2014 Update

Hello from Malambo Grassroots! There’s been a great mix of successes with Malambo Grassroots and our various projects over the past year, with many more ambitious goals for 2015! Read below for the details!

Women’s Co-op/Income Generation Projects:

Our work with the women’s co-operatives has had many wonderful new adventures in income generating crafts this year!  Please click here to read a vibrant update from Jocelyn, founder of Malambo Grassroots, on a recent workshop with women from various parts of southern province!  Through carpet-making (via 2nd hand t-shirts), paper maché, crafts, textiles, and our newest project beading, Malambo continues to find ways for these women to earn income for the well-being of their families and communities.  Our projects have received support from the Aid to Artisans 2014 Canvas Home Small Grant Program!

St. Vincent de Paul, community school in Monze:

We received a lovely update from Sr. Lontia, Vice Mother Superior of Monze who runs St.Vincent de Paul, about this year’s Malambo funded projects for the school.  Please click here to read more and see photos!  We are very grateful to receive annual donations from one of our sponsors that will allow us to keep Sr. Lontia’s scholarship program running. Right now the scholarship program is supporting children from pre-school all the way to grade 11!   We will also be funding a new ZEduPad program this year!  Read all about these below!

St. Vincent de Paul is dedicated to children who are orphans, half-orphans, and at-risk youth. Many of these children only have one item of clothing and cannot afford the compulsory government school uniforms. Sr. Lontia has gradually been making uniforms for her students over the last few years. These uniforms will not only help keep the children warm in the cooler months, but will also create a sense of belonging for the students as the lack of separateness from other students who can afford uniforms is removed.

Sr. Lontia is hoping to receive funding in order to make uniforms for all children at the school.

Ngoma Dolce Music Academy:

Ngoma Dolce were delighted to receive a private donation last year that allowed them to purchase land, move from their tiny rented space to a much larger property, and start building a new music school! The photos here are of the finishing touches of the thatch roof being put on and a photo of some of the instruments we shipped over!  This year through our scholarship program at Ngoma Dolce, we have been able to support 7 guitarists, 5 pianists, 1 violinist, 1 clarinetist, 1 cellist and 3 brass players….all receiving regular private lessons.  As well the scholarship has funded several workshops for music students during the holidays.  This year we have been asked by Ngoma Dolce, if we can expand the scholarship program to include several of the students who are graduating from high school this year, but would still like to continue their private music studies.  We are happy to fundraise toward this goal as we see the immense benefit that music provides in the lives of our students.  In the words of El Sistema founder Maestro Jose Abreu “The moment a child in poverty learns to play an instrument they are no longer poor; they become a child in progress.”

Read more updates from Ngoma Dolce here!

Schools Helping Schools!

We were fortunate to continue to have the students at Prince of Wales Secondary School fundraise for Malambo Grassroots this past year. Through their incredible work we were able to finish some much needed projects in Zambia, such as a drinking well for students at Katulumba Primary School (see photo). We are excited to report that PW will again be fundraising for us this year and we are so grateful and excited for the positive impact their work is doing in Zambia.

This year they’ve chosen to work on the goal of fundraising for the Ngoma Dolce Music Academy. PW already has fundraising events set up such as pizza sales and a youth talent show! Thank you and good luck, PW!

Technology in Zambian Schools!

There has been a great learning tool created in Zambia: ZEduPads. ZEduPads are tablets which come pre-programmed with the Zambian school curriculum on them. Having these available as a learning tool for students has allowed not only their comprehension and lesson understanding to excel, but also their skills for using technology.

Since traditional textbooks are challenging to get for an entire class, the costs are high and the condition of them deteriorates quickly in rural Zambia, these ZEduPads will increase access to education. Our on-the-ground Zambia partner, Stichting Mwabuka, was able to bring ZEduPads into one school, Malambu Basic that we work with. We are now looking for funding to expand this program to St. Vincent de Paul. We will start with a small number of ZEduPads for the children and teachers, along with the necessary teacher training for them.

St Vincent de Paul will contribute by purchasing a safe through their small chicken business, and sales from their vegetable garden in order to keep the ZEduPads safe during non- school hours.

We estimate that $5000 is what is needed for ZEduPads and teacher training for tablets for this school.

Scholarships

We continue to sponsor students who are in need of funding for their education. We are so pleased to be able to help them with their educational goals, which otherwise, due to financial constraints would never be realised. We have had exceptional students from primary years to university level. Now, we are embarking on a new project for 2015. Over the years, we have been receiving more and more requests from students who would like to have the opportunity to attend university.  Considering that Zambia is a third world country, university has a first world price tag.  So for many years, we didn’t feel it would be financially possible for us, however after a pilot project two years ago with student Mweemba Matonga (see below) we realized not only that it was possible to support university students but how vital and important it is in helping build Zambia’s future!  As of this year, it will be become an integral part of our fundraising efforts at Malambo Grassroots.

This year we are hoping to support 5 gifted students as they embark on their university studies: Mweemba,  Sizwani, Wendy, Coreen, and Iven.

Continuing Students:

Mweemba Matonga was our first university student.  We were able to put him through two years of school where he graduated top of his class earning a certificate and professional diploma in Banking and Finance.  Mweemba has been hoping to continue his studies for an additional two years in order to earn a degree in Financial Services.  This will allow him to work in three areas:  banking, insurance, and pensions making him very employable! We are very happy that this year we will be able to support Mweemba in reaching his dream.   We recently told Mweemba that we would be able to fund his third year, and that we will continue to fundraise for his fourth year…he is thrilled and very grateful!

The cost for Mweemba’s program is $3250 CAD a year. He has 2 years of school remaining.

Sizwani Kaonga’s family live just behind the Moorings Farm where we work.  Through many difficult life challenges, Sizwani’s mother was able to support both herself and her daughter through various jobs including working as a goat trader and working for farms in the area. With this employment, Sizwani’s mother has tried very hard to educate her children. She has been very proud of her daughter Sizwani who decided to go into nursing.  We’ve been able to support Sizwani in her first year of nursing. She has done very well and is a very hard worker.  We hope to be able to continue supporting Sizwani for the next three years of her education so that she can realize her goals of becoming a nurse.

For Sizwani’s program, the cost is approximately $3065 CAD a year. Sizwani has 3 years left of her 4-year nursing program.

Wendy Mwiinga, is a single orphan.  She lived for a period of time with her grandmother, Hilda, a lovely women who worked on Moorings Farm for most of her life and recently retired.  Hilda was a house worker and also trained as the community health officer working at the tiny clinic on the farm.  Wendy was funded by our on-the-ground Zambia partner, Stichting Mwabuka, throughout her high school studies.  She did very well in school and wanted to continue on with post-secondary studies in music!  Last year, we were able to support Wendy in the first year of her Education/Music at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka. She is doing very well!  We hope to fundraise enough to see Wendy through her second year and into the remainder of her degree.

Wendy’s program is approximately $2500 CAD a year. Wendy has 3 years left to her 4-year music program.

New Students:

Coreen Mweetwa is the daughter of Polycarp Mweetwa who Malambo has worked very closely with for many years and is the headmaster of our local elementary school Malumbu Basic.  Mr. Mweetwa has been a leading advocate for creating a better education for students in our area. He has championed several projects that Malambo and Stichting Mwabuka, our on-the-ground Zambian partner organisation, have helped bring into fruition from building school classrooms and teacher housing, to creating a garden, and most recently, bringing electricity to Malambu, allowing the ZEduPad program to begin.  It’s very exciting for us that his daughter Coreen has done so well with her schooling and would like to continue with a degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science) at Rusangu University.  We hope to fund Coreen through all five years of her studies.

Coreen’s 5 year Bachelor of Science degree is $3300 CAD per year.

We have a long history with Iven Moonga’s family. Iven’s Mom Patricia was one of the founding members of our women’s co-operative.  Patricia and her husband Gideon have worked extremely hard to raise their 13 children all of whom are very clever, with a desire to move ahead in the world! Over the years we have worked with Patricia in numerous capacities.  You may remember Patricia from the small (and successful) chicken business that Malambo helped her start.  We are very pleased that we will be able to support her son Iven now with his university studies.  He is starting a four year degree in teacher training (Bachelor of Science) at Rusangu University.  We also hope to fund Iven through his studies.

Iven’s degree is a 4-year program at $3300 CAD per year.

There would be no possibility of our university students continuing their education without the generous support of our donors. We welcome donations of any amount! Alternatively, if you, as a family, couple, or individual, would like to specifically support one of our university students, please contact us for details.

We cannot thank you enough for the incredible opportunities your donations have created for our students.

Looking Ahead…

The list of our “what’s next” is endless! As you’ve read, we have many great projects we are starting, wrapping up and continuing! We’re excited to see how the Women’s Groups new work with beads comes together, how Ngoma Dolce settles into their new space and how PW does in this year’s fundraising goals!

We continue to watch the children of St.Vincent de Paul grow and further our goals of university funding. We hope that ZEduPads will be soon available for all of the kids we work with in Zambia and that all the other various project goals are met!

It is when we look at the work we’ve done, with your help, that we realise how many lives have been impacted by the generosity of either funding or time from those on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. We look forward to what we can include in our next update to you as there are so many exciting things ahead!

Should you wish to sponsor us financially, please consider a donation through our site. Or, should you wish to simply spread the word, share this newsletter or just read and enjoy yourself, we thank you! Every action makes an impact!

If you’d like more information on the work of Malambo Grassroots, please see our website –from our who we are to success stories.

A very special thank you to all of our donors who make it possible to continue the work we do every year in Zambia.  We are so grateful to all of you!

Wishing you all the best for a wonderful holiday season and 2015!

The Team at Malambo Grassroots