One morning before the new school year began Esther, a young teenager, came by Chikumbuso asking for school funds. This is not our normal protocol for choosing children for our program so I went out and sat next to her and told her that I was sorry but she could not be part of our sponsorship program. I had been told that she was not living in the same slum that we have commited to helping. She actually lived a few miles away with her grandparents.
Esther looked at me very matter of factly and told me that she was not leaving Chikumbuso until I promised to find money for her education. Her english was great and her determination even better. As her story unfolded I learned that she had been going to school up to this past year but had to stop when her only surviving brother died of AIDS leaving her with elderly parents unable to help with the cost of school. She had no one else that could help.
School was obviously being taken seriously by Esther.
This is not always the case and over the past year we have realized that if we are to use your gifts wisely we need to do some monitoring and evaluation of our educational program. This past month we were blessed with some volunteers that came and did just that. We had to eliminate a few students but one of the best results that came to light was that each and everyone of our Seventh graders were receiving A's and B's and that they were, hands down, the top of their class!
Thank you all for helping with this program as we continue to send orphans to school who would not be going with out your support.
P.S. Our principal checked out Esther's story and she is now back in school through our sponsorship program!
Chikumbuso School is so blessed with an amazing library that has had so many donors contributing books, furniture, and computers but unfortunately we feel it has been underused by our students. Keep in mind that all of our students are English Language Learners, who have never before had access to so many books or computers. In the past the only reading they had done was the reading provided in their curriculum through short stories in their work books. So students are still learning how to use the library, and how to read for fun. This concept is still pretty foreign to them. I found in the little bit of reading that I did with 5th grade students, that I was impressed with their reading skills, but very disappointed with their comprehension.Thus, the goals of Chikumbuso readers for 2013 are:
It is a good thing there are grandmothers in Zambia and in the world today! Imagine life with out them. Who would take the orphans in with arms wide open just to see them cared for and in a home where they felt safe? The grandmothers sponsored at Chikumbuso are caring for many grandchildren left to them after the death of their own children. They do not have a lot to offer at times other than a safe place off the street and they always struggle to feed these children.
If you would like to give your grandmother a gift this year for Valentine’s Day be sure to consider giving her a rocket stove for a grandmother in need in Zambia.
Our grandmothers cannot say enough about how it has changed their lives.
The other day we visited Esnart, a grandmother with 7 grandchildren.
Esnart has one of our Rocket stoves and loves it. She says,
“ With my rocket stove I no longer need to buy charcoal which is so expensive and with this stove it takes me half the time to cook my meals. I try to cook three times a day so having the stove saves me both time and money. The sticks we use in the stove my grandchildren collect for me around the slum.”
Won’t you help another grandmother to have this blessing this Valentine’s Day?