Macheke Sustainability Project Launches Macheke Healing Center

Macheke Sustainability Project Launches Macheke Healing Center

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ– The Macheke Sustainability Project (MSP), founded by Monmouth alumna Moleen Madziva, is continuing the stalled construction on the Macheke Healing Center, their latest initiative aimed at providing Macheke residents with relevant medical care.
The Macheke Healing Center will serve as a medical center within the village of Macheke, Zimbabwe and offer residents integrative medicine that fuses conventional medicine and traditional healing practices. “I was convinced that we needed a place that offered holistic solutions from a mind, body, and spirit

Esnath is a 14 years old orphan living in Macheke.
Esnath is a 14 years old orphan living in Macheke.

perspective,” Madziva stated.
The Center will be equipped with an urgent care center and a clinical research unit. The MSP is hoping to staff the Center with physicians and nurses locally trained in Macheke, according to Dr. Susan Forquer Gupta, Associate Professor of Marketing and International Business, Board member to the MSP, and the liaison between the MSP and the University. Currently, the MSP plans to employ two part-time medical doctors, five nurses, and one sustainable public health advocate, according to Madziva. They also hope to staff a research assistant to establish a clinical research unit, an IT assistant, and various support staff.
In addition to providing medical care, the Center will serve as an educational hub and community center. Madziva said that she wants to provide the people of Macheke with access to information that will inspire education, critical thinking, and mental growth. The Center will provide villagers with a library, which will be run by a professional librarian, Internet access, and space for community meetings.
“[The villagers] are really looking forward to the opening of the Macheke Healing Center,” Madziva stated.
In the construction and staffing of the Healing Center, the MSP has actively engaged the Macheke community. According to Gupta, the construction of the Center, which broke ground in 2010, began with a brick-making project that the MSP had established in Macheke. “The brick-making project has provided the foundation for the healthcare center and has also provided continuing jobs for workers as they now sell bricks to those who need them for construction in the area,” stated Gupta. “The MSP’s mission is to build the economy that provides jobs so it was important to invest in a small business instead of simply buying bricks.”
Gupta indicated that the MSP plans to adhere to that credo when choosing the staff of the Center, and hopes to employ Macheke residents as doctors, nurses, and support staff. “We have a number of trained nurses in Macheke who are currently unemployed,” Madziva noted.
The Center is projected to be complete in approximately one year, however that time frame is dependent on donations, according to Gupta. Organizations such as Medcare have promised donations of medicine and equipment, however the MSP is still in need of approximately $50,000 in financial contributions in order to complete and equip the center, according to Madziva. Ultimately, Madziva hopes to add renewable forms of water collection and power.
“The Macheke Sustainability Project is a collection of social business initiatives whose focus is to engage the ethnic locals of the rural community of Macheke in Zimbabwe in their quest to progress from poverty,” stated Madziva. According to Madziva, the MSP employs a number of initiatives, including research and analysis, sustainable agriculture, education, and community health, in order to combat the longstanding issue of poverty that Macheke has been faced with.
MSP founder and MU Alum Moleen Madziva.
MSP founder and MU Alum Moleen Madziva.

“Today there is a vital need for sustainable development in order to shift this community’s future from a state of poverty to one where it is thriving,” stated the MSP’s website.
Madziva and MSP partnered with the Institute for Global Understanding in a collaboration designed to benefit the organization and members of the Macheke community, a relationship that began in the early stages of the program, according to Madziva. The MSP now works closely with the University, and engages various University Departments and disciplines, including Social Work, Health and Physical Education, and Computer Science and Software Engineering, in addition to several Professors and students, in their efforts throughout the MSP’s existence
“This is a kind of a project that one wishes to see your students do,” stated Dr. Marina Vujnovic, Director of the Institute of Global Understanding and Associate Professor in the Communication Department. “It makes real impact, it gives back to the community and it teaches us all that our education can have consequences and real life application.”
“I think it is wonderful that the University is involved with a program that makes such an important impact on such a global scale,” said senior Anna Butts. “And to see an alumna go on to achieve such great things really inspires me. It makes me proud to go here.”
A former Macheke resident, Madziva founded MSP in order to address the issues that plagued her home. “It all started as an emotional response to the reality that the people that raised me in Macheke were continuing to sink further into economic poverty,” recalled Madziva. “For the inception of this project idea,” Madziva continued, “I must credit the 2008 workshop on Sustainable Agriculture hosted by the World Bank’s Development Marketplace.” She said that
Beauty is a 7th grader from Macheke.  She is standing in front of her family's chicken coop.
Beauty is a 7th grader from Macheke. She is standing in front of her family’s chicken coop.

after attending to workshop she reached out to the University’s Business school for guidance on
how to create a non-profit. This dialogue led her to the Institute of Global Understanding. Madziva also found mentorship from professors specializing in Public Health, Social Work, Education, and Software Engineering. “While the idea came to me in a World Bank conference in Washington DC,” she said, “I am honored that it became a reality on the Monmouth University campus.”
For more information on the Macheke Sustainability Project or to get involved visit machekeproject.org.
“The work that I am doing can be done anywhere else in the world,” Madziva said. “But there is something to be said about respecting your ancestry. No one can respect that legacy the way that I can.”

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