As leaders of all parties involved in the Rhodesian struggle continue to seek a peaceful solution to the continuing conflict, one of the most pressing human problems to emerge has been the fate of children orphaned by the war.
As leaders of all parties involved in the Rhodesian struggle continue to seek a peaceful solution to the continuing conflict, one of the most pressing human problems to emerge has been the fate of children orphaned by the war. At one home near the Rhodesian capital, Salisbury, a refuge has been created for a large number of these orphans.
SYNOPSIS: St. Epworth's Children's Home, once an ordinary orphanage is now haven for another kind of orphan. Twenty-four of the sixty-six youngsters here lost their parent in the war. Most now try to forget the past, but their refuge is threatened with closure and its superintendent, Reverend John Jabangwe is fighting rising costs to keep it open.
This family of seven boys made their way to the orphanage from a tribal trust area 150 kilometres (90 miles) away after seeing their parents die in their burning hut. Nobody knows how they made the journey alone and unescorted.
This brother and sister, aged about seven and nine, have refused, like many others, to speak about their past, despite Mr. Jabangwe's sympathetic questioning. All that is known about them is that they saw their father and mother shot dead.
Resources at home are limited. The children enjoy the few facilities provided to the full, but there is no money for new toys. Mr. Jabangwe relies upon government grants and donations from missionary societies and the public to run the orphanage. He attributes the decline in donations to the economic effects of the war and, despite having to cut back on some essentials, is determined to keep the home open. Above all, he says, the government is unlikely to close the orphanage because there is no where else for the children to go.
Apart from loving care, the children receive training in religion, gardening, animal rearing and farming. The orphanage pays for them to attend a nearby municipal school and when they come home, attempts to provide them with security for the home life shattered by the war.