"Christmas Charity Event" Makes Headlines

REPORT BY MOSES MATENGA/HENRY MHARA

HARARE business man Ken Sharpe and his family have launched several charity projects that will see childrens’ homes, his employees and street kids benefiting.

Sharpe, the businessman behind the multi-million dollar Borrowdale shopping mall project and West Foods executive chairman, on Saturday spent a day at Harare Children’s Home where his family pledged to support a chicken project that has been in limbo due to lack of finances.

“I came here to show the spirit of giving, especially at Christmas time. We donated $3 000 worth of food and pledged $1 000 towards the establishment of a chicken rearing project at the orphanage. I was told that they built a chicken-run, but they did not have enough capital,” Sharpe said.

The orphanage has 110 children and 29 employees.

“My philosophy is, instead of giving out handouts, I should give a hand to invest and for them to have sustainable income. It’s about helping others to help themselves. That’s something I learnt from my wife Joanna and Tatiana my daughter,” Sharpe said.

“We have a philosophy in our family to continue helping the youth, specifically children who are under-privileged and lack resources and money. We have a trust called Kusimbisa Trust and we want to pledge some shares in our companies as part of our indigenisation plan. The money will be used to fund projects specifically for youths and women.”

Sharpe’s daughter Tatiana also has a trust, Hope for Children, where she was working with Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and his wife Fikile, the patron of the Mayor’s Cheer Fund, to find shelter for street children.

Sharpe has a foster son, Denzel Malikwa he is assisting with education.

Tatiana won the youngest writer award for a book Lonely Tiger that she wrote when she was seven years-old.

The book has so far been sold in Zimbabwe, South Africa, New York, Ukraine and Russia and its proceeds were donated to underprivileged children and charities.

“The book is about sharing, forgiving and being kind to others,” Sharpe said.

Harare Children’s Home director Maria Sithole said: “We normally go with our begging bowl into the community, but with these projects, we will be able to earn our own money and manage the place.

“We got some money from Zimplats which we used to build chicken runs and two people have pledged $2 000 each to get the business going. This will help take care of the children’s nutritional needs and the surplus can be sold to generate income.”