We have had some great success with our Income Generating and Education programs!
We have started a new income generating project, rug hooking, with several Siavonga women. They buy second hand T-shirts from the local markets and hook onto hessian to make carpets and purses. We are delighted – as are the women – both with their skills and with the results. The expansion into rug hooking in Siavonga is so good that we cannot keep up with sales!
Maureen, a single mother of four, is one example of the positive outcomes we are already seeing with this new project: she was able to pay for her grade 8 son to go to school for 1 year with a portion of the earnings from her first carpet sale. With the remainder of her earnings, she bought cement to start building her own house. We have received word that she recently sold 2 more carpets and will now be able to put a roof on her house!
As a grassroots organization, we always want to work with the locals to address their needs –not what we think they need. Thanks to funding from donors, we were able to begin a new project in 2010 with the local women near Monze: chicken rearing! We equipped an old building with chicken wire security, purchased the necessary hardware and began with broilers (chickens for the pot). Commercial chickens are a difficult business but the women were dedicated and raised the chicks to maturity. The chickens have up to a 90% lay rate, and after three years we are happy to see that they are being managed so well. We have expanded the project with more chickens, and the chickens are now providing income for the women who run the business and protein for the community.
Dickson Chimuka is one of our ongoing incredible success stories. After he lost his father, when he was just 9 years old, he was left on his own for his education and future. He worked his way through grade school by splitting rocks with a metal rod and selling them in piles by the side of the road. To get himself through to Grade 12, he worked for a firm writing receipts, and for a bubblegum factory, weighing bubblegum. With excellent grades and references, his former school took him back immediately upon graduation, first as a librarian, then as a commerce coach. We are working with Dickson to help fund his studies at university to become a teacher. We are pleased to say that he has passed his first term courses and we continue to work with him to fundraise for his future school terms.
We are also pleased to report on the following:
The Malambo Women, the Lusumpuko Women and Sunford & Co are now self-directed, self-sustaining projects. They have expanded into the market, and accept orders. We also buy their products, then sell them in Canada, and the UK, and take all proceeds back to Zambia in order to work further with the community, and to expand into other areas of Zambia.
The infrastructure of Malambu Basic School has substantially improved with toilets, a bath house, and a kitchen. Two teachers’ houses have been erected so that the school, which was lacking two teachers, now has a full complement of teachers allowable by the Ministry. Children no longer come to a classroom with no teacher in it.