24 July 2012 - Children should be given quality care and education for them to fully realise their potential, First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe said yesterday.
Amai Mugabe made the remarks during her 47th birthday celebrations at her Children's Home in Mazowe.
The birthday party was organised by staff in her office and well wishers from the business community.
The First Lady was greeted by a cheering crowd after she had gone for her routine visit at the children's home. Amai Mugabe said children were the future leaders and should be supported adequately.
"I am humbled to celebrate this day with my children. It's not an easy task to look after the children because they require a lot of things.
"If we are to nurture the children into good citizens then it means we have to do all we can to give them necessary support," she said.
The First Lady said looking after the children was not her sole responsibility, but needed support from the corporate world.
"This project is a success because of people like you gathered here. This would not have been successful if I had fought a lone battle.
"It is our hope that such kind gestures will continue to come in so that the children realise their future," she said.
The children is home to 28 abandoned children and most of them are identified from various hospitals countrywide.
Amai Mugabe chronicled the challenges she has faced in setting up the orphanage since 1998, including illegal sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
"It has been a great challenge indeed. An initial partner pulled out before the completion of the programme and coupled with the sanctions development has been hampered.
"We are happy we have managed to overcome some of the challenges and we will continue working hard until we realise our dream," she said.
She said charity should be done "wholeheartedly" not for popularity.
Amai Mugabe also toured a double storey state-of-the-art primary school which is under construction.
She said plans were underway to set up a hospital and a secondary school.
The schools are expected to benefit surrounding communities.
Speaker after speaker commented Amai Mugabe's works of charity and her good relationship with the employees. Matron of the children's home, Mrs Neddie Mujuru said: "We value the great support you have shown us and I think all our dreams will come to fruition if we maintain the good working relationship.
"We need you, the children need you and it is our hope that you will never lose hope and continue to assist the children," she said.
Mr Churchill Marufu, the First Lady's brother added: "This great work needs a lot of dedication and I express my gratitude to all those that have extended their hands for the betterment of these future leaders."
Several local businesspeople and well wishers donated gifts and groceries to the children's home. Gushungo Dairy Estate staff and the Zimbabwe Under 13 soccer team under the tutelage of famous ex-Warriors skipper Peter Ndlovu and Edzai Kasinauyo were also among the guests.
The U-13 soccer team presented the First Lady with a T-shirt autographed by the soccer team that was recently in Poland for a soccer tournament.
Amai Mugabe presented the team with designer sports shoes.