Our first initiative in Zambia was an income generating project for women, the Malambo Women’s Group. But we asked ourselves, what more could we do?
My aunt, Dr. Thea Savory, had started a free medical clinic and a scholarship program. We support these programs. We wanted them to grow. My mother is an educator and used to do curriculum development. We had been courted for a few years by the local headmaster, but we held off initially because we worried about how much funds we would be able to access. We could see the need was immense, beyond our limited means. So now we are working with schools.
We are also contributing to the scholarships. I went shopping with my aunt in Choma. We were stopped by the security guard of the shop—who thanked us profusely. He was a high school graduate and got this job on the strength of that. It was a good job.
We have had college and university graduates in a number of fields. Lately a young man graduated as a radiographer. He works in a hospital in northern Zambia and can now in turn contribute to the education of other children in his family. He is very grateful for his education and was very disappointed that my aunt could not attend his degree ceremony.
Sometimes when we are in Zambia, we help with the huge job of interviewing and processing the scholarship applications. This has to be done three times a year, and for some programs, four times. It’s an enormous effort. Our scholarship fund is limited. We have to say no to many prospective students. This is extremely hard to do—to say no to a child who really wants to go to school. The kids beg and cry. I find this tremendously difficult. These children and young adults know that a good education will change their lives, so they really want this chance.
This is what we want to give Zambians, a good education and the opportunity to have a better future.