Thanks to the funding given us by Global Giving we have been able to make our first trip to the women's Prison in Lusaka. Mary Mwale, Rose, and many of the other members of STARY (Skills Training for At Risk Youth) spent their Woman's Day Holiday visiting the prison and handing out pads, soap, underwear and buckets! The ladies at the prison were very very thankful for the gifts and seemed to act like a huge weight had been lifted from their shoulders. It was also a time where stories, song and dance were shared in Celebration of Women's Day.
There are many many more women in prison in Zambia who would benefit immensely from these same gifts. We ask that you consider your own families and imagine if they had to deal with the absence of materials during their menstrual time. Twenty dollars can change so much for these women languishing in prison. I would love to include a picture or two but as you can imagine photography is not allowed. But you can be sure another visit will be scheduled, the prisoners had a lot of fun with the STARY group!
We at Chikumbuso wanted to update you on the school children. Here in Zambia our school calendar gives the students one month off every three months, these months are April, August, and December so we have just started back to school after the April break. The school opened on May 7th with both teachers and students ready and eager to start their new semester. As you know we feed over 300 orphans every school day but I am so proud to say that our children are not just eager for a free meal! As Chikumbuso has grown so has our curriculum. Our students are now learning on donated computers in our new library. Each class has special computer time where the students learn how to use computers as well as the internet and skype! We also have many after school activities that the students enjoy such as Girl and Boy Scouts, Gospel Choir, Soccer, Environment Club and Girls Club. Chikumbuso has truly become a special school in the compound where we are located. The children are excited to work and we work hard to prepare our students for success in Secondary School. In order for us to do this your support is essential and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you do for Chikumbuso.
The word "grandmother" brings back memories for all of us. Everyone loves their grandmother and everyone remembers something their grandmother did for them. My grandmother made fudge... she did lots of other things too. She taught me about money and how to save it for the carnival each spring.
Grandmothers in Zambia however bring something else to my mind. They are elderly women who struggle daily. The grandmothers of Chikumbuso not only teach their grandchildren how to take care of themselves but they raise their grandchildren full time. These women have no means at all. One of our grandmothers came by the other day to tell us that her house was falling down on her and her children. When we checked it out it was in fact true. The walls of her two room home had huge cracks in them and empty spaces where the cinder blocks had fallen. Please help us to continue to support these grandmothers by buying these stoves. With these stoves the grandmothers are able to cook meals for their grandchildren with out the added cost of charcoal. It only takes a handful of sticks for them to cook, heat water, and keep their homes warm as winter approaches Zambia. Twigs are free everywhere!