Early Childhood Development Centre
The Home also runs an Early Childhood Development center for children in the institution. The facility also accommodates children from the surrounding community. The facility serves as a child’s play centre and also prepares children for formal entry into grade one.
Residential Care and Developmental Programmes
Currently the Home is a haven to 100 children whose ages range from 0 to 18. The children are cared for by the ‘House parents” in 8 housing units which were developed to resemble a situation almost identical to a proper family set up. The house parents together with a team of other dedicated professional work hard to change and improve the lives of the children in the care of MRCH. The Home endeavours to provide holistic support which includes academic, physical and spiritual support to the children so that they become adaptive and responsible God fearing citizens of tomorrow.
MRCH depends largely on donations from partners, friends and well-wishers. The Home however supplements its provisions through running some projects which include poultry, piggery, market garden and fishery. Children also participate in these projects for purposes of life skills training. With support these projects can contribute significantly to the Home’s budget.
The Matthew Rusike Children’s Home runs a college which is registered with the Ministry of Education. The college enrols students from the surrounding community, the Home and underprivileged children in the community who cannot afford the fees at formal schools. As such MRCH provides tutorial and exam opportunities to children who would otherwise be excluded from mainstream education.
Foster Care Programmes
MRCH also runs a foster care programme where at least, 85% of children in the institution are placed with foster parents every school holiday. This helps the children as they are able to experience life outside the institution thereby enhancing interaction with the outside world as well as preparing them for life after the institution. Deinstitutionalization is therefore a necessary process throughout the placement period.
Community Based Care Programmes
The Community Based Care Programme (CBC) was initiated as a response to the growing number of orphaned and vulnerable children in the society. In line with modern trends, which have proven that children grow better when assisted in their natural environment as compared to those placed in an institution, MRCH has managed to decentralize its operations to various Methodist Church in Zimbabwe districts throughout the country.
The CBC programmes are done with the help of community caregivers who work tirelessly on a voluntary basis in their communities. The volunteers undergo a specialized caregivers training by MRCH and refresher workshops to equip them with skills in childcare work. MRCH has established 2 Community Resource Centers, one in Donga, Gweru District and another one at Mzinyathi, in Bulawayo District. The centers offer the following services:
- Children and family counseling,
- Health and hygiene checks and medical support,
- Training and provision of support services for child-heads of households, caregivers and foster parents,
- Provision of supplementary food to OVCs including the sick and the marginalized,
Currently, over 1 000 children are assisted countrywide in our Community Based Care Programmes.