After stumbling on a 8 year old boy who was not going to school because of lack of fees, Seppo Ainamo thought of paying fees for the boy for the three years which was remaining on his contract working in Zimbabwe.
Seppo’s contract was extended with another 5 years. Soon the township schools in Dzivarasekwa started proposing new cases for Seppo to assist in fees after they heard the case of how he was assisting the boy. By 1996, Seppo was supporting 18 underprivileged children in Dzivarasekwa. “The Finnish government had been on my case since I have been postponing my retirement ever since I started looking after the vulnerable”, Seppo said.
Seppo later got married to Oili Wuolle and they became a team in supporting vulnerable children. The number of children under the support of Seppo and Oili kept on increasing yearly and in 2002 Dzikwa Trust was established as a charitable educational trust in Zimbabwe as this was necessary for a proper structure of governance.
About 10 million United States Dollars had been injected in the trust today. The Trust is heavily funded by Finland since the founders are from Finland, other funds come from Britain and Australia and the trust seek to further spread its net to other nations so as to get more funding. Two third of the funding by the trust is girl oriented.
“Many specialists such as Dr Guramatunhu had been assisting when special medical attention is needed for the kids”, Oili said. The trust work closely with other schools, arms of the government and the city council among several stakeholders and this had enabled smooth flow of business.
26 people are permanently employed by the Trust and 12 of them are Dzikwa Trust alumini. 5 of the employees are permanently situated at the plantation and are responsible for the forestry duties.
The trust boasts of a forestry plantation laying on a 60 hectare of council land and 76 000 trees have been planted today. Children under the care of the trust take initiatives in tree planting and learn the importance thereof. The olive branch of tree planting has been extended to the community so that they take a leaf from the noble cause.
The trust provide hot meals to children at the center. From 320 children at the trust, and due to COVID 19 pandemic, the trust ended up feeding up to 1000 children due to the economic induced challenges.
“Dzikwa Trust prepared a total of 230 000 hot meals in 2021 alone”, Oili said. Seppo added on that, “to date the center have prepared more than two million meals.”
Minister Kirsty Coventry was the guest of honor at the celebrations.