When the young women of the Africa University’s Ben Hill Women’s hostel were given the opportunity to host a community building event to celebrate their diversity and unify the various occupants that reside within its halls, their response warmed the hearts of the university community. They chose to give rather than to receive by collecting donations from the residents and selecting a family in need to assist with basic living requirements and secondary school tuition fees. Inspired to do more, the women also decided to not make their donation a once- off gift, but to establish a scholarship that will see the selected student through to the completion of her studies.
Led by their Sub- Warden Nyarai Mungure, with the assistance of Ms. Patience Njopera who is a teacher doing further studies with Africa University, Zongoro High School was approached to assist in the initiative where the administration of that high school identified Helen Murinda who is a form 2 student. What made Helen’s case so unique was that she was facing challenges keeping up with her school work due to an injury to her leg that she received in 2017 that has not healed due to a shortage of bandages and topical ointment and causes her a great deal of agony. Upon further investigation into her dilemma, a familiar scenario of increasing medical costs and a dwindling income were at the source of her problem. Her father, Mr Murinda who is a painter by profession was retrenched from work and while doing piece jobs where he could, his wife was dignosed with cancer in 2018 which saw Mr. Murinda as his spouse’s primary care giver, staying home to care for her. Unfortunately, his wife succumbed to her illness.
The ladies of the Ben Hill Women’s Hostel visited the family on the 24th of September 2019 together with the Sister in Charge of the Bishop Alfred Norris Clinic Sister Tsitisi Murapa, so as to provide holistic care and assistance the Murinda’s. Also part of the delegation was the Africa University Peer Educators group who donated a feminine hygiene pack for Helen.
Speaking of their collective motivation to help the family and embark on such a selfless act, Ms Nyarai Mungure said,
“As a hostel, we can choose any occasion to have community building activities and this time we wanted to do something different and to have a positive impact on someone’s life. Our intention was also to motivate the other women in our hostel to see the value and importance of community work.”
When asked about her vision for the scholarship she added,
“I do not want this initiative to end with us but to be something continuous that we as a hostel adopt as a part of our community building because building a community does not only imply the Africa University community but also the larger community in which we live.”
The Murinda family heartily thanked the Africa University students and Africa University for emancipating and capacitating such visionary leaders and champions of those in need. Their joy was evident as Helen can rest assured that her secondary education is secured. Sister Tsitsi Murapa also communicated that the Bishop Norris Health Centre was committed to regularly checking on Helen’s condition and facilitating the procurement of the basic medicines that will surely guarantee her a speedy recovery.
Nyarai spoke of the overall experience saying,
“Indeed, it feels good to give than to receive just like what the bible teaches us in Acts 20:35 where it says “I have shown you in every way, by labouring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Africa University is at the forefront of leading the agenda for institutions of higher learning to transition from simply being centres of education into centres of innovation, knowledge sharing and collaboration with other critical arms that drive development that include the government and industry.
In its 27 years of existence, the institution has delivered significantly on impact and transformation in Africa, a mandate that the University takes seriously and continues to live up to.