Africa University has pledged to continue supporting Cyclone Idai survivors by providing expertise in different areas that include psychosocio services, health, information, communication and technology (ICT) and research so as to assist the affected to re-integrate into society.

The university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Munashe Furusa said the cyclone survivors need more than food and clothing as they went through a traumatic experience that would require one to go through counselling and spiritual guidance to help them to come to terms with what transpired.

He added that his institution is prepared to continue offering more than just food and clothes to the survivors.

“What happened to the Chimanimani and Chipinge communities is not easy to accept. These people will have to undergo serious therapy and as an institution, we are offering our trained psychologists and pastors to help the survivors with psychosocio care. More so, we have come up with committees that will help the government with research, and sourcing for more aid,” said Professor Furusa.

“We have also identified Rusitu as an area we want to adopt in terms of ensuring that they get all the help they need because we lost members of our church in those areas,” he added.

Manicaland Minister of State, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba thanked Africa University for thinking beyond food aid and noted that psychosocio support was a critical area that had to be given special attention.

“I would like to thank you for extending a hand in giving the survivors food and clothing but most of all I would like to thank you for the psychosocio help that you have already started offering the Chimanimani and Chipinge people. What happened to them is not easy to come to terms with, but with such help they can at least find hope. Universities should indeed help the government with research because we cannot just relocate people without carrying out enough investigations of the areas identified for relocation purposes. We are indeed grateful for the services that you have offered to provide as they will go a long way in bringing normalcy to the affected people,” Dr Gwaradzimba said.

The Cyclone Idai tragedy left many homeless, orphans, widows and widowers.

However, hope is not lost as efforts to restore normalcy are underway with a number of bridges and roads that were destroyed having been repaired and the continuous distribution of food and non-food items to survivors.