The Sunday News
Kuda Bwititi, Harare Bureau
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa will scale up her philanthropic work which, among many facets, includes empowering women and girls.
She said this at Zimbabwe House yesterday while officially accepting to be patron of the Zimbabwean chapter of the Girl Guides Association.
Her current work, she said, dovetails with the national vision of creating an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“For 2019, I am focusing on scaling up my efforts and including women and girl-child empowerment. My vision fits well with the sustainable development goals and His Excellency, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income economy by 2030.”
The Girl Guides Association, which is dedicated to empower girls and women, is present in 151 countries. The local chapter was formed in 1912 to promote skills development, leadership and high moral standards.
Speaking after meeting the association’s local leaders, the First Lady said she had accepted being patron of the organisation because it engenders high moral standards in young girls.
“Officially, I am accepting to be your patron because there are many positive things about your association. I know the history of your organisation and the good reputation that it has built and the good morals that it seeks to promote. Girl Guides have been around for a long time, and I have always liked what they stood for. The time has come to revive and expand the work of the association and I want to be part of it. Young girls who grow up as Girl Guides are taught to have high morals, they are taught to respect their elders and to be dignified women,” she said.
Angel of Hope Foundation — the charity that she leads — also shares the Girl Guides Association’s vision to uplift the girl child, she added.
“The girl-child is always on my mind and that is why I have accepted to be your patron. My vision, in a nutshell, is the sustainable transformation of lives in an inclusive manner, leaving no one behind.”
Her Foundation, the First Lady said, will continue to give hope to the marginalised.
“The overall purpose of my office and of my foundation, the Angel of Hope, is to advocate for an enabling legal policy and resource environment that empowers the disadvantaged, the vulnerable and the marginalised people in our country. In my line of work, I have realised that the upliftment of livelihoods and the improvement of the quality of life of the vulnerable is a responsibility. Therefore, I work with Government ministries and departments, the private sector, United Nations organisations, well-wishers and some civil society organisations.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Girl Guides Association president Mrs Nyembezi Mbaya said in addition to offering various empowering programmes, the association also seeks to protect girls from societal hazards.
“Our main aim is to offer programmes for young girls and women, which provides them with opportunities to acquire skills for their development and advancement for them to be responsible citizens able to play a meaningful role in the society and beyond.”
Mrs Mbaya said her association has more than 28 000 members countrywide.