A fresh pair of eyes in Zambia

Martin with some of the boys at Lilato

When I was invited to join a team of volunteers on a trip out to Zambia this Autumn, I didn’t know what to expect. I went armed with my electrical knowledge as a resource for the team - and my enthusiasm!

The experience was a sobering and yet moving time for the team from the UK.  Kids Alive International International, based in Yeovil is the UK arm of the Kids Alive International charity, which works in many countries of the world.  We visited the Zambian capital, Lusaka, and also Mongu, an area very near the Kalahari desert in the west of Zambia.

Our mission on this first occasion was to build relationships and gain an understanding of the needs of the homes and schools supported by Kids Alive International. Somehow we also managed to fix buses, lorries and cars, wire classrooms and security lights and also taught children and provided a teacher training afternoon in both areas of Zambia!

Before our trip we decided that we wanted to take something out for the children themselves that they don’t easily get hold of – football kits! Martock Rangers Football Club and Chard Town FC donated a lot of their old strips; several families from the Yeovil area donated football boots.  We split all these donations into two lots – so the two homes we visited had at least one full strip and more. The children were overjoyed and were stripping off in front of us in their eagerness to get the 'proper' kit on and get organized with a game of football!  We also took out teaching resources, clothes and some portable solar panels and lights that would provide safe lighting during power cuts.

The needs in Zambia are great. Shortage of water is a big problem as the country is suffering one of its worst droughts ever - and the country runs on hydroelectric power. So, no water means a reduction of electricity across the whole of Zambia with regular power cuts; no water also means failure of crops; no water basically means that life is harder than we can ever imagine.

Even with all these hardships, the children still attend school with a smile on their face, they are so keen to learn and want to have a bright future. They have so many ambitions - doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants are all on their list of possibilities. They have so little and yet are so full of optimism – we all should learn from their example and thank God for all we have.

I shall be heading back to Zambia next year - I must. Kids Alive International International is always looking for more people to get involved – you too can join the charity in helping to make a difference - as a member of a team, as a child sponsor or as a prayer partner.

Posted on November 24th 2015

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