Mrs Fortunate Kufakunesu (right) is congratulated by Securico managing director Dr Divine Ndhlukula after addressing delegates at a fundraising dinner in Harare on Friday night. Looking on are Firstlink Insurance chairman Mr Caleb Tapfuma and his wife Vitality Wellness representative Mrs Edith Tapfuma. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda
EMPOWERING young girls through education will ensure they contribute meaningfully to Zimbabwe’s sustainable development.
This was said by Lily of Valley Home of Hope founder Mrs Fortunate Kufakunesu in Harare on Friday, during a fundraising dinner for the knowledge hub at Materera Secondary School in Chihota.
Lily of Valley Home of Hope is a registered trust with a commitment to educating, empowering and protecting vulnerable communities, particularly adolescent girls and young women.
“I see God’s grace. That is why l am looking for that same grace to be upon every girl child,” she said.
“The world presents different sorts of situations in life day in and day out, situations that we cannot control sometimes, and they do not even allow us to succeed. “Many girls in rural areas are in such situations. When God created us, l strongly believe we were created for each other.
“It is our duty to look after these vulnerable young girls because they were born for a purpose and that purpose should be lived and it can only be through education.”
Mrs Kufakunesu currently assists 34 learners in Chihota, her rural home, where she has also established empowerment projects for local women. She said her philanthropic work was inspired by her tough upbringing.
“I am coming from such a background and I know how it feels,” she continued.
“I am a product of a teen mother, who, after giving birth to me, decided to go and look for employment as a housemaid in Harare.
“I was left in the hands of a blind grandmother. Schooling was a luxury because l had to look after my grandmother. That girl was fortunate because, at the age of 14, she was remembered by a couple, who sponsored my secondary and tertiary education.”
She said development of the knowledge hub will provide learners with resources to enhance their education.
“If I was saved by one couple and I am saving thousands of girls, then, it means together, we can save millions. We hold hands, we pay fees for them, give them resources for their education and we will be assured they will pass because they have the necessary resources,” said Mrs Kufakunesu.
Keynote speaker Securico chief executive officer and one of Zimbabwe’s most prolific businesswomen Dr Divine Ndhlukula said underprivileged young girls in rural areas deserve support.
“You find that in the peri-urban and urban areas, it’s very easy to support children, particularly girls, but those girls at the back of cities, no one knows them,” she said.
“Mrs Kufakunesu is doing a great job and this knowledge hub will provide them with resources that will be useful in their exams.
“There is a lot of abuse of girls in rural areas and no one reports the cases. So, this project is a brilliant idea because it is going into areas of real need.”