When residents of Umguza in southwestern Zimbabwe needed medical treatment, they had to walk between 9 and 12 miles (15 to 20 kilometers) to the nearest healthcare center — often taking all day and resulting in a walk home in the dark. Many times, no ambulance was available during emergencies.
Government leaders reached out to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in response, the Church donated humanitarian funds for the construction of a new health clinic.
A new mother’s shelter, staff housing and a solar-powered fresh water supply were also built, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom. All of this allows the Maboleni Clinic to provide services for pregnant mothers, HIV treatments, childhood immunizations and medical services for the elderly.
Speeches, a marching band and a community dinner marked the opening festivities on Nov. 7, 2022. Hundreds of people attended the celebration, including Isabell Nube, who said having a brand new clinic so close by was so welcome and unexpected that she is “still now living a dream.”
Elder Denelson Silva, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Africa South Area presidency, addressed the crowd and proclaimed that “to love is to act.”
He spoke about how the main objective of the Church’s humanitarian work is to bless Heavenly Father’s children. “Jesus Christ taught that we need to love each other,” Elder Silva said.
Letwin Mkwebu, the Umguza nursing officer, said it pained her to see people suffering and the solution a great distance away. With the new clinic, she is now able to serve her community.
“This clinic has come when we really needed it,” she said.
Zimbabwe’s minister of state for provincial sffairs, Richard Moyo, called it a great milestone ensuring the people have access to health services close to where they live.
“I applaud the community together with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the commendable work you have done here,” he said.