A charity event started by a philosopher Tawanda Mafuta, a youthful Christian who will be turning 27 this Saturday has grown from strength to strength, as it is helping many vulnerable and marginalised members of the society. Dubbed the “Celebrate with them Initiative,” an event started four years ago to celebrate his birthday through giving back to the community this year comes on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
This year the young man who has a strong passion for lending a helping hand will be with young girls at Sharon Cohen School in Chitungwiza where he mobilised sanitary wear and toiletries for the young girls. The 2020 theme is, “Their Hygiene Our Responsibility”.
For the past three years, Tawanda Mafuta has been partnering with his family, friends and fellow youths from The United Methodist Church youth fellowship at Hunyani Circuit, these have been major supporters of the initiative especially in mobilising resources.
In an interview on Thursday, Mr Tawanda Mafuta said his planning was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic however he was able to mobilise a number of essentials for the vulnerable.
“This year, making it the 4th year since I started this initiative and because of the Covid19 lockdown restrictions I was limited in terms of my planning and focus, but I decided to celebrate my birthday through mobilising 100 sanitary pads, 100 bathing towels, 100 bathing soaps, 100 toothbrushes, 100 toothpaste and Vaseline. These things will be going towards young girls at Sharon Cohen School who are living with disability and other vulnerable girls in my community,” he said.
He went on to share what inspired him to start this initiative in 2017 and I call it ‘Celebrate With Them Initiative’ where he celebrates his birthday with the less privileged /marginalised groups.
“What inspired me to start this initiative is the love to make significant and positive change in people’s lives through small but effective ways. ‘I do not do great things but I do small things in a great way so that the marginalised groups will feel special and loved’. I might have a decent meal per day but there is someone who can’t afford even a meal, I might have friends that speaks birthday messages to me but there are those who are in prison, who are in forester care centres, those in the streets they do not have such privileges. So this initiative really seeks to show love and care for the needy through various ways and I decided to dedicate my birthday as the day to celebrate with the less privileged. Every year on the 22nd of August,” he said.
Mafuta went down memory lane explaining the journey he has travelled since the initiative was started to date.
“When I started these annual celebrations in 2017, I celebrated with Children living in the streets of Harare CBD and I managed to mobilise some clothes and food for these children. Our theme in 2017 was, ‘Living in the street is not by choice but by circumstances’.
“The following year in 2018 I was with children living in care institution ‘Maunganidze Children’s Home’ and I managed to mobilise groceries and cloths for the children. We played games and get to hear their life experiences as well as having a celebration party at the home. In 2018 the theme was, ‘Put an everlasting smile on their face’.
“The year that followed which was last year I was with inmates at Pedna Male Prison in Bindura and I managed to mobilise cement which was meant to build a decent bathing room for the inmates, buckets, washing and bathing soaps and bathing towels. The 2019 theme was, ‘A decent life in prison’.
The youthful giver said his greatest wish is to also convince many other people to start giving to the less privileged and help change their lives for the better especially in Covid-19 era where everyone is struggling.