The Power of Clean Water

Hannah lives in a small village in Zambia near an emerald mine with her parents, brother and sister in a house made of concreate blocks and iron roofing sheets.  Her father is a teacher and volunteer with Save the Children and her mother raises and sells chickens.  As a fourth grader, Hannah’s jovial personality and easy smile make her stand out.  She wants to be a nurse when she grows up.

Five years ago, Save the Children introduced the sponsorship programs in her community and built new underwater piping that provided clean water. Hannah vividly recalls the old rusted borehole at the school that had contaminated water and would run out in the hot season. That is where her family got their drinking water.

“The borehole was so old that the water used to be very muddy. I think rats used to die in there because the water had some rat fur,” she explains.

According to the Head Teacher at Hannah’s school, “the water would dry out and the month of October, during the hot season, was our worst. Children were made to stay home during these times and lessons were disrupted,” she explains.  “Children were slow to catch up on lessons; they would repeat a grade due to poor performance or not return to school at all.”

Today, with the new well, children in the village are eager to learn all the time and they now know how to practice healthy habits, including handwashing. Many households in Hanna’s village have also benefited from the clean water source, and personal hygiene has improved for everyone.

“Now that Save the Children has made us a better borehole, children are being kept in school throughout and our surroundings look beautiful because we have excess water to even water the grass and flowers,” boasts the head teacher proudly.

Hannah helping a friend write a letter to their sponsor

“The water is so nice, clean and cold like it has been refrigerated. I know it is safe because I have not heard of any of my friends that have gotten sick from drinking it. I even carry some of it at home in my water bottle” says Hannah.

Simply providing clean, quality water to a community makes an enormous difference in the lives of children.  It not only has the obvious benefits for health and hygiene, but it also allows children to learn and lead productive and happy lives. Thank you to our sponsors for making this life changing impact possible!

Joy in Fipokola

author-portrait_kelvin-kasuba-quality-and-communications-coordinatorKelvin Kasuba

Quality and Communications Coordinator

Save the Children Zambia

November 2, 2016

 

The day had finally arrived. The people of the Fipokola community put on their best and gathered for the long awaited ceremony. It was the kick off of the Lufwanyama Education Rehabilitation project, through which Save the Children Korea, one of the offices that supports Sponsorship in Zambia, was about to make a big change in the lives of the children and families of this community. This project targets high-need communities in the district for the building or reconstruction of schools.

 Community members gather in jubilation to hear a new school will finally be built
Community members gather in jubilation to hear a new school will finally be built.

It was a colorful scene. Tents were decorated with colorful materials and banners were displayed all around. What caught my attention the most was the large crowd that had gathered – upon arrival the whole village it seemed followed behind our vehicle, chanting songs of jubilation and about the great things Save the Children had already done in their community. The occasion was graced with very influential people from society, two Save the Children Korea staff members and also his Royal Highness Chief Lumpuma, the community leader of Fipokola.

In his speech, Chief Lumpuma shared guidance with his people. He called for them to embrace education if they were to succeed. He advised parents to avoid engaging their children in early marriage and other activities at the expense of their education. He said, “I also thank Save the Children for the rehabilitation of this school and for considering us for the first school [to receive support] under the Lufwanyama Education Rehabilitation project.”

chief-lumpuma-preparing-to-give-his-speech-to-the-community
Chief Lumpuma preparing to give his speech to the community.

Amidst the excitement one boy told me, “I am happy today because a new school will be built. And I am happy because I will be a part of a new school which will have a better look and books that can help make me a better person in the future, like a doctor, teacher or lawyer.” I was so happy and speechless to see how joyful the parents were at seeing a step of action taken, and the children at their brightened future potential.

It is indeed a dream come true in Fipokola, and it is thanks to Child Sponsorship and Save the Children Korea that they will have the resources needed for construction. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, sponsors!

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

Child Satisfaction Matters Most

Agnes

Agnes Zalila

Sponsorship Manager

Lufwanyama Communities, Zambia

August 31, 2015

 

When we sit at our tables every day, developing strategies, writing reports, and completing many other management and programming procedures, we rarely realize what matters most in all the things we do. How does the child feel about all we do? What matters most to them? 

Group (1)

A group in the Lufwanyama communities.

This year we had our first Country Office review here in Zambia. The staff on my team were all very anxious, especially since the review team was comprised of very high powered Save the Children officials. Everyone wanted to prove and show that they were doing the right thing and following the guidelines.

On the other hand, I realized children did not really care about what everyone thought but wanted to have fun and enjoy their school and outside sessions as usual.

So it was after two days of meetings that it was time to meet the communities and children we are working with. Our group began the long drive to the Lufwanyama communities, winding and bumping along difficult roads. After hours of driving we met with core group members, teachers, and center care givers. Yet the most fascinating and humbling of the people waiting were the small beautiful faces of children.

After exchanging greetings, the children quickly forgot the strangers in their midst and went back to their usual sessions. They sang songs, danced, and spent time with their teachers.

When parents and teachers were asked about the impact of sponsorship programs, one parent proudly said “My child now teaches us hygiene as she learns from school which she never did before now.” Another proudly spoke about how the parents were working together to ensure that they built a permanent shelter for their children to learn in.

Dancing

Dancing in the Lufwanyama communities.

But what do you think the children said, on what they loved most and what more they wanted? “I like it when the teacher teaches me how to dance and sing”, or, “I like playing with my friends at school”.

While you and I are thinking of big, expensive, visible, and tangible physical development, that is not what matters most for the children we serve. For the child, what we may think is very small matters most to them.

All the way back to the office I could hear everyone talking about their favorite child’s song, or how they all enjoyed dancing with the children, and how we all remembered our own childhood. Even the CEO could not help but sit and be swamped with the many children who wanted to just sit with him. Those are the little things that really matter, to put back the smile on that child’s face. Learning must be fun. Our role is to make it so.

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

My First Field Visit

Charity

Charity Banda

SHN program Officer

Lufwanyama. Zambia

April 6, 2015

 

I recently joined the sponsorship team as SHN Program Officer after having worked with Save the Children as Training Coordinator under the Health project. This was my first visit to a center that is being supported under the sponsorship program. I was looking forward to seeing what really goes on.

The first Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) center we visited is at slab level and the community school is at footing level. The next ECCD centre we visited is at roof level. The team I travelled with praises the volunteers for the works that are looking proficiently done and moving at a good pace. The volunteer teachers and builders from the ECCD centre and the community school are very happy and inform the visiting team that the community has already organized more sand and stones and are anxiously waiting for the rains to subside in order for them to continue with the construction works.

The ECCD teacher tells the team that the attendance has been low for the past two days because children are afraid of attending school for fear of the stray dogs that have been terrorizing the community members. However, the officers from the Veterinary Department have been to the area to try and arrest the situation.

I am wondering why they are so excited when the works are just at slab and footing levels and far from completion, they tell me they know that they will soon have a safe place to teach and learn from unlike the past when the structures they were using were almost death traps for both the children and pupils, they say they cannot wait for the day these will be completed.

Sponsorship Programs in Zambia supports construction and rehabilitation of some ECCD centers and Community schools in Lufwanyama District to provide a quality learning environment. St Joseph’s is one of the communities were such constructions are taking place. The community’s contributions towards constructions or rehabilitation works are sand, stones and unskilled labor. Save the children program provides cement, roofing sheets, doors, glass panes, while Ministry of education provides skilled builders. In the mean time most children have their lessons from nearby local churches.

I am very excited and encouraged to be part of the team that will work with this community and help bring the much needed change to provide quality education to children. I can already see myself wanting to visit every month to follow up on the many good things I have seen and heard. Like the community, I can’t wait for the day these buildings will be complete and in use.

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

For the Love of Children: Volunteer Community School Teacher in Lufwanyama

Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

 Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

Save the Children, Zambia

November 18, 2013

One would think that for you to teach others you must have been to a teachers college, received a certificate or a diploma and are employed by either the government or private sector. This is an ideal situation. But this is not so for many “teachers” in developing countries where thousands of children need education, yet do not have enough qualified, trained teachers.

 

Giliart at a teacher trainingThat’s why community members like Gilliart Soft Kanguye decided to volunteer their time and be the teachers these children need. They spend 5 days a week teaching, in most cases working with over 100 children of different grade levels to prepare them for a better future. They are not paid, but give their service for the love of children and their community.

 

Gilliart is one of the 50 community members who volunteered to help provide education to the thousands of children in Lufwanyama who do not have the privilege of being in a government school. He went up to grade 9 in school, but would also love to upgrade his own education.

 

With the coming of the Sponsorship program, these volunteer teachers have begun to see hope and a Joseph Mbelneg with some the children he teacheslasting change for the future of the children they teach as they receive simple training to equip them to better provide an education to the children. In the past six months, Save the Children trained 36 teachers from Lufwanyama in the use of “New Break through to Literacy” (NBTL) and equipped these teachers with materials. The program has also indentified 12 teachers who will be attending training sessions so they can upgrade their teaching skills. The Sponsorship program is also in the process of providing library and other reading materials for the children in the 20 schools to promote literacy.

 

The community school teachers appreciate the support for the schools and look forward to further training. Asked why they spend so much time working for the community, Gillart says, “for the love of the children and to give them a better future and opportunity than I had.”

 

“With the coming of the Save the Children, I know we will excel and provide a better education for the children,” he continues. “I have begun to hear about other people who want to join in becoming volunteers as we are being trained and improving on our status and the community now respects us even more.” 

 

 

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