IF Harare had a number of likeminded people like Mr Bilary Mutodzaniswa some of its problems could be well resolved through community participation.
Mr Mutodzaniswa has brought together a group of street people around Karigamombe Centre and helped them form an environment conscious organisation – Sunrise Foundation.
The group is committed to keeping the environment clean and to show their leadership in the clean environment drive – the group has committed to cleaning the area around Karigamombe Centre.
Mr Mutodzaniswa, is a businessman who specialises in electrical and hardware at Karigamombe Centre.
The amount of garbage and the general state of the environment around the centre drove him to invite the usually notorious street people to a roundtable.
He successfully convinced them that a clean environment was good for them and they obliged.
Before gainfully engaging them to do some work – the street people some of them who are family men used to feed off Mr Mutodzaniswa’s hardwork as he would feed them and provide transport money to them.
Some of the foundation members operate illegal on street car washing and selling wares around the centre.
The members now want to engage council so that they could be allocated land to establish a properly built and accessorised car wash.
Mr Mutodzaniswa has promised to assist them.
Mutodzaniswa, believes they are no different from any other noble citizen in the city, but, all they need to do, is to rise and take a new stance in changing their lives.
“It is possible for any one of these guys to become someone in life, maybe they need assistance and support to start off because they are humans like every one of us,” he said.
The Foundation was formed after the challenges faced when Taka, a 43 year old man who had lived on the streets since childhood passed on.
Taka, like most of the people who live on the streets, did not have any form of identification, no relatives and no family which made it difficult for his friends to give him a befitting burial since the only thing that was known about him, was that he came from Masvingo.
Driven by the need to give Taka a befitting burial, Mr Mutodzaniswa, worked hard to see to it that a burial order was acquired so that Taka would receive a proper burial.
Mr Benjamin Augustine Chitokoro, the chairman of Sunrise Foundation and also one of the street residents says what they need are resources that will enable them to start their own businesses.
‘It’s not easy to live on the streets the whole family and be known for grabbing people’s goods but if we have working areas where we can conduct our business, then the record of grabbing people’s goods can be erased.’
Mr Nicodemus Muza who is acting as the adviser for both the Street guys and the Foundation says he has mingled with the group for a long time as he sold newspapers on the street.
Sunrise Foundation brings a new dawn for the street residents as they look forward to leading their lives with dignity and good decorum just like any other citizens in the city, having national identification and doing their own projects such as poultry farming and carpentry.