Helen Hove Elderly Care Centre is a centre for peace of mind, socialization and recuperation for the elderly, a place that keeps them active and appreciated but as each day passes the infrastructure is becoming a risk. The Centre, run by Mbuya Hove an older woman herself (aged 77 years) supports 30 older women who meet fortnightly for respite and to get psychosocial support.
The physical infrastructure has deteriorated and needs urgent attention. The roof has worn out trusses and old asbestos sheets. It will collapse any minute. Closing the centre takes away the strides made by Mbuya Hove to provide decent life in old age for women in Mberengwa yet it is the only option left to avert danger. The centre therefore needs urgent intervention.
Older women at the centre pass time making crafts such as mats, clay pots, baskets, bowls, wall hangings and winnows. Crafting keeps the older women active and able to practice their skills and provides little income through selling the wares to the locals and other visitors who come to the centre. Without the continued activities the older women may suffer from stress and depression due to inactivity. “At one Women’s Expo in Gweru visitors to our stand were really impressed and one visitor donated a television for the centre out of appreciation for the work being done by these grannies”-Mbuya Hove.
Hellen Hove Elderly Care Trust, a member of the National Age Network of Zimbabwe has been getting capacity building, material and financial support from CCDS that has helped to sustain the centres’ projects but a lot still needs to be done.