Life Expectancy: 44.5 years
GDP: US$1248 per capita
81.5% earn less than US$2 per day
ZAM16 - Chaba Christian Care Group
Over the lake from Samfya, in the Northern Province of Zambia, lies a little village almost totally dependent on fishing. "It is a poor village, as poor as I have ever seen in Africa." says the BHW Africa Director. In the 1970's/80's it was possible for men to support their whole family with food and education through fishing. However now the area of Chaba has been decimated by the Aids pandemic which has all but wiped out this generation. This combined with a doubling in the population of the area has meant fish numbers have dropped to levels where it is not economic to be a fisherman anymore. Many older people are now having to look after orphans in the area, with difficulty in providing them with support. The seven churches in the village have got together and identified 230 orphans and vulnerable children who need assistance, especially with schooling.
History of Partnership
Bright Hope World has been partnering with a Bible School in Samfya, Zambia, for a number of years. One of the staff members comes from the village of Chaba. It is a fishing village with many vulnerable children. The churches in the village got together and decided to put together a concerted plan to care for the needs of these children. They approached Peter Chomba, the Bible school staff member, to see if Bright Hope World would assist.
We first visited the place in 2005 and it was obvious these people were serious about helping their own people but they had few resources to use. In the subsequent time they have continued to assist the children without our help. They have established gardens and helped some children to get to school but it is way beyond their capacity. BHW team members have visited the partnership a number of times and ascertained that this partnership was viable and ready to go. Therefore in mid 2007 we decided to go ahead with defining the strategy to commence funding for the start of the school year in January 2008.
There are currently 230 primary and secondary aged children registered with the group. They are all vulnerable children and few are able to go to school regularly. Not all of these children are being helped with sponorship, due to increasing costs of school requirements.
Many families are also being helped with farming training and loans. For the 2013 growing season some 60 families were on the programmes for rice or maize growing, or small business loans.
What We Like About The Partnership
The most impressive aspect of this partnership is the leadership team. They have developed an organisation and a strategy and are doing the work despite the assistance from outside. They represent a wide range of churches and have pulled together a well organised committee and team.
MR PETER CHOMBA
ROLE: Coordinator - overseeing the partnership. Acts between the committee and donors and is the administrator.
CHURCH: CMML- Peter is a Bible teacher.
Mr Chomba works as a lecturer at Samfya Bible School. He is a graduate of GLO Bible School and has also received sales rep training, military training, accounting training (internal within Bright Hope) and has done administrative work previously. He lives with his wife and five children. Mr Chomba grew up in Chaba.
Other People Involved - Board
MR JUDAS CHALI BOBO
ROLE: Secretary - responsible for minutes, administration, receiving letters and helping with organisation. He also runs and manages the micro-loan programme, a job which he excels at.
CHURCH: CMML- Elder and secretary, administrator of finances, looks after members, has been a member since 1978.
Mr Bobo is married with eight children. His first born is 18 years old. He finished grade eight but due to financial constraints had to go and work as a fisherman. Four of Bobo's other children are attending school (grade 7, 3, 3 and 1). The other three are too young to start. Mr Bobo has eleven people living in his household. He supports them through a tailoring business which according to him is not going so well.
According to Mr Bobo the main problems in Chaba are that there is little opportunity for employment and there is poverty.
MR BROWN BOBO
ROLE: Vice Chairman - assists the committee especially if the chairman is out.
CHURCH: Catholic Church – Reader and preacher. Used to be a member of CMML but changed when he moved to a predominantly Roman Catholic area.
Mr Bobo lives with his wife and their eight children. He finished school and then worked in the post office. After this he worked as an untrained teacher for three years. He is now farming to provide for his family. He has received training in Chatropha growing and is currently growing these trees. He sells the seeds to a company which uses them to make diesel, candles, soap and a number of other things.
MRS EUNICE MWAPE
ROLE: Vice treasurer- assists with finances
CHURCH: CMML- has attended all of her life and is a deaconess and marriage counsellor.
Mrs Mwape completed school up until grade six. She has done some domestic courses since then. She lives with her husband, six children, three orphans and six grandchildren.
MRS JUSTINA BOBEKI
ROLE: Trustee - monitors board decisions and is responsible for operations if the board disbands.
CHURCH: CMML- used to be a member of the Catholic Church. She is a counsellor and encourages people struggling in their faith. Mrs Bobeki is a widow who cares for her four children, four grandchildren and four other orphans. She has a small farm which she uses to support the family.
MRS GRACE KALENGA
ROLE: Committee member - Grace is involved in this committee because she wants to help orphans. She sees poverty as a big problem.
CHURCH: Grace is a member of Christian Brethren Church.
Grace has always lived in Chaba - she likes it because it is her motherland. Grace has eight children. Five of her children attend school. Her first born is 17 years and in grade 8; her last born which she had with her is 2 months. Grace’s husband works in their field. He grows cassava, maize and sweet potato. They get enough from this field to sustain them for the year.
Vision And Annual Strategy
The vision of the committee and the founders is to care for the needs of the vulnerable children in the Chaba village area. This has been developed to the point of having a clear strategy and now an annual plan involving the following components:
- Formation of a group of care providers. This involves getting them together for training and encouragement.
- Motivating people of Chaba to get an education which is the key to change.
- Support for the orphans. This involves finding resources to help as many as possible. The partnership with Bright Hope World will go a long way to helping with this.
- Empowering families to have a higher standard of income. Through farming training, mainly in rice and maize cropping, and micro-loan programmes for agriculture and small business.
- Provide income generation activities from an installed rice mill (ZAM16a). (A rice mill has been installed and after some teething issues is working. Currently the rice being grown in the area is not of good consistent quality, so the training programmes in rice growing are key to getting the product flowing well through the mill.)
- Sensitisation of individuals, families, groups and the community about the issue of HIV/AIDS
- Showing God's love to the people of Chaba not just through talk but by action
The various components this budget covers are:
1) Primary and secondary school education
2) Training sessions for farming and business
3) An emergency fund for sickness or injury amongst the children
4) Transport of school supplies by boat from Samfya
5) Micro loan funds for agriculture and small business
Real "Life Change" Stories
Age: 15 Grade: 4 (has stopped school)
Marcy lives with her grandmother and four others. Her father has died and her mother lives in town but is sick. Marcy stopped school because they could not afford to send her anymore. She really enjoyed going to school and her favourite subjects were Bemba and Math. When Marcy finishes school she would like to be a teacher.
Marcy is responsible for helping her family tend to their farm. The fact that they have some land means that Marcy and her family are able to eat once a day in the evenings. Another of her jobs is to carry water on her head from the well. She is fortunate that the well is only ten minutes walk away.
Marcy enjoys attending the New Apostolic Church. She likes to praise God and to hear about salvation. Marcy has a lot of friends. When they are together they like to talk about cleaning the house and respecting their elders. They do like to play games together as well.
Marcy was reluctant to discuss issues that she faces. She did say that poverty is an issue and contributes to early marriages in the area. She said that she has friends that have married early but she does not know why. Marcy’s sister said that the family has big problems in terms of food and would like support to be able to go to school. Only two out of the five children in the family attend school.
Paulina is a very old woman with failing eye sight. She spoke very lively and clearly. Paulina is looking after three orphans. There is a field next to her house which belonged to her daughter and she could pick leaves from it for relish. The committee has helped them with relish when they have grown it. She said that the project could help her with anything possible.
Shadrick is probably 12, or maybe 13 or 14 but is small and looks the size of an eight year old. He is in his first year of school, Grade 1. The fees were paid for by the church. There are no boys his age in his grade. When I asked him if he wanted to go to school next year, he said, ‘No.’ After some coaxing from the adults he said he would like to go. He does want to learn to read and write. Shadrick would like to be a fisherman, then after more coaxing he said a pastor.
They attend the United Church of Zambia. This church sometimes helps them. Shadrick likes playing football with his friends. During the interview there were plenty of kids hanging around with him.
They rely on any food that they can get from Christians. Shadrick goes out fishing after school. They do not pay him but he gets to eat food. He also helps grow cassava for somebody. They would like to see the committee being able to provide for them food, clothing, books, pencils. Shadrick would like blankets, uniform and food.