Zambia, Africa

ZAM15 - Chisasa Orphans: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: April 13, 2019

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitator Following Visit

Key person:  Martin Kawina 

 

Recent Events

Activities

I visited Martin in Chisasa to look at the programs and meet with some of the orphans who are being sponsored into school.

improving areaThe area has come up a bit, the road from Solwezi has been restored to new condition. The mines in the area have built complexes to house miners and their families. One mine still runs Foundations for Farming courses for locals but they no longer give out inputs unless you are one of the people relocated off your farm to make room for the mines.

The government has made a plan to install solar grinding mills for farming cooperatives throughout Zambia. These mills only work when it is sunny, i.e. they have no battery storage for power, and are run by 60 solar panels. Each cooperative that wants a mill takes a loan of 120,000 ZMK (US$10,000) that has to be repaid in 10 years time with regular payments. This has changed the face of milling in Zambia and the old millers are upset that their business has been destroyed. It costs 1 ZMK to get a meda of maize ground into mealy meal (approx 3kg of maize kernels).

Cooperatives are very beneficial for farmers as they pay a 50 ZMK fee then pay 400 ZMK (US$35) and receive seed and seven bags of fertilizer.  Normally one bag of fertilizer costs 400 ZMK. 

Mrs Louise Kampelembi, the widow of the late Joseph, is the chairperson of a cooperative that has purchased one of these solar mills. They have only just installed the mill so will wait to see how it manages to work out.

great to meetIt was great to see Mrs Kampelembi being very well looked after by the community and her children. She was very happy to see us.

The current CCC church leader of the area, Apostle Gabriel, is a very humble man and we met with him first to pay our respects to him and his wife. He is in charge of 28 CCC churches with about 5,000 members in the area. Martin Kawina is the secretary for the churches.

Martin has recently moved to build and start up a new secondary school 16 km away from Chisasa. He had the option of being much further away with a better place but his heart is still to help the vulnerable children and churches in this area so they decided to take this post as deputy head teacher.

 

Orphans Program

There are currently 26 children in secondary school and 10 in primary school who are helped with school fees. The program is going well and there are many orphans who have finished grade 12.

We met up with Joseph, an ex-beneficiary, who was trained in Foundations for Farming at Maplehurst farm in 2010. He is now working as a bus driver for the mines, collecting and dropping off miners to work in the early morning and late evening. He got married last year.

Farming is key for many of these children as they can see that in many cases when they leave school that will be the first thing they will have to do to earn a living. There is a request to help out with more Foundations for Farming training. Martin was trained in 2010 and has been attending the mine trainings as well. He farms each year. This year he planted three lima of maize, one using Foundations for Farming methods. He can see a big difference but also says there is an issue of mulch being burnt by fires lit on neighbouring farms.

When interviewing the orphans the topic of early pregnancy came up a lot. A contributing factor to this is the way parents are not looking after their children well. When a girl is 14 or 15 many parents build another small house and make the young girl sleep there. She still eats with the family but must go and sleep in this little house, and it’s as if this gives her permission to take part in adult activities. This is very traditional in this area.

It was also interesting to hear that for the boys the main problem in the area was the distraction of girls, and for the girls the main problem was the distraction of boys!

 

Accounts

I checked the book that Martin keeps with the receipts. This year they received US$5,000 which amounted to 58,000 ZMK. 52,000 ZMK was spent on secondary school fees for 26 children, 5,000 ZMK on primary school fees for 10 children and 1,000 ZMK for administration fees. 

 

Personal Stories

19 years oldPetronella Mbmbiko

Petronella is 19 years old and is in grade 9. She boards at Jwindu Secondary School although by boarding she means that she has to rent a house close to the school for 375 ZMK per term and provide and cook her own food. This is because where she lives with her grandfather is just too far away from any secondary school. She shares the house with 12 other girls who are her friends. Her mum and dad both passed away in 2011.

Her favourite subject is science as it teaches her how to keep herself. She doesn’t know what she will do when she finishes school but for now really likes farming because it is the only way to sponsor her to school and pay for rent and food. Her grandfather is too old to do much to support her, he is over 70 years old.

She sings in the local church choir. The main danger she faces is from boys.

 

13 years oldMable Samakayi

Mable is 13 years old and is in grade 9. She is very confident she will pass her exams this year because she is busy studying. She attends Luamwundu Secondary School which is near Chisasa. This is her first year on the sponsorship program. She heard about it from Martin Kawina.

She does still live with her mum and dad but they are very old and have no jobs so without the help she would not be going to school. They try and do some piece work slashing grass etc but work is hard to come by. 

Her favourite subjects are math, science and business. She likes to learn business because she feels happy when learning about it, and it may help her in the future.

She attends the New Apostolic Church and sings in the choir and helps out with Sunday school.

A big problem in her community is phones and boys. They destroy girls, because if a girl is studying and has a phone the boy will call and distract her from improving her life, sometimes even getting her pregnant so there is no hope for her.

 

Caleb Nshimdano

18 years oldCaleb is 18, is in grade 12 and is very excited about exams at end of the year. He lives with his grandfather as both parents passed away in 2016. His grandfather tries to help support him by selling charcoal for burning.

He wants to be an electrical engineer and likes to play with wires and lights. So far he has not blown anything up! He loves science because this may help him achieve his goal.

He has eight other siblings who are also in school so he has to support himself. He is boarding at a secondary school which means he has to pay 400 ZMK each month just to stay in the house alone. He also has to find food and cook each day. He has been supporting himself by piece work, cultivating fields and slashing grass.

At ECZ church he sings in the choir and is the secretary of the youth group. There is much peer pressure to drink beer in his community but he thanks his church for the encouragement to stay away from this problem.

He is very thankful for the support and asks that we may please continue.

 

responsible young manRaymond Shikamo

Raymond is a responsible young man who is in grade 12 at Luamundu Secondary School. His dad passed away so he normally lives with his mum but while in school he has to rent a house at a cost of 100 ZMK. He cooks his own food, some Nshima with vegetables such as rape, cabbage and pumpkin leaves. He cannot afford meat. His mum farms sweet potatoes and sells them in the village. 

His church is CCC and he has discovered a passion and gift for singing. The youth group does both sports and gardening as they try to make some money to help each other. 

His favorite subject is maths as you can’t go far without it.

The issues he faces in the community are poverty and peer pressure. Many people see phones and they admire them and then forget to go to school.

It is his prayer that the support will continue to grade 12 and beyond as he wants to transform his family because they are all looking to him to be their support. He feels a lot of pressure to do this. 

 

Ideas for the Future

Foundations for Farming: They are going to send through a budget for Martin to run a Foundations for Farming training course for the grade 12 school leavers. Once this course has been run, Martin will pick the top four people to go with him to Mkushi Center for further training in the hope that these ones can become trainers of others.

 

Current Issues and Challenges

heart for this areaThe main challenge currently is in regard to what the beneficiaries will do when they finish grade 12. In reality farming is probably the only option open to them. 

 

Prayer and Praise Points

Praise for this group of people who mentor and help the children to become adults.

 

Comments

It was good to see Martin in Chisasa and see how it all works now that he is no longer living there.