By Style Reporter
In one of her famous quotes, Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa said: “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful,” which aptly sums up how collaborations have strengthened the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society (ZRCS) humanitarian cause.
ZRCS is an auxiliary to government as mandated through the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society Act of Parliament No 30 of 1981, also known as Chapter 17:08. As a voluntary organisation, ZRCS relies mostly on donor funding, corporate and individual support as well as income generated from its own project.
As part of its funding strategy, the organisation, which has branches across Zimbabwe manned by more than 20 000 volunteers, has come up with enhanced collaborations that have seen the organisation receiving support from the corporate world, including multi-national companies.
From the days of the Tokwe-Mukosi flooding disaster, commonly referred to as Chingwizi disaster, Tsholotsho and Muzarabani floods, cholera outbreaks, the Cyclone Idai disaster to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, ZRCS has always led from the front funded by the donor community, corporate world, individuals and from its own coffers.
To show its association with the corporate world, last Tuesday international beverages company Coca-Cola, through its Coca-Cola Foundation, handed over US$100 000 to the ZRCS for use in its Covid-19 response.
A day before the Coca-Cola donation, global financial institution Standard Chartered had handed over personal protective equipment to ZRCS.
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the Coca-Cola donation, ZRCS national president Edison Mambo highlighted the need for collaborations during emergencies.
“While the gap between humanitarian needs and funding is growing, it is our firm belief that through enhanced collaborations like we have witnessed today, our collective response will efficiently and effectively address the humanitarian needs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mlambo said.
“This grant will go a long way towards the ongoing Covid-19 response as we help the most vulnerable communities in halting the spread of Covid-19 and recover from its effects.”
Mlambo said ZRCS was actively engaged in increasing health care services, community engagement and pandemic preparedness activities for vulnerable populations.
Coca-Cola country manager Milidzani Ncube pointed out the importance of partnerships in the face of disasters like Covid-19.
“In times like these, we must remain united to win the fight against this monster that is threatening human existence,” Ncube said.
“We have done it before, and we can still do it now. Everyone’s efforts count, from individual, corporate, religious organisations to governments.
“As Coca-Cola System in Zimbabwe, which comprises of The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Beverages, Mutare Bottling Company and Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited we have invested towards mass communication, hygiene and sanitisation as well as donations to assist the health care of workers and people on the frontline and the less-privileged.”
Ncube said the donation to ZRCS was to fight the spread of the coronavirus in Zimbabwe.
“The support would be used to procure the much-needed equipment such as rapid test kits and personnel protective equipment.”
Apart from the donation, Coca-Cola is sponsoring public service announcements in the media to create awareness on the pandemic and about proper hygiene to reduce the spread of the disease.
ZRCS and Delta Beverages have had a long partnership with the beverage manufacturing company, having donated $400 000 for the response to Cyclone Idai disaster last year.
Civil Protection Unit director Nathan Nkomo said such partnerships would go a long way in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We need such partnerships where the corporate world chips in and assists organisations fighting the pandemic,” Nkomo said.
Delta Beverages recently donated ZLW$6 million to the government for combating Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Zimbabwe last Monday donated 14 000 face masks to ZRCS, which will be distributed to the organisation’s field and clinic staff as well as other frontline and government staff.
With its tagline, Saving lives, Alleviating human suffering, ZRCS is running a number of projects, which include food security and nutrition, disaster preparedness, first aid training, Red Cross Clinic and Red Cross school, among others.