CRESTA Hospitality group last Friday hosted a social responsibility golf tournament at Harare’s Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club at which it raised $17 450 000 for underprivileged children.
The event was jointly organised with several stakeholders in the hospitality industry.
The group had targeted $25 million for the fundraising event.
Companies that helped out in the charity event included Jaggers/Trador, Trust Banking Corporation Ltd, Blue Ribbon Foods, ZimParm, Econet Wireless Holdings Ltd, Kingdom Bank, First Mutual Ltd, Delta Beverages and Beverley Building Society.
A total contribution of $9,5 million from Cresta Hospitality room nights collection was achieved.
For every room night a guest stays at Cresta, a certain percentage is set aside into a fund that is used for charitable purposes.
Cresta sales and marketing director Norman Moyo said the amount would be revised quarterly in line with inflationary trends.
The group has four hotels in Zimbabwe, Cresta Lodge Msasa with 154 rooms, Cresta Jameson with 122 rooms, Cresta Oasis with 110 and Cresta Churchill in Bulawayo with 50 rooms.
Various companies donated $5 950 000.
A total of 26 corporate companies sponsored $200 000 a team, while four corporate companies made cash donations.
TA Holdings Ltd donated $2 million. Cresta Hospitality is a subsidiary of TA.
“Donations will be given to disadvantaged children in the areas of Lupane and Hurungwe,” Moyo said. “A total number of 2000 orphans will be provided with school fees and projects that will enable them to be self-sustained such as the installation of wells and the building of schools.”
World Vision Zimbabwe identified the areas to receive the donations.
The number of orphans in Zimbabwe is expected to hit 1,5 million by 2005 and a new corporate sector initiative has been launched to alleviate suffering among the children.
Independent non-governmental organisation statistics estimate that the number of orphans will rise from about 600 000 in 2003 to at least 1,5 million next year, largely due to the impact of the HIV/Aids scourge.
Touched by the plight of orphans and the growing number of child-headed families, hotel management group Cresta Hospitality has teamed up with other companies to raise funds for charity.
“Last year we launched the ‘Social responsibility golf tournament’ and the response was phenomenal from the various sectors of the corporate industry,” Moyo said. “Funds raised from this years event from various corporate companies who donated through registration fees and goods in kind for auction will be used for providing orphaned children in remote areas of Zimbabwe with the chance to live life fully.”
In what is fast emerging as one of the largest private sector initiatives to alleviate poverty among vulnerable children, more than 24 teams participated in this year’s golf tournament.
Various corporates had in addition provided goods in kind for auction.
National airline Air Zimbabwe donated a return ticket valued at $725 000 for auction. Last year’s return ticket to Bulawayo was bought and re-donated by TA Holdings executive chairman Shingi Mutasa.
The target for this year’s tournament was $25 million to be raised from registration fees and donations of room nights by Cresta.
World Vision Zimbabwe, Cresta’s major partner in the charity event, continues to score some successes in improving the living conditions of children and has now set its sights on meeting the challenges posed by the growing number of child-headed families.
A Christian relief and development organisation that started operating in Zimbabwe in 1973, World Vision presently supports more than 47 000 children around the country in the form of educational assistance, food aid and healthcare support.
Through its programme interventions, the organisation has provided hope for several young children through the construction of clinics and schools, the rehabilitation of boreholes and provision of furniture and textbooks for schools in many parts of the country.
World Vision International launched the HOPE initiative in 2000 as a global response to HIV/Aids.
The ‘O’ in the acronym stands for orphan care.
In July 2003, World Vision Zimbabwe launched the Orphan Care Project.
The project is currently benefiting about 10 000 orphans and vulnerable children in the organisation’s area development programmes of Chipinge, Chivi, Dande, Gokwe, Hurungwe, Lupane and Mberengwa.
The HIV/Aids pandemic has increased the number of orphans and child-headed families.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health, Aids and TB Unit (2004) show that 1 018 000 children have been orphaned due to the pandemic in Zimbabwe.
The initiative seeks to fulfil the organisation’s vision: “Our Vision for every child; life in all its fullness. Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.”
“The Orphan Care Project is a vital intervention because it takes a holistic approach to the needs of the orphans, both as individuals and within their families,” said World Vision national director Rudo Kwaramba speaking at the launch of the project.
“It seeks to attend to a whole package of needs, be they health, education, material and other such needs. It is a more focussed approach whose mandate is solely to assist orphans and make life bearable for them.”
In the past few years, World Vision Zimbabwe has established solid ties with a several companies with whom it has supported vulnerable children.