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Building Relationships with Communities in Zambia

6a0120a608aa53970c01b7c85d2188970b-120wiDanny Chimpengele

Community Mobilizer

Save the Children in Zambia

May 17, 2016

As I looked around my new area of assignment in Lufwanyama, a lot of thoughts ran through my mind but the need for development was clear. Save the Children had yet again identified a community where we can greatly help children develop to their fullest potential. Thanks to Sponsorship, neighboring communities have seen more children attending school, being provided a much needed meal during the school day, gaining access to medical care and making improvements in their literacy skills. Now, it is time for us to bring these successes here.

I met with a 43-year-old volunteer, Evelyn, to see how our relationship with this community was forming. She has children of her own enrolled in the Sponsorship program, and was selected as a ‘Child Minder’ for her community. For Evelyn, this means going door-to-door to help children respond to their letters from sponsors and also talking to parents about the importance of education. Building this relationship between community members and our programs is a very important part of our process. In this way, we increase parent and caregiver involvement in their children’s studies, strengthening learning outcomes for children by encouraging parents to provide additional support in the home.

Expecting me, Evelyn smiled and pointed to a wooden stool nearby and asked me to make myself comfortable while she finished up her work. I quietly observed while she enrolled another child into the Sponsorship program, collecting necessary background information, consent forms from his parents and educating the family on what benefits our programs provide.

Evelyn conducting child enrollments into Sponsorship
Evelyn conducting child enrollments into Sponsorship

When she was done, I asked her why she had chosen to be a volunteer for her community. She told me, “I love children so much and I wanted to be a part of the team that contributes to the development and good quality of education I have seen in other communities [where Sponsorship works]. I feel it is my responsibility to teach the children the importance of education in our time.”

She couldn’t emphasize enough the joy parents here had expressed towards the programs. I was amazed to learn that even one of the children of the village Chief had been enrolled. He had shown a keen interest and appreciation for the program, an invaluable relationship to build in order to solidify and promote our ongoing work here.

Evelyn has enrolled over 50 children in our Early Childhood Care and Development programs, and over 70 in Basic Education, spanning the ages of 3 up through 14. Her goal is to extend the program to even more children and families, and she expresses her gratitude for Save the Children sponsors for making all this possible. Thank you, from Evelyn in Lufwanyama, sponsors!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

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