Zibusiso was abandoned by his mother when he was two years old. Efforts to trace her were fruitless. Without knowledge of relatives or who he was, Zibusiso faced homelessness, and a life without a family. Left alone, he wouldn’t have essentials like food and health care. Without financial, emotional, or spiritual support, he wouldn’t have attended school and probably would have been vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
But you wouldn’t know that looking at Zibusiso’s big smile. He is bright, curious, and loves to engage with the world around him.
When he was abandoned, the Department of Social Welfare referred him to GMP relief and development partner, Khayelihle Children’s Village (KCV). This residential village in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, provides a loving and supportive home for children like Zibusiso who don’t have parents or relatives to care for them. It is their goal to reunite children with their relatives and place them in safe homes. The village is also a supportive home for children for whom no relatives can be found, family members have passed away, or they require removal from an abusive situation.
KCV has been a safe and happy home for Zibusiso for the past 18 years. Zibu, as he is fondly called by his KCV family, says, “KCV is home, and my life in Khayelihle has been wonderful.” Despite initial challenges and the loss of his biological family, memories of his childhood at KCV are filled with joy. According to KCV Director, Vimbai Vuma, he was known as “a joyous and a very friendly boy.” KCV has provided a family unit for Zibusiso. There are various houses in the village where the children live. Zibusiso enjoys the interaction with his friends and the support of the house mother. “The lounge is where we sit as a family and discuss many issues.” Zibusiso describes how they can open up and share with others. “Everyone can share their day.” He also describes his experiences living at KCV as “adventurous.”
Furthermore, KCV has supported Zibusiso in both extracurricular and academic activities. During 2015, Zibusiso expressed his desire to pass his primary school exams to begin high school. One day he hoped to become a teacher. “I want to teach children what they don’t know. And to see how life is when they grow up,” Zibusiso said. During high school he was a member of the debate and public speaking club. “I was also a representative under the junior ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage. I was advocating for preservation of our culture whilst embracing the changes brought by technology.” This experience made him very happy. “I got to encounter and share ideas with other child representatives at national level.” Having gained this variety of experience, Zibusiso was able to explore other ideas for his future, leaving behind childhood thoughts of teaching. “It was at high school when he developed a passion to be a lawyer. He was focused and determined to work hard to achieve his dreams,” Mrs Vuma said.
Now 20 years of age, Zibusiso looks forward to even more adventures ahead of him.
He plans to study abroad and is currently applying to Australian universities to study law. “My hope is to gain broad experience with young aspiring leaders from different corners of the world. I wish to further my degree and specialise in intellectual property law.” Zibusiso believes the knowledge from abroad will be of great use to his country, Zimbabwe. “It will be a great pleasure to contribute immensely to the growth of our country, especially the judiciary sector,” he says.
There are about 42 children living at KCV, varying in age from infants to young adults. These are children like Zibusiso who, despite being separated from their biological families, see bright futures for themselves because of their family at KCV.
Zibusiso wants to be a role model and “show that history does not determine your future, but through determination and faith in God, you can set your path.” Zibusiso says confidently, “I can stand as an individual and say I am happy with who I am.”
Your support of Khayelihle Children’s Village provides children like Zibusiso with a safe place to call home. The holistic support offered enables children to grow and develop into young adults with the self-confidence needed for their future.
Sponsor a child like Zibuiso, and help KCV give them a safe home and holistic support. You can be a part of a child’s adventure. See what life is like through their eyes! Sponsor a child online at gmp.org.au/child sponsorship or call 1800 467 222.