Chimanimani and Chipinge districts are in distress following the Cyclone Idai that ravaged their communities in March of this year. Most survivors are still narrating the traumatic horrors of seeing visions of people being swept away in the muddy floods. This is a reflection of a community that is still in deep shock. On 19 October 2019, PYCD in collaboration with Sports for Excellence Trust staged a successful sports tournament in Chipinge District.
The sport tournament brought different walks of life together and it improved the self-esteem of Cyclone Idai survivors and prevented them from physically and mentally disintegrating. It was refreshing to see the community getting closer during the sport tournament, despite the sweltering and blistering heat.
Cyclone Idai survivors and other people who graced the tournament acknowledged the fact that sport has proven to be an extremely beneficial tool in re-establishing normalcy, providing space for people to laugh and interact with others, free of guilt and fear. This has been identified as a crucial factor in rebuilding their lives and communities, and thus sport becomes an effective tool to rebuild dignity and faith in life, to overcome trauma and build resilience.
The sport tournament took place in two venues in Chipinge district. The venues chosen for the tournament were Takwirira High School and Checheche Primary School who were hosting teams from Chipinge South Constituency and Musikavanhu Constituency respectively. The sport tournament was configured around proffering psychosocial support to Cyclone Idai survivors. Therefore, participating teams were drawn from the community and surrounding schools and numbered 16 teams in total.
In Musikavanhu Constituency, Manzvire Secondary School and Manzvire community team emerged together with Rimbi High School and their community counterpart.These four will now progress to the next stage of the tournament. On the other hand, Takwirira High School and Katanga High School made it for school teams while One One FC and Mkhukhuzi FC community teams managed to progressed to the next stage of the tournament. The finals for the tournament will be held on the 1st and 2nd of November 2019 at Takwirira High school where more firework is expected. ZIFA has confirmed attendance to come and scout talents through the vice chairperson of the soccer legends Mr Harlington Shereni.
The sport tournament enabled survivors to cope with traumatic experiences and return to their daily activities, helped in restoring and maintaining the social functioning of the affected Chipinge and Chimanimani districts as well as in creating an emotional balance of survivors at the level of their social environment.
According to the sponsors, the 1st and 2nd of November 2019 will be big events in Chipinge district where the public is invited to show solidarity with the victims and survivors of the disaste. Mr Claris Madhuku, the Director of Platform for Youth and Community Development has extended his invitation to well-wishers and the corporate world to also play a part.
“As a community based organisation we have been doing so much since March to contain this sad loss both in Chipinge and Chimanimani. We have reconstruction projects in schools where we have been involved in repairing classes, libraries and toilets for schools including paying for school fees to affected kids. We also expect other more serious players to join our plea in the spirit of Ubuntu” Madhuku pleaded.
By Owen Dhliwayo