Zambia, Africa

ZAM07b - Chifundo Orphan Care: Partnership Reports

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REPORT DATED: MAY 20, 2011 >

Report Date: December 22, 2011

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitator


Recent Events

Orphans program

Currently there are 88 orphans on the program at school - 45 with Lonard in Chifundo (ZAM07b) and 43 with Norman in Chipata (ZAM23). 12 have recently finished grade 12 and as yet they have not been replaced on the program.

There has been an increasingly good relationship built with the guardians of the orphans. Lonard said that previously Chifundo used to supply all the school requirements for the orphans, but now due to increasing costs they cannot do so. He also thinks that this is a very good thing, as it has made some guardians who can afford to help the orphans do so. This means that the orphans are now looking at the guardians to be responsible for them as well, and not just Chifundo. They now look at each orphan case by case and work with the guardian as to what the child might need.

Being helpedSome of the orphans in the Chitadika Area from left:
• Jasei Phiri, 19 years, Grade 9
• Daniel Zulu, 20 years, Grade 11
• Vincent Thewo, 12 years, Grade 3
• Samson Sakala, 18 years, Grade 7
• Sophia Mwale, 17 years, Grade 11
• Charles Lungu, 18 years, Grade 11

Every Saturday Lonard runs a program for the orphans, including Bible study, and recently teaching of farming methods. Norman is wanting to start the same program but there will be some issues in relation to the distance the orphans have to travel to his place. 

New skillsTo go to High School the orphans have to board sometimes up to 174 km away.


School leaver program

With many of the orphans now having completed grade 12 Chifundo started a program to help them out. They have been quite disappointed in the response of most of the orphans they have helped, with the money not being used for its intended purpose.

There have been some good examples as well however. One orphan, Jere Masau, has managed to set up two grocery stores, and is doing well each month.


Farming program

Lonard and Norman have been training many communities in the farming methods they learnt at Maplehurst. Last year the group also gave out loans to 22 people for some inputs and they monitored these people. The results were very good, going to an average of 4.64 tonnes per hectare from 1 tonne previously.

There has been a problem with loan repayments though. So far only four have completed repaying the loan. One major issue has been the government agency who buys maize from farmers not yet paying out in some areas. This is causing big issues for the entire region as many farmers have no money to plant next year’s crops. This year people have been planting very late (mid-December instead of mid-November) because of financial issues.

Lonard has been trying to teach farming again this year but has had some difficulty due to the recent elections, mainly due to political parties setting up meetings about farming to try to gain votes. When Lonard would go to set up a training people expected to get something for a vote, and when Lonard said no, we are just trying to help you farm, they would leave. 

Teaching othersLast year they managed to find lime in the area, but again the elections meant that the one man who had lime never sourced it again for his shop because he was too busy in political rallying.

This photo is Lonard teaching at Chitandika area. This area was evangelized by Lonard, and the headman and his advisor were the first to convert to Jesus, meaning the village responded. The Chief is very interested in the farming as well. The headman had a great result last year getting 40 bags of maize, four times what he used to get in the same area.

The areas where Lonard is teaching the maize growing methods are where he has been planting churches. There are 24 churches that have been planted. In some of these areas the people have heard the method but need to see the results of the method before they will try it. One area like this is Pemba Village in Chiparemba. Here one lady Bridget Lungu has agreed to plant a small area of 15m by 10m for the new method.

Helping mumThese are her children as Bridget was away when we visited. Thomas, Tampson, Irack and Gift have been working in the field. They have dug the holes, started to apply mulch and have made compost manure. Today Lonard gave them lime and seed with instructions on how to plant again. The family grows maize, groundnuts, and cotton. They are hopeful that this will be a light to the locals to help them to farm with better methods.

Cotton is a growing industry crop in the area. There are four companies that give out inputs as a loan, and then allow the farmers to bring all the cotton to the company. The company then takes off the cost of the inputs and pays out the profit to the farmers. Last year they paid out 3,600 Zmk per kg ($0.80), with yields around 2 tonnes to the hectare. 


Personal Stories

Jere Masau

Done wellJere is 23 years old and he finished school in 2009. He was part of the Chifundo orphans program from grade 6.

His father died in 1988 and his mother passed away in 2000. While at school he lived with his grandmother who helped to provide food through subsistence farming of maize and groundnuts. He was very thankful for the support and care that Chifundo gave him through his school years.

When he finished school he was given a small amount of funds by Chifundo to start a grocery business.  This amount was 47,500 Zmk ($10 US). He got on his bike and rode 20km into town to purchase some groceries to sell from his house. Parafin, kerosene, bubblegum, oil and other small items. He sold them for 62,000 Zmk ($12 US) and then took that money and rode into town to purchase more goods.

Now two years later, Jere has two shops. One is still at his home run by his younger brother, and one shop on the road side that he rents for 35,000 ($8 US) Zmk per month. His stock on hand would total well over 5,000,000 Zmk ($1,000 US) and he is making about 600,000 Zmk ($120 US) from the two shops per month. He still uses a push bike to go to town to purchase his goods.

He says the key aspect of any business is not using the profit for anything outside the business, otherwise your business cannot grow.

He currently belongs to the Jehovahs Witness Church, and is involved in church activities. In the future he wants to be able to get his drivers license and become a driver.

Moses Lungu

unsettled lifeMoses is 21 years old and has just completed his grade 12 exams. Results for the exams are not expected until May next year. 

Moses has been in the Chifundo orphans program since he was in grade 7. He has had a rough time with his life becoming very unsettled due to many deaths in the family. His father and mother passed away before he could remember them. For a while he lived with his grandmother, but in grade 3 he was chased away from school because the family could not afford the school fees. He then loitered around Chipata trying to exist by selling popcorn. 

He moved in with his uncle in the village and started getting support from Chifundo in grade 7. His uncle died when he was in grade 10, so now he has been living with his aunty since then. She does subsistence farming to support him with food.

He plans to have his own business, preferably an international business, or to become an accountant with a bank. To get there he is farming this year, and wants to produce cotton to help fund his vision for the future.

Elizabeth Banda

Living with grandmotherElizabeth is 17 years old and is in grade 11 in 2012. She is a double orphan with both her mother and her father passing away a long time ago, she can’t remember when. She started with the Chifundo program in 2005.

She currently stays with her 90 year old grandmother (well she thinks she is 90, is unsure but she knows she is very old!). She also has a younger sister who stays with them who is 14 years old. The family survives by planting maize and groundnuts for consumption only.

She travels 174km to Foundazi Boarding School. She likes being at boarding school because of the extra activities that she gets to be involved in. She loves sports and especially netball. Her position in netball is centre.

The school is okay, but they do lack some text books. Her teachers are good to her. The school boarding house provides all the food for them as part of the fees paid. She gets to go home three times per year.

Her school exam results in grade 9 were: English 58, Religion Education 60, Social Studies 50, Maths 32, Local Language 75, Science 48

She would like to become a surgeon doctor because she has seen that they can help to fix people. 

Her church is called “Jesus Never Fails” and she likes to help out by singing in the choir.

Mabunto Mphiri

Future engineerMabunto is 20 years old and has just finished his grade 12 exams. He is waiting for the results which should be out by May 2012.

He is a double orphan, his father died in 2008 and his mum died in 2001. Since 2008 he has been living just with his elder brother (now 23) and no guardian. He started with Chifundo in 2003 when he was in grade 4. He says Chifundo has helped him both physically and spiritually.

Spiritually Chifundo helped him to know Jesus, and now he feels he can be a witness to others. There are also many church programs that have helped him to understand about God and who he is.

His high school is 90km away in the Mfwe area, he boards at the school. He has had a rough year. While at school there were some riots over the Principal firing some teachers. Although he was not involved, he got blamed for some of the rioting and was suspended for some time. Now everything is okay with the school.

When he got home from school in November he found that the neighbor had burnt down the house where the two boys live. The reason seems to be that the neighbor wants rights to the piece of land that the father left the boys. Chifundo has helped to rebuild the house and get a few small items for living, like 2 cups, 2 plates and a pot. Also they have settled the dispute with the neighbor.

He is planting some crops this year and Chifundo will help him with the farming training for next year. Once he has made some capital he wants to train to become an engineer. He sees farming as a way he can help to set up his life.

Edina Ngoma

Thankful to ChifundoEdina is 14 years old and is in grade 7 next year. She is a single orphan who lives with her mum as her father died in 2006.

She is thankful for Chifundo who have been helping her with uniforms, books and pens for her school requirements. She likes to come to the Saturday morning programs whenever possible to hear the word of God and also to learn about farming. This is also where they distribute some of the school requirements for the orphans.

Currently she has four brothers and sisters living with her and her mum, but five brothers and sisters have passed away as well. Her mum is infected with HIV and is not strong meaning the family are the ones who do subsistence farming for food. She says the local CMML has also been helping the family with some food assistance. Normally they would have two meals per day, just inshima with some pumpkin leaves for relish.

She likes to go to church and sing in the local CMML choir. She would like to become a teacher, because she believes that’s what God chose her to become! 


Partnership's Influence within the Community

There are very good relationships being built with the guardians in the community. 

Farming response is starting to take effect as people are asking how they get big yields. Also people who have seen the good fields have been stopping to look and ask questions.


Current Issues and Challenges

1) Both Norman Tonga and Stephen Daka who help with the Chifundo programs are struggling with personal support
2) The issues with farming inputs and payouts from the Government. Chifundo needs to break free from dependency on these programs
3) Micro loan programs - may not be useful in this area
4) The running of Lonard's car is proving to be difficult due to costs



Prayer and Praise Points

1) Praise for the way Lonard and the committee members are taking the farming methods to the communities through the local churches
2) Praise for Lonard's desire to see guardians become more responsible for the orphans



Partnership Facilitator's Comments

It was great to see Lonard and Norman and the work that they are doing in the area, with the vision they have of getting the guardians to become empowered to look after their own orphans.

The area seems much more industrious than the rest of Zambia, with a lot of land being used for farming.