Sky is the limit for our care leaver— Gift Dzorai

14 July 2021

Some care leavers experience challenges when integrating from care into the community and some end up homeless. However, Gift Dzorai’s experience was different, when he was exited from care at the age of 19 years from the SOS Children’s Village Zimbabwe. He had a fair transition to emerging adulthood. Three things that kept him going and helped him to successfully settle in the community are a network of social support, personal capacities and positive relationships. “The support and love SOSCVZ has given me, made becoming an independent adult a much smoother and more comfortable process,” he said. After completing his Sociology degree in 2016, SOSCVZ presented him with an opportunity to be a part of a research team. “SOS Children’s Villages Zimbabwe facilitated a research on young people who had left alternative care, their well-being but mostly focusing on employability,” Gift said. “That is where my passion for advocating for care leavers was born. The situations I saw care leavers confronted with on a daily basis were troubling” he said.
The SOSCVZ care leaver was admitted as a baby at SOSCVZ Waterfalls location from Marondera. Growing up his role models were Napoleon Bonaparte and one of SOSCVZ coworkers, Kelvin Nyamudeza. The love and support he got empowered him immensely and he also managed to acquire many skills during his stay in care at SOS CVZ Waterfalls. Gift has fond memories of when the Zimbabwe Cricket National Team visited the village in 2003. He remembers hitting a 6 out of Tatenda Taibu’s balling which left Tatenda Taibu in shock. Gift says the visit from the Cricket team left him inspired. He also related how the Zimbabwe Football team visited Waterfalls village and thereafter secured 12 seats for SOSCVZ children to watch a match at National Sports stadium. Gift impressed that it is important for celebrities and people of influence to make time and share their experiences with vulnerable children as most draw inspiration from them SOSCVZ also empowered Gift enough to take up space in the community.
Gift is the current National Director of the Zimbabwe National Care leavers Network a support network dedicated to empower and motivate care leavers, build peer support for care leavers, sharing experiences and influencing policies. He also sits on the USAID Global Care Council, with other 10 young leaders who were chosen because of their advocacy work in care. Gift expressed his gratitude to the SOSCVZ donors and sponsors for supporting the cause of children. To corporates he says, “In spite of various operational challenges it still takes a village to raise a child!”

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