Award-winning playwright and actress Eunice Tava-Kapandura finds passion in helping the less-privileged, especially children, living on the bustling streets of Harare.
Over the years, Tava has been providing breakfast to street children on an almost daily basis but her charity work might be misinterpreted as a publicity stunt.
The project has earned her the moniker “Mhamha” (Mother) on the streets thanks to her big heart.
After operating underground for a couple of years, Tava came out of her cocoon last week and formally launched a charity organisation known as Chedenga Foundation Trust which is headquartered in Belvedere in the capital.
“I have been inspired by the life of the people living on the streets to venture into charity work. While I have been giving them food for a couple of years now, I decided to regularise my operations.”
The tough socio-economic situation prevailing in the country does not deter Tava from pursuing her passion for humanitarian work.
“I have been funding the project all along but of late the initiative has attracted the attention of other well-wishers that I am now working with. At first I was doing it underground, for fear of being misunderstood by society. Mine is a passion, nothing more nothing less. I prepare breakfast for the children living on the streets on a daily basis. Sometimes, if resources permit, I give them lunch.
“The idea was to gain their favour, penetrate their community and change their situation. After winning their hearts, I understood their circumstances and I am now empowering them through paying for their basic education,” the 37-year-old actress told the Daily News on Sunday.
Through Chedenga Foundation Trust, Tava provides education to some of the vulnerable children.
“I have realised that children living on the streets take drugs not because they enjoy it but to escape their daily challenges.
“If we really want to help the children, we must address their needs first before we move to empower them. As an organisation, we started off by sending two of the children we are looking after to a boarding school in Mutoko,” she said.
Tava’s upbringing has also contributed immensely to her humanitarian venture.
“I am the only child in my mother’s family hence I want to acquire as many ‘siblings’ as I can (she laughs). I recently divorced before having a child,” Tava said.
Tava’s efforts complement those of other community builders and well-wishers such as Samantha Muzoroki, who runs a soup kitchen in Chitungwiza.