Winter is coming and our grandmothers will soon have to deal with low temperatures and lots kids running around. They often sit outside, wrapped in blankets, with other women from their community to chat and give each other support.
That's why the widows of Chikumbuso are so appreciated. They not only visit the grandmothers to give them food and supplies, but they take the time to visit with them, to inquire about their health, and to listen to their stories. Companionship and love are just as important to our grandmothers as the wood to warm their houses.
As the summer months come along, and as you sit in the shade outside your house enjoying the cool, think of our grandmothers, halfway around the world, keeping warm because of your support.
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.
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