Island Hospice and Healthcare Community Fundraising campaign update

Story by Vimbai Shure (2.2, Social work)

Student Ambassador President

Play your part and make your difference. Island Hospice is an institution that was founded by Maureen Butterfield, a mother who lost a daughter to cervical cancer. On the 3rd of May 1979, the first Island meeting was held at the University of Zimbabwe to discuss provision of ‘Better End of Life Care’ (EOL).  Island is an acronym for Integrated, Significant Living and Dying. The name Island came from John Donne’s poem, ‘No Man is an Island.

On the 27th-31st of March, a campaign called ‘Takkie Week’ was held, where shoelaces that were colored-coded according to different types of cancer were being sold in support of cancer patients who were in their last moments. The shoelaces were going for a dollar and the proceeds would go to the Island Hospice Healthcare Center. 

Africa University Student Ambassadors were a part of this campaign and were able to raise 134$USD for Island Hospice. The Student Ambassadors went to the Island Hospice Center in Mutare to officially  handover the proceeds to Ms. Tara Johnson who is the administrator at the Island Hospice. Ms. Tara Johnson gave the Student Ambassadors an insight of exactly what Island Hospice is all about and how best they do their job to support everyone in need and leaving no one behind. We had a tour of the center  and some Student Ambassadors were able to sign in to offer their services when they have time on their hands.

The Island Hospice Centre envisions  a Zimbabwe where people access quality palliative and bereavement care to reduce suffering and pain and improve the quality of their lives. The participation of the community is integral to the work of Island Hospice Centre. The organization has adopted the Zimbabwean Presidential mantra of ‘Leaving No one Behind’ and has structures in place to ensure that the community participates in project planning, formulation, implementation and monitoring. These structures include monthly mentorship meetings with community home based carers and quarterly reviews with community and institutional stakeholders. Island implements projects upholding the principles of non-discrimination and confidentiality. Many staff members at Island have been drawn from communities where the organization works, often starting as volunteers.