Erica is one of the grandmothers Chikumbuso supports with monthly food allotments and healthcare. Erica has been with the Widows and Orphans Project for several years now and has always been thankful for her care. – She was born in Malumbo in the Western Province of Zambia and does not know her age or birth date. What she does know is that she had six children and they have all died. Now Erica lives with three grandchildren, who inherited a house from their father. Erica's health is not good and she was just released from a three week stay in the hospital. When we asked her how we could better help her she said that her primary need is for more food – vegetables and meat to be eaten with the nshima she is receiving.
Sponsoring grandmothers began as an outreach program, reminding us to do more for those who can not help themselves. Despite the fact that we only have 18 grandmothers Chikumbuso spent over $7000 of non budgeted money on medical services or funeral services for these grandmothers this year.
Please help us continue to help them by giving to this program or by changing a grandmother's life through sponsorship. $400/year can care for a grandmother and her household.
One of the widows at Chikumbuso has taken 13 children into her home over the years as her siblings have died.
This has been both her pleasure and a source for misery.
" I want you to feel my feelings that I have and the joy of my soul," Maureen writes in a letter to me. "The first thing in my heart, as you know, is my health. Thank you for paying for my clinic visits. The second thing is for my boys. Asafi, Gift and Jeyson. What can say but God bless Chikumbuso. If I had a choice in life to say who should die first I can say let me go because of how I fail to praise you (Chikumbuso). Only God knows how I appreciate you.
I am shedding tears of joy as I write this letter because you have changed my misery into joy, you could never understand it. I am a person with a free mind even if things here in Zambia are hard. By this time I could be blind and my mind so blank... I could write so much of my feelings toward Chikumbuso but it would end up making a hard cover book that no one could finish reading.
God Bless you all, everyone too numerous to mention."
One by one, year by year Maureen gets each of these children through school. This year Gift and Asafi were sent to schoolby a generous donor and Jeyson's college fees were paid off. You are making a difference and Maureen's joy is complete.
As the semester ends and our students head off for "summer" break, we get a chance to take a break, breathe and reflect on the wonderful things that have happened this year. We are so thankful for all our donors and their support of our school as we work hard to educate and inspire the children of Ng'ombe. Our students are some of the highest achieving public school students in all of Zambia. They are consistently in the top 10 students for each secondary school they are sent to. We are so proud of them and their work.
And yet there is still so much to do - we still have several classrooms that need sponsorship. Each class depends on Chikumbuso for school supplies: basic necessities like paper, scissors, pens, and more. It's hard to realize how important these materials can be, in our world of plenty. But our teachers are constantly buying supplies for their classes, and that investment keeps them from saving for themselves. And kids regularly miss opportunities to learn as they wait for their turn with the chalkboard or the pen. These interruptions waste valuable class time for each of our kids.
Please think of supporting a classroom as a family this year, as part of your family gift to each other. Bring together your aunts, uncles, parents, kids, in support of education. It takes a village!