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Crackdown Destroys Orphanage, Other Harare Child Facilities

The Tariro orphanage and the Batsirai and Rutendo child care centers provided services to more than 300 children.

Dominican nuns ran Tariro for AIDS orphans. Two elderly women established the Batsirai day care center and the Rutendo facility for disabled children was operated by members of the Soroptimists, an international women’s charity.

Sister Patricia Walsh of the Dominican Order of the Zimbabwe Roman Catholic Church issued a statement saying that Tariro housed about 180 AIDS orphans. The orphanage offered clinic and crèche services, and the Dominican sisters cared for some 100 people with HIV-AIDS taking anti-retroviral drugs.

Batsirai provided food and other services to about 50 orphans in Hatcliff Extension. The two women who founded it have filed an urgent application for relief with the High Court challenging the demolition. Their lawyer, Otto Saki of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, provided Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu with details about the court filing and the services the organization provided to orphans.