The government says it will turn Fountain of Hope Orphanage into a grant-aided institution to help meet its operational costs effective next year.
Minister of Youth and Sport Emmanuel Mulenga says his ministry has already engaged the Ministry of Finance and commenced the process to turn the facility into a grant aided institution.
Speaking when he visited the orphanage in Lusaka’s Kamwala residential area, Mr Mulenga said the facility must not be allowed to close following the death of its founder and benefactor late Mwansabombwe Member of Parliament Rodgers Mwewa.
Mr Mulenga said Government will partner with the orphanage and will not allow the 216 children being sheltered at the facility to return to the streets as it will undo the good work that Mr Mwewa accomplished.
He said the death of Mr Mwewa has left a big gap in tackling the problem of street kids and in the administration of the orphanage and the lives of over 200 children sheltered at the facility.
“His death has left a big gap, he showed me how to tackle street kids. Fountain of Hope should not die with the death of Mr Mwewa. He was solving a social need, trying to end streetism,” Mr Mulenga said.
The minister donated food items worth K30, 000 and assured management at the orphanage that Government will take over expenses to ensure that the children are fed all the three meals as a mechanism is being worked on to find sustainable means of meeting provisions up to the end of the year.
Mr Mulenga offered his condolences to management at the facility and encouraged them to continue loving and caring for the children and ensure that the environment at the facility is conducive for children.
And Co-Manager of Fountain of Hope Newton Chisenga thanked the government for coming to the aid of the orphanage and meet its operational costs.
Mr Chisenga said the orphanage is facing challenging times following the death of its founder as the burden of feeding and sheltering 216 children has become great.
“We have 216 children sheltered here, and our biggest challenge is feeding them, all 3 meals” said Mr Chisenga
And the minister urged the children to remain disciplined and protect themselves at all times by wearing face masks and adhering to public health guidelines in order not to contract the coronavirus.
Mr Mulenga said government will in due course provide warm clothing and footwear and additional face masks to them.