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Zimbabwe: UK Businesswoman Walks 183 Km Thames for Charity

15 JUNE 2014

MULTI-AWARD winning UK-based businesswoman and philanthropist, Nyasha Gwatidzo, is set to walk the 183 kilometre Thames River to help raise funds for charity activities in the UK and Zimbabwe.

Gwatidzo, who runs the multi-million pound Banya Family Placement Agency which has branches across the UK, is also the founder of Vana Trust, a charity organisation which runs an organic farm project in Buckinghamshire.

The trust also funds the education of nearly 100 children affected by HIV/AIDS at primary and secondary schools in Zimbabwe. They have a school in the country where they want to raise funds for a much-needed science laboratory.

One of the girls supported by the trust in Zimbabwe from age five, enrolled at the Midlands State University in Gweru last year.

The work of the charity was commended by Cherie Blair of The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and wife of former UK premier Tony Blair.

Cherie said Vana Trust was "contributing to the community in both the UK and Africa.

"In Africa, Vana Trust sponsors the education and overall well-being of children affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty in Zimbabwe. It is also involved in support for women through training and micro-financing."

Gwatidzo takes on ‘Old Father Thames’ from the 30th June to the 11th July 2014, walking the 183 miles from its source to the Thames Barrier, in a bid to raise money to help vulnerable children and adults in the UK and Zimbabwe.

The walk is also part of the Trust’s 10th anniversary celebrations following its establishment in 2004.

Vana Organic Farm in Buckinghamshire has, for 5 years, provided a safe and expert environment for hundreds of deserving children and adults with a variety of special needs, such as autism, to work in a community environment receiving tailored therapy to address their issues.

In addition, they acquire transferrable skills, producing crops and tending animals. They also have the opportunity to go out into the community selling their organic produce at farmers’ markets and farm shops.

Said Nyasha: "I’m so excited to be marking Vana Trust’s 10th anniversary in this challenging way and have been very encouraged by the help from so many organisations, family, friends and supporters.

"Whilst we have a big shopping list, our most pressing need is for animal stabling and a feed store at our Buckinghamshire organic farm to enable us to increase our very popular animal stock at the farm.

"Please sponsor me in whatever way you can as, with additional facilities, we can offer our much needed and unique therapy to so many more."

Farm manager, Sharon Callow, added: "I am amazed at how the benefits are so quickly revealed, they adapt to the work at the farm with enthusiasm and enjoyment.

"Their self-confidence soon increases and the skills developed are not only about gardening and farming, but also team work and communication."

In a statement, the Trust said: "There is so much more we can do and your support will ensure that Vana Trust can change the lives of even more individuals and their careers.

"Please let us know if you would like to join Nyasha for all or part of the walk and get sponsored yourself. Organisations can sponsor the event and/or donate farming equipment or supplies.

"Hotels and restaurants could sponsor accommodation or meals at her scheduled stops. You will be making a real difference."

Those who want to support the Trust with donations can do so through Vana Trust Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/NyashaGwatidzo.

To find out how you can help, please contact Katy Farnell, Administrator on 079 72153778 or katy.vanatrust www.vanatrust.org.uk

Source: New Zimbabwe

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