Zambia, Africa

ZAM27 - Chingola Orphanage and Aged Centre (CORAC) : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: May 18, 2023

Report from BHW Zambia Partnership Facilitators Following Visit

Key people: Barnabus Mwelwa and Titus Mambwe

Recent Events


new teamWith Phillis having health issues and moving to Lusaka, her daughter Agnus has officially joined the group since 2022. She has been involved for many years helping with teaching some lessons to vulnerable children. She is married to a pastor from the Potters House Church and has four children of her own. 

Education Programme

Currently there are 32 children receiving support on the programme with 19 in secondary school and 13 in primary school. The Government has made education free in terms of school fees, but the rising costs of other requirements such as uniforms, bags and shoes has meant the struggle to afford these requirements has become worse. For example, shoes have increased on average in price from 200zmk to 400zmk, uniforms from 150zmk to 300zmk, bags from 150zmk to 400zmk.

They have thus requested an increase in the funds we send. 

Welfare Programme

This programme helped 17 households three times in the year with food stuffs and other goods. These families are found through communication with the local churches and communities.


CORAC still uses their farm that is about 7km away from the town of Chingola. The small house structure that they had put up has needed some maintenance this year to enable people to spend a good amount of time at the farm.

The distance to the farm is causing some issues with the farming programmes as people must either walk a long way or pay 40zmk for a return bus ride.

Barnabus held another 2-day theory of Foundations for Farming training in September after he attended a refresher course himself at GLO bible college in June. There were 24 families represented at the training, 20 of them are female led, and 4 male led.

At the completion of the training, 13 of these families agreed to be part of the farming programme, while 11 decided they could not. This is mainly due to the requirement to have a field at the CORAC farm and the distance to be travelled.

Each of the 13 households worked on a demo plot of 6m x 6m using the new methods, and then had a lima (50m x 50m) of land to plant where they mainly used traditional methods. They were given 1.5 bags of lime, 1 bag of D compound, 1 bag of Urea and 5 kg of seed for the farming inputs. This loan amounts to 2,700zmk (US$135) and will be repaid at harvest, either cash or in-kind harvested produce.

The farmers we talked to (see personal stories) are still very happy with the results this year and are looking forward to calculating the yields as they harvest in two months’ time.

Next year CORAC are intending to revisit the farming programme and have more practical training sessions where they will call the farmers for a day programme at the time of each activity required by Foundations for Farming. For example, a day in August to make compost together, and a day in September to clear the fields and blanket mulch. 

Loan Programme

The loan programme for businesses has been funded out of previous year's budgets. Currently the total amount of loans in circulation is 87,310zmk (US$4,700) and the loans are for farming, small business, medium business, higher education, and emergency and health. 

Higher Education Loans:
The three beneficiaries who received loans for training have been struggling to repay their loans. T Chibale has managed to repay 2,000zmk and remains with 16,000 to pay. They are still encouraging them to pay as once there are enough funds repaid, they will help others into higher education.

Small business Loans:
Currently there are eight small business loans (500zmk to 1,000zmk). These loans are given to the guardians of the vulnerable children and are repaid every 3 months with interest of 10%. If repaid the loans can be immediately taken out again, so the facility is like a revolving credit. This enables households to have the capital available to continue business.

Most of these businesses either have a stall at the local market, or outside the house of the beneficiary. In either case, there is a fee to pay to the council of 5zmk per day, with a council representative moving around each day to collect.

Most people are involved in trading goods such as paraffin, maize, vegetables and other goods, trying to buy at good prices and on sell. The margins are quite small, and the ability of people to keep records is limited. However, in talking to the people they can repay the loans in most cases and have some funds to use for the household requirements.

Medium business loans:
There are four medium business loans (2,000zmk). These are used for buying goods outside of Chingola, such as fish and cassava, that are then sold at the markets. These loans are repayable in 6 months with 10% interest.

Barnabus' wife Jenny is involved with this programme in the cassava trading as she has been doing this activity for many years so is sharing her knowledge with the others in the programme.

CORAC have identified some groups of ladies in the community who have set up collaborative loan programmes. In discussions with them there is an opportunity to help these groups with extra capital injections that would be repaid to CORAC over time.

Skills Training Centre

The buildings are there at Barnabus' house to run the programmes but currently nothing is happening. This is due to Covid-19 with many health restrictions that were put in place being too difficult and expensive for CORAC to manage.

Now that restrictions are being relaxed, they are looking at reopening the centre. There are now some other requirements to become registered through TEVTA which is the local authority that gives training institutions accreditation. To become level 7 accredited they must pay a fee of 5,000zmk per year, have teachers who have at least a certificate and have the premises audited.

CORAC is still interested in pursuing the skills training and will continue to work towards this.


Personal Stories

Freda Mesala

loan beneficiaryFreda has benefited from the farming training and loan, and a business loan. She has been involved with the programme for two years. Freda learnt about the programme through Barnabas’s wife.

Freda has six children, three are still living at home with her along with three other children that she is caring for. Freda has a business selling vegetables. 

The business loan she has been getting is for 1,000zmk. This has enabled her to buy more vegetables at a time and increase the number of vegetables she has available to sell at the market. It has helped her to be able to buy in bulk and at a cheaper price, so she can compete and make more money. 

Freda buys vegetables every day, either from the grower or from the market. She then goes to the market and sets up the vegetables on a stall that she shares with another seller. The council charge for the market stalls every day.

Freda also completed the faming training put on by CORAC and now is growing maize on the land made available to her through the programme. 

Pregma Makungu

loan beneficiaryPregma is involved in farming training and loan, business loan (500zmk) and orphan support programmes. She has a full and busy house where she lives with and supports four of her own children, five grandchildren and four orphans.

Her own children are mostly all grown up, just the youngest is still studying nursing. The other grandchildren and orphans all attend school, one of these orphans is on the orphan support programme. This is the third year they have been supported and are now in Grade 3. The support includes a uniform, books, shoes, bag and some extra money for special school days.

Pregma’s business is selling sausage and frozen fish at the market. She buys the boxes of frozen fish and then repacks them into smaller portions in plastic. She buys a box for 650zmk, and the total sales of that box come to around 800zmk. 

There are a number of people doing this sort of business so it’s really important to have loyal customers. The business loan has helped her increase her daily sales from 400zmk to 500zmk. Pregma is thankful for the help received from Bright Hope World.

Lloyd Makuka

loan beneficiaryLloyd is involved in programmes for farming training and loan, and a business loan for 650zmk.

Lloyd lives with his grandmother and six other siblings; he is the one who works to support this household. He sells sausage and maize from a stall outside his house. He can see that the business loan has helped his family as there is now enough food on the table. He normally sells 2 x 50kg bags of maize/day. He sells the maize in a local way of measuring which is called a meda. Each meda is about 5 gallons. Each day he normally makes 125zmk.

Lloyd also did the farming training and maize growing. He didn’t use the new methods of planting maize as he said he didn’t have time to prepare, he only used lime. He also planted an extra lima of maize with profits from his business.

David Nyirenda

beneficiaryDavid is involved in the social welfare programme as a beneficiary. He is pictured on the left with Titus.

David lives in a small cabin with his mum and dad. When he finished school he worked in a few businesses like hardware, he is now selling Christian books. He has been supported through the programme for the last two years with mealie meal because he is a disabled person. 

His mum is a tailor, and his dad is a councillor but is sick now. The support David gets he shares with his family.

Titus (one of the partnership's key people) tells the story of being on a bus and sitting next to David. When the conductor came past to sell the tickets David offered to pay for Titus’ ticket. Initially Titus refused but then understood that that was how David wanted to bless him, Titus was blown away by someone who was willing to give back so much.

He attends church with Barnabus and says that Barnabus is somebody who helps without reserve and is a channel of blessing.

Elizabeth Makungu 

loan beneficiaryElizabeth is involved in farming training and loan, and a business loan for 500zmk. Elizabeth’s business is buying and selling paraffin, floor wax and various vegetables. She has found a huge difference in the profit margins over the last few years e.g.,
2020 – paraffin - buy at 75zmk, sell at 150zmk
2023 – paraffin - buy at 150zmk, sell at 200zmk

Elizabeth’s husband died in 2009 and her children have all grown up and left home. She is looking after four of her daughter’s children since her daughter died, one of them has been with her since they were 3 months – she is now 14 years old.

The money she makes in her business goes to putting three children through school and looking after them.

She also attended the farming training. She did not implement the methods as they ran out of time. She is grateful for the opportunities that the programme has given her.


Ideas for the Future

Future Loan Programmes

CORAC have identified two businesses that are working well, as they have members that are currently running these businesses: cassava and dried fish trading. They are proposing setting up loan groups of ten committed people in each group, who receive a capital injection to purchase the first round of trading. This will then be traded every two months for a total of three turnovers.

Both commodities will be repacked into smaller packages and sold at the local market. A loan officer will be paid 1,700mk per month to monitor the progress, and that will be calculated as part of the cost. 

At the end of the six months, the capital is then shared for another group of 10 to start up, and 10% given to CORAC for other ministry work. The remainder is left with the group to carry on trading. The total amount required for capital start up 76,500zmk (US$4,115).


Current Issues and Challenges

We have seen throughout all the small businesses that the increase in the cost of everything has greatly impacted the profit margin that are able to be made. CORAC are thinking of ways to help more people through microloans on a larger scale.



The CORAC partnership has faithfully been using the same US dollar budget for the past 16 years, other than some capital input for loan programmes. We asked them to rethink a new budget to be more aligned with some of the costs that have now risen and for ideas on how to further empower people.

They had the following thoughts:

1) For farming training, the need to help trainees with transport costs to the farm. They think that if the trainees can be helped for a year to ensure they complete the Foundations for Farming methods well they will see a large increase in yields and be encouraged. Note that CORAC wants to have the fields at their own farm to enable them to follow up well, rather than having fields at peoples’ own farms which will prove costly and time consuming to visit all the places.

2) Conducting some training courses for the people on business loans to help them keep better records of the business activities.

3) Adding more people to the business loans, and potentially increasing the amount of the loans as prices of goods have doubled in the last two years.

4) Restart the skills training centre. A budget has been produced but we are thinking to wait another year for this.