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?
The word Chikumbuso in Nyanja means Remembrance; our mission statement is to '' remember those who died, remember where we came from [poverty] and remember to do for others. In the spirit of Chikumbuso, we are striving to remember to do just that: help others. As a group of women we realize that we are more fortunate than many other women and women in prison in particular. The Chikumbuso women did a survey identifying the situation of the poor and vulnerable groups within the prison walls. From this we were able to identify the major issues affecting female prisoners the most important being very poor health and hygiene, poor diet and HIV / AIDS. One of the biggest issues facing the women prisoners is their menstruation. At Chikumbuso our single moms have been trained to sew menstrual pads. These packets make a difference for these women. Each packet includes five washable menstrual pads, five liners and a plastic lined bag to carry them in. Each woman can keep the packet for approximately six months as they were made to be washable. Our last delivery of 150 packets was over six months ago. Would you please help us in delivering packets again by giving to this project. Each time we go we include soap and underwear with the packet. The ladies at Chikumbuso enjoy giving back to fellow Zambians as well as an afternoon of song and dance with the prisoners.
"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Why would Mr. Dahl say that?
Because, in fact, books can be a person's best friend. Books can be a friend who will accompany you on the best of imaginative journeys. They can keep you going all day and even well into the night. Books can take you to the slums of Mumbai or to the revelation of the heavens. All of us know this to be true and at Chikumbuso we are working at making this true for over 500 students. Never really owning books or having them around the home in Ng'ombe books have become a gift that we need to encourage students to open. Once they do take a book from "a lovely bookshelf on the wall" then sit down and read it we will have them hooked. Each day at Chikumbuso teachers are bringing their students to the library for reading time on the floor with the librarian and again another time in the week they are coming for computer classes. It is amazing to see the growth of each child as their reading becomes fluent, as they increase their knowledge of the world around them and as they realize the wealth of information found in a library. We do become better with books.