April 2017 Zimpeto Child Reintegration Program Update

Reintegration continues to be an important initiative at the Zimpeto centre. The ability to remove vulnerable children from neglect, abandonment, abuse and food scarcity is one part of the story. The ability to empower the family for their return is equally as important.

The past year has seen the reintegration team complete many home visits to assess the living conditions of children. We have included the community food program on our visitation list in order to gain a full picture of the needs of families. These visits are important so that we can adequately assess a families ability to care for children, maintain contact with families of children who are currently living at the centre, and, to ascertain the readiness of families to receive children back into their homes.

Additionally, much of our time is taken up protecting children’s inheritance rights. Sometimes unscrupulous families attempt to steal the children’s rightful inheritance of pensions, land and house from the children while they are in our care. These investigations are time consuming and complicated, but usually result in protecting the rights of the children for their future.

Statistics for 2016:

Approximately 22 children entered the centre.

Approximately 30 children were reintegrated to families.

Approximately 5 houses have been constructed, a number of houses have been repaired or renovated.

Story of the Year:

In 2005 Lija came to us as a sad 4 year old girl, malnourished, sick, abandoned by her father, and recently orphaned from her mother. She was accepted into a private separate dormitory and with correct intervention from the centre she quickly recovered to become a happy healthy little girl.

In 2015 Lija’s older sister was given employment in our clinic with the view that she would eventually be able to take care of Lija. In 2016 a ministry house became available next door to Lija’s current educator (carer). Her sister agreed to move into this house and be her guardian. We painted, renovated, and made this house secure. In November 2016, Lija (now 17) moved with her sister and our special dog “Blessing” into this home. She continues to study at our centre school and is supported by the centre with medical and emotional support.