Transforming the life of a Widow

Thursday, 16 March 2023 Transforming the life of a Widow  In 2004, Sharon’s husband passed away when she was six months pregnant with her second child. Sharon was heartbroken over the death of her husband and while she grieved, she worried about how she would provide for her child and the unborn baby. She became the poorest in her family and felt like less than a servant in her husband’s large extended family.  

Then Sharon heard about SIMaid’s Operation Neighbour Care. This Hope for Life project supports holistic care for adults and vulnerable children affected by HIV and AIDS in rural Zimbabwe by training church volunteer carers to care for the sick and vulnerable children. Operation Neighbour Care also runs a program to empower widows and single mothers through microenterprises.  

When Sharon attended the program, she was surprised to see widows younger than her who were confident and hopeful about the future. She also noticed the older widows who were achieving great things for their children. She was inspired by the program and decided to attend. In 2016, Sharon also had the opportunity to attend a conference for the group. She appreciated the lessons on health, homemaking, raising children as a single parent, grief processing, trauma healing and entrepreneurship. She also appreciated the music, games, sharing of personal stories, laughter and encouragement.  

Sharon went home from the conference and started a poultry project. The widows in her group helped her establish connections in the market and she made a good profit. The success motivated her to continue raising chickens and the business enabled her to send her children to school. Praise God that Sharon was able to continue to pay school fees for both of her sons. Her sons also caught their mother’s work ethic. Both of her sons finished school and the eldest is now working. Her youngest is still at home as he is helping his mother with the farming and her projects. The family now have a large garden project which supplies fresh vegetables to all local supermarkets in Gokwe as well as the local farmer’s market. They use a solar pump to water the large garden.  

Now 47 years old, Sharon is Operation Neighbour Care’s champion farmer in the group that demonstrates conservation farming. She is the group leader and does quality control for the program. Sharon’s extended family is proud of her leadership in the community and always gives her a prominent position in the family. The widow’s group is growing and Sharon’s family lives with true joy. Sharon shared, “I have gained dignity, honour, wealth and influence from working with ONC but the best thing I’ve received is that I got Jesus in my life, and I have hope with a capital H.” 
GIVE: Do you want to support the work of Operation Neighbour Care? You can give a tax-deductible gift here

Representative image used. 
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