I was fortunate to recently experience the ‘Pay it Forward’ experience with Wild Horizons in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. As part of their social responsibility to this amazing vibrant town, Wild Horizons charges only the cost of a town transfer, no administration or additional time charges, so that you can give directly to the people. You have a choice of which community project you would like to support and I chose the Rose of Charity Orphanage.
Wild Horizons collected our small group and took us shopping at the local supermarket where we purchased as much as we wanted from a recommended list. From there we headed out to the Rose of Charity Orphanage to deliver the shopping – and what a fantastic welcome we received from 15 happy little faces who sang and danced for us – I enjoyed it so much I joined in!
The moment I stepped into Rose Of Charity and saw the beaming faces singing their welcome I was very touched. I was over whelmed with sadness when listening to Simangele’s story. I really take my hat off to her for doing such inspiring work, taking in all those innocent souls. Words are not enough to express my respect for Simangele and what she has achieved with so little.
We were invited inside to deliver our goods and meet with the founder Simangele Moyo where we heard her inspiring story.Simangele came to Victoria Falls to find work in a country were times were hard and she found work in one of the tourist hotels in town. Her heart went out to the abandoned and abused children on the streets and she invited them into her home for meals and a bath. Eventually she quit her job and dedicated her life to helping the street kids and as her reputation grew so did support from the community.
The horrific story of a new born baby left abandoned in a pit latrine, rescued by the police who took them to Simangele’s house brought media attention, as well as more street kids needing help. Rose of Charity orphanage is currently looking after 15 children from 6 month old to 15 years. Another child’s story she related to us was of Tebogo, now 5 yrs old, whose mother died in hospital while giving birth to him before she could tell the doctors where she came from. Apparently she was a Motswana who got very sick in Vic Falls whilst visiting and nobody knew anything about her. Her son stayed in the government hospital for the whole two years with no one coming to claim him so Simangele adopted her.
At the end of our visit the kids sang and danced with joy to show their appreciation which we were happy to join in and be part of the celebration. If you visit Victoria Falls, please consider sharing this experience and supporting one of the Pay it Forward projects and you can help the people of Zimbabwe directly.
Written by Gaba Torr