Iris Zimpeto is dedicated to making sure every child has a safe, caring and healthy home.
Zimpeto has a team of dedicated trained workers who are very familiar with the community and committed to the best interest of a child. Prior to a child’s acceptance at the centre, a thorough investigation of the child’s living situation is conducted, including a home visit, meeting with the Chefe of the Quaterao (Local Community Advisor) and confirmation of the family history with neighbours. By applying the principles of necessity and suitability, we find ourselves asking two predominant questions before placing the child in residential care: is the care genuinely needed and is the care appropriate for the child. To assess whether a child genuinely needs care, we first reduce the perceived need for formal alternative care through poverty alleviation programs. Then we take steps to address societal factors that can provoke family breakdown such as discrimination stigmatisation and marginalisation through education. We provide respite care opportunities and promote informal/customary coping strategies through culturally relevant platforms and by empowering nationals. Our reintegration team consults with the child, parents and wider family to identify all possible options. We also determine whether a child genuinely needs care by discouraging recourse to care at the Zimpeto Children’s Centre. We regularly review whether or not each placement is still appropriate and needed. And finally, we ensure that the care is appropriate for the child by adhering to Mozambican and international care standards.
During the child’s stay at our safe care centre, our reintegration team makes visits to the existing family to monitor the situation and continually re-evaluate the child’s potential to return.
All in all, the heart of our centre to enable and empower families to take control and ownership over their lives while encouraging them in times of crisis.
Inaugurated 2003 by a missionary who realised there was a lack of social history about some of our children who had come to live at our centre in the early years when the country was in crisis due to various floods, famines and recovering from a long civil war.. Home visits were commenced this grew into what we now have as the reintegration team but is more aptly named social assistance team.
- The reintegration team empowers families financially to receive children back into the family by providing necessities for initial reintegration of children such as beds, mattresses, bed linens, school uniforms, etc
- We implement poverty alleviation programmes such as our milk box program, food box program, construction program, small business opportunities, and free medical clinic.
- When there are no family members or relatives able to care for the child, the reintegration team helps seek out other potential placements for the child in a small family based care setting while always keeping the child's best interest at heart. Our centre offers multiple types of support for families of reintegrated children such as food support programs, replacement formula bottle feeding for babies, home renovations, entrepreneurial opportunities and the construction of additional rooms to help families transition back to taking care of their children in a healthy environment.