Respect for the elderly is one of the most beautiful traditions of Zambian life. Yet at times it is difficult to uphold your responsibility as a grand daughter or grandson. There is a fine balance in poverty between "making it" and not. Unfortunately because helping others often tips the scale in a family's budget grandmothers get neglected.
Chikumbuso knows that the elderly in our community need our help. Many of them are watching grandchildren with less than $1 day to spend. Your sponsorship helps us to give them a monthly food stipend containing mealie meal, cooking oil and candles. Each are visited by an assigned caregiver on a monthly basis in order to make sure that they are healthy and eating. Beauty has been a caregiver with Chikumbuso for 10 years. Each month she visits four of our grandmothers and often brings to the community new grandmothers that need our help. Beauty has seen many of our grandmothers live with our help and die in her presence. She is an essential part of our grandmother sponsorship. Please continue to help Beauty help those who need her through giving here on Global Giving.
Yesterday Beauty took me out on one of her visits to see a grandmother in need.
When we arrived Magadalena was sleeping on her veranda on a grass mat at the front of her house.
Beauty stirred her sleep with a pat on the back. "Mbuya (grandmother) we are here to see you."
We entered her clean tidy house and sat on furniture from earlier, better times.
I was there to hear her story and to see how Chikumbuso could help her.
Magdalena was born in 1931. She was married with 9 children, her husband worked at Lusaka airport and life was okay for a while until the AIDS epidemic. Now Magadelena is a widow with four children and her only son is very ill.
She lives in Ngombe in the house of her deceased son and cares for three grandsons, or they care for her.
Today there is no food in her house. I ask her what she dreams about and she tells me she only dreams of dying. She wakes and asks God if today will be the day. Other than that she only thinks of food.
Beauty and I go and buy her an assortment of foods, soaps, and charcoal and take it to her where she dances in delight at the feast before her.
"Today I will not sleep! I will just eat and eat!" she tells me.
As we return to Chikumbuso, Beauty reminds me of just how many grandmothers there are in Ng'ombe all with the same dream. Please help us to reach out to these women.
We received our monthly delivery of mealie meal this past Friday, and the bags have been travelling across the compound to Chikumbuso’s adopted “grandmothers” over the past few days. Our widows deliver critical food supplies to the grandmothers each month, and check in on them frequently. This is just one of the ways that Chikumbuso cares for the community.
The grandma pictured here is Mainess. She is sitting next to her monthly supply of mealie meal, which she will use to make the Zambian food staple n’shima. Since all of her children have passed away, Mainess is cared for by our widow Barbara. She is thankful for the food and love that she gets from Chikumbuso. Thank you for providing for vulnerable elderly women in N’gombe by donating to this fund.
First, thank you! We at Chikumbuso are breathing a huge sigh of relief right now thanks to your help. All across Zambia, the cost of basic goods has increased at an alarming rate. In some cases, prices have doubled for necessities such as wood, charcoal, cornmeal, and more. And while our widows and grandmothers are struggling to get by as their incomes are no longer sufficient to cover their expenses, we can at least find comfort in the fact that they would be much worse off without their fuel efficient stoves. Each woman needs to buy much less firewood in order to cook and heat their homes, which means, especially with winter approaching, they aren't spending as much as many of their neighbors. Wood costs have skyrocketed and therefore each piece is that more precious.
Please help us to provide these stoves to the other grandmothers in our community so as to help everyone cut costs where they can while continuing to provide for their families.
It's the hot season in Zambia, which means even hotter rooms for those grandmothers still without fuel efficient stoves. Unlike the traditional stoves, fuel efficient stoves require less wood and use the wood they do consume efficiently enough to make sure the fire is used for cooking and not heating up already hot rooms. In addition, they produce less smoke and other toxic byproducts, making them much safer for the user and their family.
While you may think winter is the ideal time to buy stoves for our grandmothers, we actually need them more in the Zambian summer, when temperatures are above 90 degrees Farenheit and these women are sweltering over hot fires to cook meals for their grandchildren.
We are so excited to have been able to provide so many stoves to our grandmothers, and hope to be able to finalize this project this year. Please partner with us to get those last stoves in their houses!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.