When the devastating cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe and other southern African countries, it left a trail of damages and loss of life that survivors are still struggling to recover from. Chimanimani and Chipinge were the greatest hit areas and 48% of the affected were children. It is estimated more than 250,000 people were affected by the floods.
Nine months after the disaster, ten pupils, survivors of the tragedy had a memorable experience as they were flown to China for the festive season as a way to help the children recover from the traumatic natural disaster.
The trip was organised by the Chinese Embassy in conjunction with the Zhejiang provincial government and Manicaland province leadership as part of therapy to the young survivors.
The ten students spent Christmas in Zhejiang province in China. They were accompanied by Mutambara High School deputy headmistress, Ms Zviuya. The excited faces could be seen enjoying ice-cream in the cool weather showing just how much they were free and happy.
On their return home, a luncheon was held in Harare to help welcome them back home. Chinese deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhao Baogang and Chris Mutsvangwa both agreed that the visit was indeed a testimony of the good bilateral friendship between Zimbabwe and China. This gesture on its own is a sure sign of the ever growing and strengthening of China-Zimbabwe relations.
Zimbabwean community in China played a huge role in mobilising goods in support of the victims of Cyclone Idai. A big shipment was sent form China to Zimbabwe and contained goods donated by Zimbabweans and well-wishers across China.
Healing might take time but the initiative to care for the victims mentally and physically is highy commendable.