ZIMBABWE – United Family International Church (UFIC) founder Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa yesterday hosted an early Christmas party for over 2 000 vulnerable children from different orphanages and those living in the streets as part of his birthday celebrations.
The colourful event, held in the capital, was punctuated with prize giving and handing out of presents and goodies.
UFIC spokesperson Pastor Prime Kufa said this was done annually to celebrate Prophet Makandiwa’s birthday.
“We are celebrating the birthday of Prophet Makandiwa who was born on Christmas Day. Annually, he invites the underprivileged children from children’s homes, child care centres and the street kids to come and celebrate with him.
“During the celebrations we also take time to distribute Christmas gifts to all guests who come. Today we have beneficiaries of the Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa’s scholarship. We have children who are in primary and high schools and those from various universities in the country and abroad,” said Pastor Kufa.
He said honouring those who excelled was meant to boost morale to all school-going children in the church.
“Recognising these students on the scholarship by giving them prizes is meant to boost confidence to others. Amongst our guests, we have children from Harare Children’s Home, Tanyaradzwa Child Care Centre, Danai’s Children’s Home, Chiyedza Child Care Centre and St Joseph’s among others and children living on the streets in Harare,” he said.
Pastor Kufa said over 3 000 children benefited from the scholarship and beneficiaries usually attended the event.
“Today only a few came through and those who graduated in different fields at university level are also here to offer their gratitude to Prophetess Ruth for her kindness.
“We have budgeted more than $12 000 for these celebrations and it is now five years in a row that we are marking these celebrations and the numbers continue to grow. When we started, the street children were a bit sceptical since they thought it was a ploy to put them in one place and capture them before moving them from the streets,” he said.
Pastor Kufa said they were very excited to host a party for the underprivileged.
In separate interviews, Kudzai Chakupa and Patience Chipwanya – who graduated in Accounting and Developmental Studies at the University of Zimbabwe and Midlands State University respectively – expressed their gratitude to Prophetess Makandiwa for the support.