Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/tekwire/public_html/wp-content/themes/delb/single.php on line 3
Giving Skills To The Street Kids Of Harare | Don't Ever Look Back

RSSSubscribe via RSS / Email

Giving Skills To The Street Kids Of Harare

Giving Skills To The Street Kids Of Harare

Our first stop in Zimbabwe was the capital city of Harare for the 6th edition of the Sanganai/Hlanganani World Travel and Tourism Africa Fair.

Many key African tourism operators were in attendance but the biggest thing that set this exhibition apart from other travel shows we’ve attended was the opportunity to connect with small local Zimbabwean exhibitors.

We spoke with many of them over the three days of Sanganai but one of the stories that stood out came from Elias Mahunye of Legoh Arts, a community based project which gives skills to the less privileged in Zimbabwe.

Elias Mahunye

Elias’ father died when he was three years old and he grew up in the care of his mother. As a child he was forced to sell cigarettes and potatoes to survive before deciding to go onto the streets of Harare to wash cars in an effort to support his family.

After doing this for several years, Elias met an Englishman named Ernie Sinclair in 2002 who said to him “I want to turn you into somebody. I can see that you’ve got potential, you just have to believe in yourself.”.

It was that conversation that prompted Elias to leave the streets and make an effort to change his life, departing Harare to undergo artist training under Sinclair’s watchful eye. This training is what led Elias to start believing.

Hand-made products from Legoh Arts Zimbabwe

His first achievement as an artist was to create unique cards (above) made from recycled materials such as bond paper found on the streets. Elias was the one who introduced these type of cards to Zimbabwe and it was this invention that allowed him to start working with street children in 2004.

The children he works with are often AIDS orphans who are on the streets as a result of their parents passing away. Others come from poor families in the ghetto and have left school in search of money to support themselves and their loved ones.

These children have no support or guidance and although Elias is no longer a street kid, he says that he will always represent them.

His message to them is simple: “We give you the skills so you start from there and make a better life”.

Beaded Elephant from Zimbabwe

Elias currently has 10 kids at his workshop in Mbare who are there each and every day. The money he makes from the cards goes back to their development.

Sometimes he gives them the money directly for living essentials but often he instead chooses to help them further their education. “It pains me to see someone not going to school because it is a situation I faced before”, Elias tells us. “I’m also paying for two guys housing. $10 in Epworth. There are some rooms there. They have no electricity but the houses are cheap”.

His desire to change the lives of the less fortunate is admirable and Elias is approaching 10 years of working with the street children of Harare.

I just give praise to the Lord who keeps on telling me that you (will) reach your destiny. It might be long but never mind, that is why I am still going.

Elias and Kieron holding up hand-made cards from Zimbabwe

The biggest challenge faced by Elias is the marketing of his products and selling enough of them to actually make a difference. Zimbabwe Youth in Tourism is playing an active role in assisting him with this but unfortunately the market is still not big enough to achieve the results Elias desires.

We’re hoping that by sharing his story, it will bring some attention to the cause Elias Mahunye is fighting so strongly for – the hope and future of street kids in Harare.

Please leave your messages of support in the comments below.

7 Comments

  1. Posted October 29, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    What an incredible story!! I hope Elias gets to help as many children as he can.
    Rika | Cubicle Throw recently posted..[GUEST POST]: The Top Scuba Diving Spots Around the World

  2. Posted October 29, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Amazing, people like him make the world go round! I want that ele!!!
    Andi recently posted..Las Vegas, Nevada: Day 3

  3. Posted October 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Great story! I love reading these personal stories! I have shared this on social media and hopefully that helps a little bit more!
    Rebecca recently posted..The things that matter – Zorro, Paella and Horchata

  4. Posted October 30, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
  5. Posted October 31, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    This is great stuff!
    And proof that when you have a positive impact in someone’s life, chances are they’ll do the same for more people and so on.. a chain of goodness that makes people’s lives better.
    Kudos for Elias’ work!

  6. Posted November 1, 2013 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    This is so cool. We need more people like Elias in the world.
    Sam recently posted..Expat Living in Peru: Mari in Lima

  7. Posted November 16, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I kinda wonder why they don’t make things like neoprene computer cases or other things that travelers need that are a bit more practical rather than nik nacs? People want to support but doesn’t want to fill their bags with decorative items.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

CommentLuv badge
Please leave these two fields as-is:

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.


Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/tekwire/public_html/wp-content/themes/delb/footer.php on line 3

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Google Plus

Follow Me on Pinterest

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • You can tell I love travel!! My Bali boarding pass as a bookmark 👌✈️. If you love travel read this book! @gadventures what a great inspirational story and company. #travel #look #book #inspo #inspirational

    amzkiz: "You can tell I love travel!! My Bali boarding pass as a bookmark 👌✈️. If you love travel read this book! @gadventures what a great inspirational story and company. #travel #look #book #inspo #inspirational"
    159
    12
  • Yummy lunch today. #rolld #pho #lunch #foodporn #chapelstreet #Melbourne

    amzkiz: "Yummy lunch today. #rolld #pho #lunch #foodporn #chapelstreet #Melbourne"
    51
    2
  • Wow really? #september #christmas #myer #crazy #Melbourne #Australia

    amzkiz: "Wow really? #september #christmas #myer #crazy #Melbourne #Australia"
    41
    6
  • #tbt The time we drove this beast around #hamiltonisland 🌴🐠#funny #sofun #islandlife #travel

    amzkiz: "#tbt The time we drove this beast around #hamiltonisland 🌴🐠#funny #sofun #islandlife #travel"
    24
    1
  • Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. #msfw #Melbourne #Australia #fashion #runway #show

    amzkiz: "Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. #msfw #Melbourne #Australia #fashion #runway #show"
    21
    0