St Peters Mbare parish is running a social service program that is meant to help support the education of orphaned and vulnerable children.

The program, which offers financial support towards the education of 85 children, was named after the late Jesuit priest who previously served the Mbare community at St Peters parish, Fr William Smaulders.

Fr. Smaulders died in a car accident in 1975 and was well known for his unconcealed love and care for the vulnerable children especially orphans. This prompted his relatives and associates to initiate a fund to sustain his legacy of supporting Mbare’s vulnerable children.

The support is mainly through payment of school fees and the provision of other educational material.

St Peters Parish priest, Fr Ignatius Tambudzai S.J, who is pleased with how the program has been running so far, said they are now engaging friends and relatives of the children they are already supporting, with a view of sharing, even by way of small contributions, the education costs.

“We have engaged some relatives and guardians of the students and encouraged them to meet some of the children’s educational costs so that they don’t feel crippled by our support. They should also take responsibility for the education of their children, even in a small way,” said Fr. Tambudzai S.J

Many of the beneficiaries attend school at the Church’s St Peters Primary and Secondary schools, but a few others are enrolled at Harare High and St Paul Musami High school, thanks also to other well-wishers.

Fr. Tambudzai said there are many vulnerable and orphaned children around Mbare and they would want to increase the number of their beneficiaries from 85 to 100. He called for local donations to help support the growth of the program. Inclusive fees for the primary school range at $70 per and $150 per term at St Peter’s primary and secondary schools respectively.

“We are willing to widen the pool and assist about 100 children but that calls for love from more people. We welcome especially local people from within the church and those outside the church who are willing to give these children some assistance.”

Apart from the financial support, Fr Tambudzai S.J said they are designing a program as well to help the social and spiritual growth of the beneficiaries.