Mutemwa is a very special place situated in Mashonaland, in the Eastern Province of Zimbabwe where a Secular Franciscan from United Kingdom, John Bradburne, OFS, lived the last 10 years of his life, caring for the community there who were living with the devastating effects of leprosy. John was killed during the Zimbabwe independence war in 1979 and was immediately considered a saint. His beatification cause is in process and his spiritual journey is described in the book, “Strange Vagabond of God”.
The situation in Zimbabwe is dire and people are suffering greatly all over the country. Water is a high priority right now with all the droughts they have been having in that part of Africa.
Zimbabwe faces hotter summers and increased water shortages every year.
The Mutemwa Care Centre is home to 62 patients with mixed illnesses ranging from leprosy to mental and physical disabilities. Each patient has his own living quarter and is cared for by individual care-givers and nurses. Surrounding the Care Centre are homes belonging to the families of the patients. Within the settlement, there is a managerial group of Franciscans with trained care-givers and nurses. Fr. Linous Mkumbuzi, who joined Mutemwa in February 2020, leads the team at the Mutemwa Care Centre.
Sadly, leprosy is on the increase in Zimbabwe again. Although it is a totally curable with the right medication, it is important to detect the disease as early as possible in order to treat it before it becomes debilitating for the patient.The Care Centre is sustained by the support of “The John Bradburne Memorial Society“ founded in 1995 by John Bradburne’s niece, Celia Brigstocke, to carry on the great work her uncle did with the leprosy patients.
There is a great need for funds to help sustain the community, for basic running expenses, also for supporting various income-generating projects, the profit of which can be put back into the welfare of the community. The Bradburne Memorial Society supports the Care Centre on a monthly basis for paying salaries, medicines, food, etc. from the donations received.
Recently “The John Bradburne Memorial Society“ made an announcement about the severe situation regarding water. The social initiative “Well4Africa”, founded by Secular Franciscans whose spiritual father St. Francis of Assisi loved and cared for lepers dearly, decided to fund the water project and ensure a stable supply of clean water to the community.You can support “Well4Africa” and this particular project by sending a donation to the official bank account of the social initiative, indicating it’s “for the water project of Mutemwa Leprosy Care Centre“.
“Thank you for your generosity!” The “Well4Africa” team says. “May God reward you a hundred times for every euro given for the sake of the poor.”