Report Date: September 13, 2009
Report from BHW Field Director
We spent 3 nights at Mchacha village, most of the time with Lonard and Rosemary.
We spent an afternoon talking to the church members about development and taking responsibility for themselves. Lonard and Rosemary have started teaching people to make pots and wooden spoons etc to be sold in town. This is a new initiative but needs to have some market research done to prove it’s a viable operation. A number of the beneficiaries were invited to come and talk and ask questions as well. We talked about their issues and answered questions and told a number of stories of other parts of Zambia where micro-enterprise was working very well.
We talked about the need for self sustainability. They are drought prone in this area and I did not see one vegetable garden the whole time we were there apart from the one at Rosemary and Lonard’s house. They talk to them about it, but it’s still not getting through so there is the need for some input to back up what they have been saying and modelling.
Chifundo has selected a new group of leaders and this has brought some renewed enthusiasm into the programme. Lonard and Rosemary are excited about that. Stephen Daka has been married and he is still working with Lonard to do all the recording and financial dealings. This is still working well.
As it was school holidays we asked to speak to some of the children who were benefiting from the sponsorship. We met and interviewed three young people. None of them would have gone to secondary school without the sponsorship. They had a wide range of personalities and interests. They love school because they learn a lot, there was a lot of time to study and there were fewer distractions at boarding school than in the village.
Mavuto had a difficult story. His mother died some time ago and he has been living with his father. Then in 2008 his father died and since then things have got much worse. His older brother, who lives in the same house, is a drunkard and is trying to sell the property to take all the money. Some of the other family members are causing a lot of grief and want the house and land sold to get money as well. So Mavuto has been trying to fight to keep the family from squandering his father’s estate. Another person has heard about the dispute and has stepped in to try and take the land as well saying that the father owed money to him and now the land is his.
Lonard Daka has known the family for a long time and is trying to help Mavuto not to lose the land. He is a hard worker and even though at college tries to use the land productively while the rest of the family tries to ruin it.
He wants to be an engineer and loves to go away to boarding school so he is not distracted but the worry of losing the land is causing him a lot of stress. He is a Christian boy and goes to the local CMML church. Mavuto is a gentle guy who worries a lot, he is also concerned for a number of his friends who face hunger because their guardians are too old to cultivate the land. Some of these friends get into trouble at school because they are not Christians and develop bad behaviour and there is no one at home to look out for them.
Violet is quiet and shy, I guess it may have been the first time she has ever had white people talk to her, especially up close and personal! Violet’s father died in 2002 and now she lives with her mother and two other sisters and two brothers. Life is very hard and they are a very poor family. She has been in the Chifundo programme for a number of years and is very grateful. Her other siblings go to school as well.
She wants to be a nurse and thinks that the only things that will help her succeed to become a nurse is God’s grace and BHW’s support! She attends the local CMML church that Lonard and Rosemary lead.
Jere is a very confident young man. His father died in 1988, the year of his birth and his mother passed away in 2002. Since then he has been living with her grandmother but she has been very sick for a long time. Five other brothers and sisters live with the grandmother in the small mud, grass roofed house.
Jere talked a lot about his dreams to be a doctor. He wants to help people but sees little opportunity unless his education can continue. He attends the Jehovah’s Witness church but gets no help from them or his family for education. The barriers to him achieving his dream are if he fails to pass his exams and get good grades, currently he is getting good results, and the lack of funds for the training he needs to do.
Partnership influence within the community
The church is in a healthy state in the sense that it is having a serious impact on the community. Almost 30% of the people within walking distance come to the church now. It is growing in influence as well, everyone knows what is going on and highly respects the church and the leaders.
The Chifundo care programme is developing a strong reputation and is constantly picking up the poor who are not able to be cared for by their families. They have the capacity to visit more, but need more resources before this can happen.
Ideas for the future
There is the capacity to increase the number of people being cared for and I think the way forward is for Jerry (ZAM28) to develop a kitchen garden/micro-enterprise training centre out in the Eastern Province some time in 2010. Once this has been initiated then there will be the opportunity to start lending to the guardians.
Current issues and challenges
The people in the gathering reported that there were still many poor people in the village and people needing assistance from Chifundo. They are still not large enough to be as effective as they could be if they had more resources.
There is a need for a replacement motorbike for Lonard. The old one needs repairing but it would only be a short term solution. It is still critical for him to be able to travel around the churches and support the developing partner churches and develop leaders.
Prayer and praise points
1) The healthy state of the church and the Chifundo orphan care programme and the impact they are having on the community
2) The new group of leaders and the renewed enthusiasm
3) The new initiative that has been taken making pots and wooden spoons and the potential for developing micro-enterprise here to increase their capacity to assist more people
4) The many poor people in the village needing assistance