Life Expectancy: 44.5 years
GDP: US$1248 per capita
81.5% earn less than US$2 per day
ZAM23 - Chipata Rural Church Orphan Care
There are many small churches in Africa struggling under the onslaught of the HIV / AIDS pandemic. In this area 4 churches have formed care groups and each church is trying to look after a few orphans. Partnering with them creates opportunities to directly help the most vulnerable and facilitate change amongst some of the poorest of the poor.
History Of Partnership
Lonard and Rosemary Daka have been church planting in this area for about 20 years. As the first church at Mchacha developed it was swamped by vulnerable children and their guardians. They therefore started Chifundo Orphan Care (ZAM07b), to assist the children to go to school and help them in other ways. They teach the children basic trades like bucket and pot making, gardening and knitting and everyone participates in growing crops. The children are helped to go to school with school fees, uniforms and school requirements. From time to time they also get gifts like soap, sugar and cooking oil.
In 2004, Greerton Bible Church, Tauranga, New Zealand, and an individual family in their congregation began a partnership with Chifundo. This involved personal support for Lonard and Rosemary as the key people and the support of 50 children into school. It also involved the purchase of a motorbike to enable Lonard and Rosemary to move around the district to help the newly formed churches grow, to train them and encourage them. This new project (ZAM23) is the direct result of that investment.
There are now more than 10 healthy churches in this part of the Eastern Province of Zambia. Each of them looks to Mchacha for some leadership and before long expressed a desire to help the orphans they were struggling to cope with. Almost every family in this area has had at least one orphan join their family. In 2007 BHW was asked to help with the establishment of another partnership as a group of churches wanted to start caring for their orphans too. Some work was done and at the end of 2007 funding started for the 43 orphans that had been identified.
43 orphans and vulnerable children and their guardian families
What We Like About The Partnership
There are a number of very positive aspects to this partnership:
1. There is good cooperation between the churches
2. Each church is committed to making the partnership work
3. Good processes and structures have been established for registering, monitoring and identifying the issues and the most needy
4. There is good leadership and clear identification and development of emerging leaders
5. The children are being monitored well and visited regularly
6. Good meetings are held between the churches and between the churches and the community
Lonard and Rosemary are the key people in this area and key agents of change and transformation. They have already led hundreds of people to Christ and planted many churches. They are recognised by the churches and the local community as the key agents of change in the community and are above reproach in the eyes of the local people. They have invested their lives in this community and are highly respected.
Other People Involved
There are two other key groups of people involved:
1. The leaders of the 4 churches who have taken the initiative to do something significant. Their key man is Norman Tonga.
2. The team from Chifundo who are assisting with the ongoing training and development of the new group.
Vision And Annual Strategy
The vision is to assist as many vulnerable children as possible so they get to hear the message of Jesus Christ, they get an education and their families are enabled to care for the children.
The strategy is to assist the children to go to school by paying their school fees and covering the costs of education and supplying some food supplements to the vulnerable guardians.
In 2009 BHW sent Norman and Lonard to Maplehurst farm for training in Foundations for Farming. Since then Norman has been growing better yeilding crops and training other guardians in the area. The aim is to improve the earning potential of families to enable them to support their own children and orphans.
Key Churches Involved
There are 4 churches in this phase of the development but a number of others are preparing to join the programme. Each church has a designated team that oversees the operations for their church. There is a formal agreement between the team and the church so none of the funds for the orphans can be hijacked into the church coffers. The teams meet regularly to report and oversee pastoral care for the vulnerable children and families. Representatives from each group meet regularly as well to discuss issues and have training. The current churches are from the following villages:
1. M’gawa with 15 children
2. Magoma with 9 children
3. Chimwala with 11 children and
4. Willikan with 8 children