Parents, staff and students from a Sydney school enjoyed a photographic safari to Southern Africa. We, the members of the touring group, were moved by the courage and initiative displayed by some people we met who were looking after orphans in their local region. We decided to help these local residents of Victoria Falls, who were helping the orphaned children of their own neighbourhood and rural communities.
When we heard of the high percentage of orphans attending the local schools and the high rate of HIV/AIDS related deaths in the region, we developed a small group in Sydney to send money to the local residents of Victoria Falls.
This money was used by the local residents to pay the school fees, school uniform costs and school equipment for the 45 students ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old.
Many large NGO’s focus on the big cities and often the smaller rural communities miss out on assistance.
This group of Sydney families in consultation with residents of Victoria Falls developed the Umhambi Zambezi Orphan Project, an Incorporated Association registered with the Depatment of Fair Trading in NSW.
The name Umhambi is a Ndebele word meaning traveller. So the name refers to travellers assisting the oprhans of the Zambezi area, particularly in Victoria Falls, situated on the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe.
Misheck Mujeni is the local resident who coordinates the distribution of funds to orphans in the neighbourhood of Mhkosana and Chinotimba (two suburbs of Victoria Falls). He also looks after children in the rural area of Chimbombo, Ndlovu and Mbizha, 30 km south of Victoria Falls.