The Sunday Mail
Sharon Cohen Special School, which is part of the Zimcare Trust group of schools for the disabled, mentally challenged, disadvantaged and vulnerable, held a Christmas party for its pupils on Friday.
The party was organised by The Angeline Foundation and sponsored by Platform League Limited. The annual event was initiated by the late Mr Victor Cohen who was a renowned businessman and philanthropist and a patron of Sharon Cohen Special School. He held the Christmas parties every year for the children at the school.
“In his remarks, the director of Platform League, Mr Patrick Muzondo stated that the objective of the Christmas party for the special children was aligned with one of the core mission of the company, which is to impact its immediate environment with whatever little that we have, adding that if many of us could give the little that we can afford, it will make a difference.
The objective of the Christmas party aligns with how Paltorm League feels about making a difference.
“We believe that people don’t have to wait until they have enough before they give someone else, the truth is no one ever has enough. Let us give the little that we have and by so doing we will make a big difference,” said Mr Muzondo.
The party was in line with the spirit of Christmas, which is about giving and showing love, especially to the less privileged members of the society. Most of the children lack social opportunities. The primary activity in their lives has now just come down to survival.
“Their parents or carers can’t afford to take them out during the weekends or school-term breaks. This, in turn, affects their sense of dignity, self-confidence and their ability to compete with other children.
As witnessed, the children were happy and had great fun as they look forward to the event the whole year. Christmas is a season of generosity, joy, family reunions and feasting, but these children rarely have parties or gifts to look forward to. The essence of The Angeline Foundation is to show care, share love and put smiles on children’s faces, especially the less privileged ones during this festive season whereby most people will be celebrating.
Zimbabwe as a country is celebrating a fresh start with new hopes for its citizens. Hope which has seen the Government be called upon to create a ministry specifically for the disabled, disadvantaged and vulnerable.
“The Government should act within the confines of the policies created and budget allocation should be sufficient enough to take care of the needs of the disabled, Mr Muzondo said.
“There is an intellectual inconsistency to the supporting measures that exile disabled and disadvantaged children to the periphery of all decisions, priorities and occasions. As we face a new year and prospects of a better future let us all implore the Government to make this constituency of disabled, disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals a priority,” he said.
He added: “As society, shedding a tear during the season of goodwill and being active only during that period is not an answer to the daily plight faced by the disabled and disadvantaged.
“We should not entertain the thought that it is someone else who will avail their resources. We must refuse that characteristic to dominate our humane responsibilities and priorities and then wring our hands at the reality.
“It is not enough to get a pang of guilt around Christmas time, when a charity forces us to face the reality of people living in desperate situations. The shame of poverty is for all of us to share, all year round.”