How does he do it? Joseph Wasosa is a gentle, thoughtful, and well-spoken man with a cheerful disposition. He is one of our volunteer Care Facilitators, and one of the most inspirational people we met during our most recent trip to Zimbabwe.
When Joseph’s wife died giving birth to their sixth child, he was left to care for his children alone. In a rapidly declining economy, he was soon unable to provide for his family’s needs. Joseph left his children with his mother and spent the next 7 years traveling around South Africa, working as a casual labourer, and sending money home whenever he could. While returning to Zimbabwe in 2010, Joseph suffered a broken leg in a car accident and has walked with a cane ever since. Though his leg often bothers him, painkillers are a luxury that Joseph cannot afford.
But Joseph is an overcomer. When he returned to Zimbabwe, he took in his brother’s 3 orphaned children to raise with his own. Today, Joseph cares for 7 children: his 4 youngest and his brother’s 3. He has managed to keep all of them in school, supporting them through odd jobs he finds from time to time and feeding them with food grown in his garden.
When Bopoma Villages’ staff were looking for a volunteer in Joseph’s village to help develop a community garden for orphaned children and to start a program to strengthen vulnerable families, Joseph volunteered. As a Care Facilitator, he spends two days each week visiting families caring for orphans, identifying their needs, and helping to meet them. Those who are most vulnerable are flagged for a visit from Bopoma Villages’ social worker, Elsa Munyaka.
When he is not visiting families, Joseph can be found working in the community garden. When we asked what motivates him, Joseph replied that it is seeing the needs of the orphans firsthand that keeps him actively involved in helping those who are most at risk.
Joseph is just one of our volunteer Care Facilitators who is helping to transform the lives of families living in rural villages in Zimbabwe. He is an inspiration to all of us.