s Home has been the cradle for the disaantaged in Mutoko and beyond.

The journey has not been smooth for Ms Jean Rally Cornneck, the founder and leader of Mother of Peace.

The 82-year-old believes that there is also a difficult path ahead.

“We have had success stories from the children who have passed through the centre. It’s not an easy journey and we are bracing up for more challenges as we move ahead with our agenda to look for the disaantaged in our communities,” she said.

There are 75 children at the centre while two are attending tertiary education.

“We have looked after many children at the centre. Some have their own families while others have been reintegrated into society and are living happy lives,” she said.

There are at least 65 men and women who have passed through Mother of Peace and have had another chance in life through the magnanimity of the people at Mother of Peace.

The idea to establish the centre, according to Ms Cornneck, started in 1989 when Mrs Beverley Albers, who is based in South Africa, had a vision.

“She was visited by a spirit. The spirit identified itself as Mother Mary. That is how the Mother of Peace name was coined.

“Mrs Albers saw the image of Mother Mary in a vision and it instructed her in the vision to build communities to care for people who are suffering,” Mrs Cornneck said.

Mrs Albers, she continued, was instructed to look after people afflicted by seven circumstances.

“She was instructed in the vision to look after the terminally ill, including those suffering from HIV and Aids. She was also instructed to look after orphaned children, the physically disabled, the aged and destitute, care for those who are spiritually ill, and this afflicting a lot people who are mentally tortured across the world,” she said.

Ms Cornneck added that there was also need to take care of the caregivers, look for finances for a simple community and caring for God’s bounty thus using the land for self-sustenance.

“The vision also calls for the care of the new order that is taking care of widows who in turn look after their children,” she said.

Ms Cornneck said there are three centres currently operational in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“Five more centres have been nominated for establishment and land has been acquired for their establishment in Cape Town, Reunion Island, Canada and one in Matopos for Zimbabwe,” she said.

However, in keeping with the care of God’s bounty, there are several projects that have been established for self-sustenance at Mother of Peace.

“We have livestock, poultry and piggery projects. We are also into agriculture that is, summer crops and horticulture.”

The clinic at Mother of Peace has assisted even ordinary villagers in Mutoko. There is also a school that has since been established for children at the home.

“We thought we would cater for children only but the numbers are increasing as parents from the Mutoko community in general are also sending their children to us.

“Our teachers and nurses are paid by the Government and we are grateful for the support from our leaders. We would, however, be glad if our caregivers can be paid through the Government system,” Ms Cornneck said.

She said the centre also had challenges in acquiring inputs for the various projects.

“We grow maize, beans and other crops but we sometimes have challenges in getting seed and fertilisers. Our equipment is also very old,” she said.

The centre also keeps livestock especially cattle for beef and milk production.

“We cannot have more than adequate numbers of cattle because of the urban setting we are found in. Sometimes we kill a beast for the children at the centre for relish.

“The dairy project is helpful. We once had 36 babies so we got $10 000 to establish a dairy project. The cows produce a lot of milk and this has helped us a lot. Sometimes we get surplus for sale,” Ms Cornneck said.

“We also need to build proper structures for our piggery. The poultry project has recorded some success where we get eggs for sale but we want to expand the roadrunner chickens that are popular these days.”

The MP for Mutoko East Ricky Mawere has pledged to give the centre an incubator for hatching eggs at the centre so that they can start hatching chicks.

Projects such as the poultry section have assisted authorities pay even school fees for children at the centre.

“Funding from outside is getting low and we have no choice but to be self-reliant on our projects. We hope to get assistance to boost our projects. We need a tractor for our agriculture activities and large incubators.”

Mr Cornneck paid tribute to the late Mr Paul Fenes who was assisting at the centre before his unfortunate death last year.

Mr Feres had been working in Zimbabwe since 1985 at St Mary’s in Wedza, Mutemwa Leprosy Centre.

“He sourced for the ambulance and the big generator, two tractors, ovens for our bakery and machinery for our workshop. However, we are thinking of selling some of the equipment to raise funds,” Ms Cornneck said.

Meanwhile, a group of Christian individuals from different denominations and parishes have undertaken to assist Mother of Peace to construct a double classroom block at Divine Primary School which is a satellite of Chinzanga Primary School.

“This project, which is under the theme ‘Building families — building a nation,’ will see the school expanding and meeting part of its five-year-plan to build 5 x 2 classroom blocks by end of 2016,” the group’s spokesperson Rachel Chitate said.

“We expect Mother of Peace children and the local community to benefit by having an onsite school near their homes as opposed to the long distances the children walk on a daily basis.”

She said because of the children’s psycho-social background, a resident school would be most appropriate to do away with stigma and discrimination.

“This model has shown to be a remedy as children’s grades improved tremendously once the children were removed from mainstream schools,” she said.

The group will be hosting a fundraising dinner dance featuring Alexio Kawara on May 29 at Jubilee Hall.

They will also be involved in car washes at different churches, and cake sells.

“A raffle will be conducted in August as part of raising funds, where the winner will be walking away with a beast. The dinner dance is open to the public and the corporate world to assist Mother Peace Centre.”

There are currently 56 children at Mother of Peace.

Among the staff at the centre are 14 caregivers, general staff at the farm and other projects, school and clinic.

Source : The Herald