The centre provides four life giving pillars for to their clients:
The feeding operations are the bed-rock of community centres activities - they bring children together on a regular basis providing much needed social contact and a supportive environment, where volunteers can assess children who need extra attention, or referral to other agencies for specialist needs.
Most children are under some form of food-stress. For the vast majority of children who are HIV-positive, there is the added imperative of needing a full stomach for their AIDS medication to be effective. The centre provides two supplementary feedings a week which includes high protein nutrition and vegetables to supplement the staple diet of “Sadza” (derived from Corn).
For those who are unable to visit the centre, volunteers visit their homes on a monthly basis delivering food hampers to supplement the diet of the disabled person, and their family.
As part of the plan to develop the centre 2 hectares of corn and extensive vegetable cultivation were planted at the end of last year which has resulted in a bumper crop for 2017. Not only does this reduce food costs, but it also allows the centre to generate income by selling excess produce in the local market. In 2017 the centre is on track to provide 20% of its own food.
Life Skills Training
A key component of the centres philosophy is to enable disabled and marginalised children to develop skills that will support some form of self-sufficiency when they are older by teaching them life skills; this term relates to any activity that helps them grow and tend their own produce, engage in basic tasks such as planting, weeding, small livestock keeping and cooking as well as maintaining personal hygiene and learning basic social skills.
These skills are taught by engaging the children in activities in the centre and providing role models in the form of older children and adults who can support them as they grow older.
Activities are integrated into the centres operations, including farming of food produce, maintaining a sizeable poultry operation for meat and egg production as well as other livestock including rabbits, turkey and quail. The children also engage in the maintenance and cleaning of the centre.
Special Needs Education, Support and Training
At the heart of Mr and Mrs Savah’s mission is the provision of special needs education and support to the disabled in the community. They are both specialist providers in this area and are currently taking Masters’ degrees in the subject at the Greater Zimbabwe University for the express purpose of enhancing the provision of special needs education in the centre.
The Centre caters for a broad range of needs - amongst which are special needs education. The latest audit of children who visit the centre at least twice a month, or are visited by the volunteer at least once a month, are classified as follows: (OVC = Orphan and Vulnerable Children)
The centre identifies those in the most need and provides specialist support and equipment where possible, including the provision of wheelchairs and other mobility supports, other special equipment, and on-site classes in areas as diverse as signing, braille reading, sensory training, speech training and special attention (profound stage)
The Savah model has the community at the heart of its ethos - it serves the community by looking after the most marginalised in its midst, but also provides to the community in the form of social and educational events that interweaves the centre into the day-to-day life of the general population.
This can be in the form of education events concerning social issues such as domestic violence, HIV prevention & caring for the disabled or holding field days for the local farmers and bringing in agricultural experts to discuss the best form of corn to grow, using the Centre’s land for demonstration.
The Savah’s are also great event organisers - and never let a chance for music and dance go to waste. In the last few months they have held sports galas, paralympic games demonstrations, hosted local meetings of council members and other community leaders and joint-events with local health authorities.