John Manzongo in New York, USA
Women groups from around the world yesterday applauded First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation for the various initiatives it is carrying out in uplifting women in Zimbabwe.
The women also called for the total and unconditional removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe as they are hurting the women and ordinary citizens.
Their comments came after a visual and oral presentation of Angel of Hope’s initiatives around the country where the First Lady has been taking a leading role.
The First Lady is in New York attending the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women.
National Council of Women of Canada Ms Penny Ranken said the world has a lot to learn from the First Lady’s programmes which have seen a total transformation of women, especially those in marginalised rural communities.
South African Deputy Minister for Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu congratulated Amai Mnangagwa for her efforts to uplift women’s lives under difficult circumstances.
“There is need for women from Zimbabwe and all over the world to join hands and do what our male counterparts have failed to do over the many years,” she said. “It is time for women to fight for our sisters in Zimbabwe.”
Professor Nthomang from Botswana said his countrymen appreciated the works being done by Angel of Hope, especially reaching out to marginalised women and he urged African states to learn from her initiatives.
Ms Comfort Dondo, a Zimbabwean resident in the US, said the initiatives by Angel of Hope were encouraging, especially to progressive women.
Ms Patricia Makori of Kenya said women across the world must emulate the works of Angel of Hope and also strive to strengthen systems that protect women, especially the girl child.
In her presentation, Angel of Hope board member Ms Rachel Nield Geranios narrated how the First Lady continued to dedicate her time visiting marginalised communities around Zimbabwe.
Ms Geranios constantly broke down in tears as she recalled how she and Amai Mnangagwa first visited Kanyemba’s Doma people.
She said while Angel of Hope could do so much for Zimbabwean women, their main goal was to ensure that women were capacitated to be self-reliant, as opposed to waiting for donors and handouts.
“We appreciate the help we are getting from various partners, but our main goal is to ensure that women learn to be self-reliant through acquisition of skills and viable projects,” said Ms Geranois.
“We have also started a programme of engaging young girls in primary schools and secondary schools so that we catch them young. We want to be able to change and influence positively their behaviour so that when they grow up we would have created a disciplined and responsible generation.”