When natural disasters strike, it is the most vulnerable people – women, children and the elderly – who suffer the most.
Cyclone Idai came. Cyclone Idai is gone. After all the dust has settled and as survivors slowly begin to adjust and accept the reality of what transpired, a 9-year old physically challenged girl at Skyline Relief Camp is looking for assistance to enable her to go to school.
“Ini ndonzi Portia, ndine makore 9 kana ndakura ndoda kuzotaura paRadio Zimbabwe, inini ndofarira Ndundu. (My name is Portia, I am 9 years old. When I grow up I would like to be a DJ at Radio Zimbabwe. I like the station’s radio presenter, (Season) Ndundu,” she says.
While some of her age mates are now in Grade 3, Portia has never seen the inside of a classroom, but her dream is to be a radio presenter, a dream which can only come true if she goes to school.
“Shungu dzangu ndedzekuti dai mhamha vangu vawanawo mari ndaenda kuchikoro. (I wish my mum could get money so that I can go to school),” Portia added.
Her parents are among the thousands of people who were affected by Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani and are getting food rations at Skyline Relief Camp.
To reach the relief camp, her mother Ms Felistus Gacha had travelled almost 7 kilometres from Utse Village through the mountainous terrain with Portia on her back, giving true meaning to the Shona idiom “nzou hairemerwe nenyanga dzayo” (The elephant is not burdened by its own tusks or the elephant does not find its trunk heavy).
“Mwana wangu akatsva nemoto aine 4 months dai ndawanawo anomubetsera ne wheel chair or ma clutch or chekungoti afambisewo akwanise kuenda kuchikoro. (My daughter was burnt by fire when she was still 4 months old. I am appealing to well-wishers to donate a wheelchair or crutches so that she can be able to attend school),” said her mother.
She crawls from one place to another.
If only she could get a wheelchair, crutches or some artificial legs and money to go to school, maybe in years to come she will be rocking the airwaves on her station of choice, Radio Zimbabwe.
It is said that we rise by lifting others and a candle loses nothing by lighting another.
Those willing to assist her can get in touch with Teffinage Gacha on 0772 926 820.