ZIMBABWE’S largest milling company, National Foods Limited yesterday donated 10 tonnes of maize-meal, among an assortment of other goods, to Angel of Hope Foundation as part of its centenary celebrations.
This comes as the corporate world is coming in numbers to support the work being done by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa to ease the plight of vulnerable members of society.
FastLane Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a growing firm of youthful entrepreneurs, also donated solar system equipment to Angel of Hope Foundation, which in turn, handed over the equipment to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals through the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Amai Mnangagwa is the patron of Angel of Hope Foundation and the country’s health ambassador.
Speaking at the handover of the consignment from National Foods which included maize-meal, flour, sugar beans, instant porridge, rice, soya mince, salt and snacks, group chief executive Mr Mike Lashbrook said his organisation was touched by the work being done by Amai Mnangagwa and her Foundation to support children, the elderly and other vulnerable members of society.
Mr Lashbrook said their intervention was part of the company’s social responsibility programme.
“We have been honoured to work with Angel of Hope Foundation now and again and over time we have been interacting with the organisation, we have come to really respect and admire the work that the First Lady is doing through the Foundation,” he said.
“It has a number of worthwhile and needy causes and we really enjoy the fact that the Foundation covers the length and breadth of the nation.
“What brings us here today is that our company has had the honour of becoming a 100 years this year.”
Mr Lashbrook said the donation was a measure of thanking the people of Zimbabwe for making National Foods what it is today.
In her acceptance speech, the First Lady spoke of the good working relations that exist between her organisation and National Foods.
She said the ties were immensely benefiting the poor and other vulnerable groups.
“This is not the first time that National Foods has donated to us as Angel of Hope Foundation. The group CEO Mr Mike Lashbrook has been supportive and facilitating donations to us frequently. National Foods donates to a number of charitable organisations in Zimbabwe, including Angel of Hope Foundation.
“You have assisted us and this has helped in our philanthropic works as we travel across the width and breadth of the country.”
National Foods, the First Lady said, had a robust corporate social investment programme which was premised on the responsibility to improve livelihoods of the less fortunate, as well as assisting Government and social development partners during times of disasters.
“As the country was affected by Cyclone Idai, successive droughts and the current Covid-19 pandemic, the need for humanitarian intervention has never been greater and it is for this reason that today they saw it fit to bring this donation to Angel of Hope Foundation’s Christmas initiatives.”
The First Lady encouraged Zimbabweans to spread the spirit of giving by helping the less fortunate in their respective communities.
“This donation has come at the right time as Angel of Hope has rolled out a number of new programmes in addition to the ongoing ones in order to help the less privileged in society,” she said. “This is a unique donation as it is meant to spread Christmas cheer to the marginalised in our communities. As you all know, Angel of Hope Foundation’s main values are to help the marginalised in having a fair chance of attaining better lives for themselves. We are also passionate about the access to healthcare for those in the remote areas and the empowerment of the elderly, women and children.
“In that regard, Angel of Hope Foundation has a broad reach as it covers the entire country and National Foods has constantly complimented our efforts.”
She thanked the firm for its support, saying it was inspiring to receive support from corporates on the mission to touch lives.
FastLane Energy donated a solar system to Angel of Hope Foundation.
The company’s representative, Ms Tariro Mutuma, said the locally-incorporated renewable energy company comprised of young, local, ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs below the age of 30, who were touched by the work being done by the First Lady and her Foundation.
“In line with Vision 2030 being implemented by his Excellency, the President, of transforming Zimbabwe into a knowledge-driven and industrialised upper middle income economy by 2030, us as FastLane Energy aim at sustainable development promotion towards domestic and commercial applications within Zimbabwe,” she said.
The First Lady handed over the equipment to Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro, who in turn handed it over to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals acting chief executive, Dr Aspect Maunganidze.
In her speech at the handover ceremony, Amai Mnangagwa said while everyone was aware of the value of energy in life, the role of a reliable energy supply in the medical field was in most occasions a matter of life and death.
“Maternal and child health are particularly sensitive to the availability of energy in our healthcare facilities,” she said.
“As the ambassador for health and childcare it is my view that no woman should give birth in the dark. Children should not be susceptible to diseases because vaccines cannot be refrigerated.
“The use of solar energy can make quality healthcare a reality. Lighting ensures access to services at night. Basic procedures do not need to be referred elsewhere when energy is available. New-born babies needing incubators would not die unnecessarily.
“The solar power system then becomes a reliable source of back-up energy even if power cuts occur,” said the First Lady.
“The 200-litre solar geyser will help the patients with warm water to bath and it reduces electricity costs in hospitals. This solar system donation also enables a hospital to pump water for circulation around that facility. This makes clean water which is a basic need accessible both to the healthcare givers and the patients.”
Dr Mangwiro thanked the First Lady for the donation and assured her that it would be put to good use.
“We are happy that we now have a sustainable back-up system which will ensure that some of our electricity requirements are not interrupted in the event of blackouts,” he said.
“This also has the effect of reducing our electricity bills.”
Dr Maunganidze expressed gratitude to Angel of Hope Foundation for its continued support.
“Your Excellency, with your unrelenting support, together we can make Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals a centre of excellence in almost all aspects of the healthcare delivery system,” he said.