MASO organise retreat for 40 grannies

Kennedy Mutore


GWERU- A Local Non-Governmental Organisation, Midlands AIDS Service Organisation, (MASO),
recently held a Retreat for elderly women who take care of orphans and other vulnerable children.
This year’s Retreat was graced by 40 grannies aged between 55- 80 years from Shurugwi, Kwekwe,
Zhombe, Lower Gweru, Gweru Urban and other districts.
The annual event dubbed ‘Grannies Project,’ was held at the Village Escape, White Waters in the
city, and was funded by Stephen Lewis Foundation of Canada.
The event created a safe, conducive, relaxing environment for the elderly to unwind and support
each other at peer level by sharing valuable experiences.
MASO coordinator, Tinashe Machikano, said: “They (elderly women) also share information on how
to cope with parenting at an age where they should have been retired, but now find themselves the
sole care givers to these orphans and vulnerable children.”
MASO coordinates this ‘Grandmothers Project’ throughout Midlands Province, starting at Ward level
where community volunteers identify the grandmothers and work with them in various psycho-
social and financial empowerment activities.
The grannies are then organised into Support Groups of 10-15 members each. They are taught life
skills and various income generating projects, with an aim to capacitate them in the care and
financial support of themselves and their dependants.
The grannies are also taught Village Savings and Lendings, (Mukando/ Round) so as to be able to
raise capital to engage in their varied projects. They are also into nutritional gardening at household
level, poultry production, arts and craft including sewing and pottery, detergent making and other
income generating projects.
At the retreat the grandmothers also took part in leisure activities such as mountain hiking, boat
cruise as well as an opportunity to go on an exhilarating ride on the newly constructed Zip Line at
White Waters.
One of the lucky grannies, 80-year-old, Junia Nyoka from Shurugwi Tongogara it was an exciting time
going on the ride and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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