It is a love of City which bonds the 19 members, but they are also united in their desire to tackle issues affecting people across Zimbabwe and that has become a central theme of the branch’s activities.
Since affiliating in October 2019, the group have launched several fundraising initiatives with the aim of providing support to those in need in a country which has faced several economic challenges.
They began with a visit to Chinyaradzo Children’s home, an orphanage based in Harare, where the members provided essential products to deliver on one of the branch’s founding aims.
“The desire of our founding members was to create a family bonded by the love for our football club,” says press officer Nyasha Blake.
“To achieve this, they realised that we needed to meet and engage in activities that would help to bring our membership together.
“In January 2020, our executive members came up with an idea of assisting the vulnerable in our society. The idea was to pool the little we could gather and engage registered social welfare institutions to donate.
“We understood that it was never going to be easy to raise significant funds for charity in our environment. At the same time, we also understood that the little we could gather would mean a lot to those in need.
“It is against this background that the supporters club’s social responsibility initiative began and the role of the Charity Officer was subsequently created.
“Our first charity visit was to the children’s home in February 2020 and we managed to contribute various groceries and some jerseys to the staff who are responsible for taking care of the children.”
Buoyed by the success of their first initiative, the branch expanded to raise funds for Zara’s Centre Trust, an after-school initiative for AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo.
The Centre provides provides daily meals, academic tuition, medical care, work training, recreation and artistic development to hundreds of children and the Harare branch used the money raised to provide groceries and sanitary products.
“The visit included a discussion on the history of the centre, the number of children it assists and also opportunities for us to further engage and provide support,” adds Blake.
“The feedback we got was awesome with the management of the centre highly impressed by our efforts to play our part for the common good.
“Currently, we are exploring various initiatives that will help us to raise more funds for our charity initiatives.
“Our intention is to establish a pilot poultry business at one of the children’s homes by end of 2021. We will sponsor building of the infrastructure and initial capital.
“If the pilot project is successful, we will roll out similar projects in future. In addition, we are also considering sponsoring sporting competitions for orphanages to support sports as a key area of development for our country.”
To find out more about the Harare branch, or your local Official Supporters Club, visit supportersclubs.mancity.com.