Saturday, January 30, 2016

Three rising stars

We had the privilege this morning of meeting with the girls at Chipulukusu selected to receive scholarships to go on to 8th grade.  What a charming group!  Bernard, the school board chair, said some of the girls cried when they were informed of their awards because they thought their schooling opportunities were over.   And what are their dreams?  These ambitious and academically gifted orphans are determined to one day become journalists, accountants, nurses or teachers.

Only 25% of girls in a similar program sponsored by another NGO made it all the way through 12th grade.  When we asked our girls today who they would turn to if they encountered problems or challenges in their new school, they  immediately replied they would come back to ask advice from the teachers at Young Peace Maker school.  Fingers crossed that they do just that.  The GAP program helped get them this we them to cross the finish line.

Special friends

Jac, Dr. Menda, Lauren, Christine Menda, and Mike Keeble (Sherri ' s taking the picture) visiting at the Blue Crest Guest House in Lusaka.

It's always great to visit our good friends the Menda's whose son attended Graceland University last year and whose daughter is currently studying there.  They first learned of Graceland through our previous visits. We also had informative meetings at Room to Read and Book World.  Now on to Ndola to one of the BIG attractions----the school at Chipulukusu!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Respect in action

School boy receiving certificate from Theresa

There's more to learn in school than reading and writing and math.  One of the important foundational attributes taught in the Zambian schools is RESPECT.

Theresa, the School Board Chair sent this picture recently and wrote, "The child you are seeing receiving the attendance certificate, that child is kneeling that is the way we show respect for elders in our culture and that is how we tell that this child comes from a home where there are good morals."

Kneeling in respect would also commonly be seen when a Zambian woman hands something to her husband.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

African mystery

 Everyone loves popcorn!  During the school year the Kafwa spend endless hours cooking nourishing porridge meals for the children.  When it's time to celebrate the end of the school term, however, they fix a special treat.  Popcorn!!

How do they do that???  The kettles are huge and cumbersome. In my experience, popcorn pans need frequent shaking to keep the kernels from burning but these kettles are much too big to pick up and shake.  If you take the lid off and stir the kernels instead, the popcorn immediately escapes! 

I guess it will remain an African mystery.  The important thing is they somehow make it work and the kids end up with a special treat they love.

Team in Zambia

A tired but enthusiastic African team (Mike Keeble, Lauren Hall, Sherri & Jac Kirkpatrick), arrived on Zambian soil today.  We had to open our supply trunks at customs to show we truly had items for our schools but after proving the trunks carried the supplies declared in an accompanying letter on HealthEd Connect letterhead, they closed the trunks and let us go.   After arriving at our hostel in Livingston, we had a couple of hours to run out to be mesmerized by Victoria Falls, one of the 7 wonders of the world.  After sleeping 2 nights on airplanes we are looking forward to stretching out on real beds tonight!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Happy Graduate!

Annie is one excited girl!  She is at the local shop in Chingola picking out her uniform and other supplies for school.  She graduated in December from the Kasompe Community School of Peace 7th grade and was selected to receive a HealthEd Connect scholarship to enroll in the government 8th grade school.  Most orphans like Annie drop out of school after 7th grade (if they're even fortunate enough to make it that far) because they cannot pay the required annual $250 for fees, books, uniforms, etc.

Annie was selected by a local scholarship committee that carefully evaluated and prioritized the needs of all graduates.  Guidelines included such things as living conditions in home (dirt or cement floor), age of caregiver, health of caregiver, number of children living in home, etc.  HealthEd Connect was able to sponsor 19 children this year thanks to the generosity of our donors!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Wishing Wells

Kids have such generous hearts! These adorable little "wishing wells" were made by children at the Woods Chapel congregation in Lee's Summit, Missouri to collect money for the children in Nepal.   The goal was to raise funds to replace books the Nepalese children lost last year in the earthquake. The little wells were made during a Sunday School class, taken home to fill during Advent, and recently returned filled to overflowing.  A total of $174.92 was collected!  Wishes do come true...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Baby no More!

Love our teachers!
Our teachers in Zambia are in the process of applying for HealthEd Connect scholarships for next year to attend college-based Teacher Training programs.  An annual teacher's salary is $1,000.  An annual college cost for 1 year is $1,200.  It's impossible to save enough money to attend college without scholarship assistance.

Referring to the scholarship application process, Bernard, the Chipulukusu School Board Chair commented, "we are going make sure we spend funds on right Candidates, assessment is also in our agenda, we need hard working  and disciplined Teachers to work, our School is no longer a Baby we have grown to a fantastic level. "