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Zambia Winter Update

Zambia, Church Partners

Our three church partners in Zambia are mobilized to serve vulnerable children in the population centres of Mongu, in western Zambia, and Livingstone in southern Zambia, with more than two-thirds of the country living below the poverty line. And with the exciting 2021 launch of the Zambia After-School Clubs with all 3 Zambia partners, this means that children and young people will receive help with their schoolwork, learn computer skills, acquire vocational training, and be mentored for success through discipleship and health & nutrition information, with a food pantry to ensure that children who need a snack will have one.
Published January 11, 2022, 5 min read.

Without the love and care of his church, Timothy Kadama doesn’t know where he’d be today. He told his story at the 2021 virtual gala:

Timothy is 23 years old, and he just completed high school. In the future he hopes to go to university, but for now he finds what work he can to support himself and his younger brother.

His father had 3 wives and 20 children and was a loving dad and Timothy has fond memories of spending time with his father, going hunting in the bush together and bringing home the prize to cook up for a family feast! But his father died when he was 5 years old, and his large family was left with nothing after other relatives swooped in and took all the livestock.

Timothy sharing his story at the 2021 Virtual Gala

His mother would sacrifice herself and go without food so her children could eat, but sometimes there was simply no food for anyone. They begged at the neighbours’ doors for food.

Sometimes they were “allowed to eat” says Timothy, and sometimes not. His mother got remarried in hopes of finding stability. But the stepfather said he did “not want to keep someone else’s children.” Timothy’s older sister was married off in grade 7 because there was no other option for her. No one objected, in this isolated village. But finally social services intervened and took the children away to the city for care. It was a hard adjustment, coming in from a rural village, and the many children had to be split apart in different orphanages.

Timothy is grateful for Calvary Church – and he grew up under their wings. The church community gave him love, as well as meeting his food, education, and other daily needs. Timothy now has a job and some life coaching through the mentoring of one of the church deacons. He says he is learning to work hard and put God first. The church has been “like parents” to Timothy and he would like to become a nurse or possibly a doctor one day and help others in need in this way.

Timothy had a message for Hope Story supporters:

“The help that you guys are doing has really impacted a lot of people in Zambia. You have made some people’s dreams come alive…they had lost hope, but you made their hope come alive. I would like to thank you and the church for being here with me through my life. You know, God never fails as long as you keep holding on to him. You keep your hope, your trust, your faith in him, God will never disappoint you – he will come through no matter what.”

Timothy Kadama

Timothy’s story is unique to him, yet so many other young people have similarly staggering stories of loss. They still need some support to launch in life after high school. This is why Hope Story provides postsecondary scholarships. We want to help ensure that each child’s story ends with a successful start in life.

For kids like Moses who lives with his mother Rebecca and teenaged brother Kakoma and grandma (seen here) the Zambia After-School Clubs might just be the reason that he will stay in school! His mom Rebecca and her mother do what they can to earn money by buying vegetables and reselling them at the train station. But Moses’ brother, seventeen-year-old Kakoma, had to dropped out of school at age 14 to work. Now, especially, there is no new work to be had. Much less for an unskilled teen without a high school diploma. His mom, Rebecca, is doing everything she can to ensure that Moses stays in school. But it’s an uphill struggle some days.

With Zambia school student to teacher ratios as high as 70 to 1, even the most dedicated teachers in the Zambia public school system struggle to help children on the edges keep up.

Thankfully the new Zambia After-School Clubs are starting up at all three Zambia locations. They are a key step forward! Academic tutoring, nurture of physical & spiritual health, a food pantry with healthy snacks for those who need it, and regular mentoring, this is a whole-person approach to championing hope for at-risk children in the areas of education, health, discipleship and strengthening communities.

Calvary Church – Livingstone

Calvary Church established Village of Hope in 2003 to help orphans and street children who require emergency housing while more permanent housing is found. With the orphanage now closed, Calvary supports children who cannot attend school and provides food packs to families suffering from malnutrition.

Livingstone Christian Centre

The LCC Church identifies the most vulnerable children in the community as they travel throughout the city sharing the Good News of the Gospel. The church registers children for school when they cannot afford to attend, offers food packs to malnourished children, and operates a reading program for children who are falling behind.

Mongu Evangelical Church

Mongu Evangelical Church provides holistic care to orphans and vulnerable children with a focus on education. In 2009 they established Mongu Christian Academy for at-risk children ranging in age from 4-7 years old. They also provide school fees for older children in the community when they can’t afford to go to school.

Ndiyoi, a teacher at Calvary Church’s pre-school in Zambia, is seen spending some time with a couple of little ones – ensuring that their reading & writing skills are coming along nicely. About 1/3 of the children who attend the pre-school are at-risk of hunger and poverty, and many of them (and their families) were included in the recent Zambia emergency food delivery – so compassionately supported by caring Hope Story supporters – thank you!

It’s just a game to the children at LCC, but a simple task like stringing beads together builds coordination, and it even assists with cognitive function as the children plan out what the string of beads will look like, and how to cooperate with each other. These are the simple opportunities which at-risk children from impoverished circumstances might miss out on without early childhood education opportunities through our partners in Zambia.

Shown here – a family who just received their emergency COVID-19 food relief provided by Hope Story supporters through Mongu Evangelical Church. MEC is already involved in the children’s lives, and knows their families, and this family was pre-identified as food insecure. The need for emergency food in Zambia is not quite over. The pandemic caused tourism jobs to disappear almost overnight, and with them, the many jobs that sprung out of the tourism economy (such as laundering, child-care, clothing sales, gasoline sales and more). Families are getting creative and learning new skills and new ways forward. But the most vulnerable children and families – those we serve – need our love more than ever.

Prayer Before School Starts, at MEC