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!
Chikumbuso is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year and in honor of this milestone the widows and I told stories of the "early days" of the project.
Many of the widows spoke of the time when we bought our center. Chikumbuso used to be a bar and brothel on the outside of Lusaka. It was for sale and God redeemed it. Today it is a school and shelter for 450 children.
"Our hearts were full of prayer and happiness when we bought this old place. Our previous school at the Baptist church was only temporary and it was "hard". If we were chased out of the church what will happen to our school and to our children's education? I saw the bar as permanent even though we were full of doubt. It was a filthy place but when we had to clean it we did it in an exciting way. We sang and danced as if it were a nice place and because of this it has become a beautiful place. No one can understand it. "
Lida was smiling ear to ear as she told this story and finished by informing me that thanks to Chikumbuso her daughter has just completed grade12.
Please consider your donation as it goes to helping so many other children reach their goals.
The month of August brought with it an absence of handprints on our walls as our students are out on their last semester break before the end of the year.It gets quiet and lonely for the widows without the noise of the children and the bustle of the school day. We look forward to them coming back in September, messing up our courtyard and finishing off the school year with a lot of enthusiasm!
Imagine the delight of our sixth graders when they see the progress of the new seventh grade classroom as it comes to completion. They get to stay at Chikumbuso one more year! For them this is a dream come true, it means they are able to do their first round of government exams with us..
Being able to stay at Chikumbuso is a blessing for the kids but for the administration it means that we need to raise more money for supplies, books, furniture and a teacher's salary. Please consider our seventh graders as they go on and our 150 highschoolers who leave Chikumbuso for another school but still count on us for their supplies.
These students are courageous and work hard. Please help them to succeed.
All the growth and joy we find at Chikumbuso would not be there with out your help. Truly, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your generosity.
Many blessings for your September and all the changes it may bring,