Background of the Fairfield Children's Home

FCH, located in Mutare in the Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe, began its operations in 1903 with the opening of the Old Mutare Mission Hospital. The children were initially housed within the hospital wards and then moved to an adjacent building to the hospital. However, FCH recognized that the institutionalization of children was a mediocre solution for developing a stable environment where children can thrive. Therefore, in May 2004, after considerable fundraising FCH moved the children to a community of small group homes down the road from the hospital. This new environment illustrates the focus of FCH, which is to provide orphaned children with a family setting that maximizes their potential for optimal growth and development. The children also are raised in a healthy social and cultural environment as each home has a full-time housemother, aunties who undertake the management of the house during the day, and nine other children or siblings. Children are raised in this secure family environment until they are 18 years old or have completed their education. This arrangement has provided a more nurturing environment for the children in that they are experiencing a living situation that mirrors that of a typical family.

Due to the rising number of AIDS orphans and the lack or inability of extended family to care for them, FCH has become an essential source of community support.

FCH not only provides for the 80 orphans in its care, but also the orphans in the surrounding community and other orphanages nearby. The primary means of providing support to the community is through FCH’s emergency relief project initiated in 2002. This emergency outreach project was formalized in December 2004 and was named Project HOPE (Helping Others, Providing Empowerment). Funds for HOPE are raised by private donations and the work of a volunteer with FCH. HOPE assists with orphaned and vulnerable children in the surrounding farm areas who are cared for by a relative or the eldest child. The primary focus of the project is providing school fees, nutrition programs for malnourished children or babies, and medical care.

FCH receives funding primarily from the Fairfield Orphanage Sponsorship Association (FOSA), a Nebraska-based non-profit that operates solely to raise money for FCH. As a part of the United Methodist Church, FCH also receives funding from the UM district and volunteer work teams that visit the children’s home, which help them in some many things.

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