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ISSUE AUGUST 2009

CHOMA | ZAMBIA

mmabana community outreach of Greetings Choma

Dear friends, here is a thought on hope for us all this month: “For this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:24-25)

Agenda

Highlights

Highlights

HOMELESS TALK

HOMELESS TALK

On the 29th of July the Mmabana Community Outreach Project held a “Homeless Talk” meeting with different stakeholders of Choma to create a social awareness towards this human tragedy. Poverty causes exclusion from family and society. Many hopeful migrants from the rural areas are forced to become street vendors on Choma’s markets. Not having any shelter to stay at night, they are thrown into a harsh life on the streets: they are daily exposed to many risks and sometimes take whatever means to make money. But even though they might get by staying free from illicit work, they still become “homeless” and this stigmatizing label, once set, is hard to remove. The meeting started with a testimony from the Mmabana Youth of Choma, who shared on their eye-opening experience of reaching out to the poor, when they served them tea last month. Through this encounter they became aware of the harsh circumstances: there are neither sanitation facilities nor water in the market place, even though street vendors have to pay taxes. The MCOP appealed to live not only faith-based but also by Zambian cultural ethics by not forgetting to care for the homeless. Nationwide there are only a few organizations who deal with this issue. The “Homeless Talk” meeting motivated the MCOP and the present stakeholders to dig deeper into the issue by conducting a survey to identify the roots of local poverty, and reminded us that God calls us to care for “the least of these brothers of [ours]”, like the Good Samaritan did.

Feedback WHY MMABANA?

Prayer Requests MMABANA REGISTRATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Challenges & Opportunities MCOPS FIRST VISIT TO THE RURAL AREA

Acknowledgements GENEROUS GIVING

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Registration number, (ors/102/52/686} under the societies rules of Zambia Section 7[2] of Societies Act cap 119]

Feedback WHY MMABANA? I, Sister Macrina Lyaunda, belong to the

Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Spirit of the Catholic Church. I am a teacher by profession; as per now I am the Head Mistress for Mwapona Community School. This school currently has 425 pupils compared to 578 at the beginning of this year. A clear sign of dropped outs (nearly 27%). Three quarters of them are orphans and vulnerables. In June this year, different stakeholders and members of the civil societies of Choma were asked to prepare the activities to be celebrated on 16th June 2009 to commemorate the celebration of the African Child Day. It was also on this particular time that I met Nosiku Kalonga and Patrick Mookeenah for the first time and they introduced themselves as from “Mmabana Community Outreach Project of Choma”. Within myself I wondered what the meaning of this organisation was and what they were doing. The day of the African Child went on fairly well. The MCOP’s participation was an amazing discovery! Even the media couldn’t hide their appreciation for how the MCOP facilitated a forum where pupils could raise issues about the future of Africa’s socio-political economic development. Later that day the MCOP surprised everybody with their children who danced. So I eventually decided to ask the MCOP to tell me more about their activities and involvement in the community. When I learnt more about them, I obviously became a member of Mmabana. I couldn’t see myself simply remaining a spectator! I would have never imagined starting computer lessons at my age, together with the Mmabana Youth, who once were students of mine. The amazing news: the course is for free! Who could believe it? My relationship to Nosiku Kalonga and Patrick Mookeenah grew fast. I even became a personal counsellor to them,

as they share their personal life and professional struggle openly. In them I have found a daughter and a son. Hence, the MCOP became partners with the Mwapona Community School where the Mmabana Youth is now offering their time in an extracurricular accompaniment program. The MCOP’s involvement in different activities shows me it’s amazing passion, energy, dynamics, enthusiasm and expression of God’s love. Our community is not the same any longer with their Kids Club activity, their youth recreational centre, their theological reflections (which really fill the vacuum in our daily spiritual growth), their free computer courses, the women committee and the visits to the homeless (no one ever thought of our homeless before!) MCOP appears to be growing and spreading every moment.

I believe the MCOP is doing God’s will by helping people, especially the most vulnerable of our community. Even at my age I cannot simply sit and watch, I really have to get my hand in the preparation of this big cake for our community. I do believe God is with us and that there is more to come. Thank God for the MCOP and may He help us to continue. Thank you also to all who act silently behind the scene in South Africa and abroad. Without your support the MCOP cannot exist and through this support you have become an instrument of our Lord. Sincerely yours, Sister Macrina Lyaunda Mwapona Community School

P.O. BOX 630 735 CHOMA, ZAMBIA email: mwaponaschool@gmail.com cell: + 260 977 856 801

Prayer Requests MMABANA REGISTRATION IN RSA We pray for the registration of “Mmabana Foundation” in South Africa, so that on an official basis more people and funders can join in on the growth of the project, especially for those overseas.

2 Registration number, (ors/102/52/686} under the societies rules of Zambia Section 7[2] of Societies Act cap 119]


Registration number, (ors/102/52/686} under the societies rules of Zambia Section 7[2] of Societies Act cap 119]

Challenges & Opportunities MCOPS FIRST VISIT TO THE RURAL AREA On Friday the 21st the MCOP made a trip to Chikanta village – situated 200km away from Choma. It was our first time to visit such a typical rural area, so everyone was eager to discover, build relationships and inform ourselves about life in the rural village. It was a tough eight-hour journey full of potholes – a real safari deep into thick bush, as we passed villages where the world clock seems to have stopped still. At times the dust on the road was so thick, one couldn’t see further than ten meters. We experienced what people from the villages have to endure. Now we can talk about it not from the outside, but from the inside. We still taste the dust sometimes. Village life resembled feudal society: villagers live by a trade system, exchanging farm products for commodities, such as charcoal, clothes and bicycles, in the nearest town. Money has little use here because there is no shop to buy necessities, like cooking pots or plastic buckets for fetching water. All social encounters are run through the chief and his council, a tradition the MCOP openly adhered to. So under the supervision of the chief council we met the locals to listen to their daily challenges and their hope for a better lifestyle. It was wonderful to have Mr. Lyaunda with us – a medical practitioner from Lusaka, who we met through his sister, the director of Mwapona Community School. He decided to join us on our rural outreach, hereby offering the locals free medical checkups and free basic medication such as panadol, malaria prevention and treatment medication. Some major cases were referred to hospital by doctor’s ordinance.

We will now offer the newsletters in FRENCH, ENGLISH or GERMAN

Two of the village’s main needs are sanitation and water facilities, as well as a health centre. Women and children fetch water that is not even drinkable from a distance of more than two kilometres away. The closest health centre is at 30km away and the governmental mobile clinics come once a month which is insufficient. Villagers told us that “disease and sickness do not wait for the mobile clinic”. We were received with such a warm welcome, that there were many tears when we left early Monday morning. We thank Sister Macrina for organizing the contact, the family that accommodated us, the chiefdom council, the chief, the doctor and the four members of Mmabana who joined us on our trip. Through the locals we learnt so much more than we could have taught them. We returned home full of experience and with the hope that we can build a program with the people of Chikanta, as the chief has already promised us his support.

Acknowledgements GENEROUS GIVING We want to thank the many friends from Southern Africa to Europe who have found it in their heart to support and already fund this project. Through their generosity we have been able to come up for most of the money needed by the end of September. These expenses included the registration for the computer course, the internet connection and the rental of a bigger house.

These wonderful happenings would not have occurred without your support! Thank you for the trust you put and will continue to put into us. God bless you, Jean-Christophe Dalka

If you have any questions concerning the project or ideas on how to improve this newsletter, please feel free to write us at: mmabana@gmail.com

simply email mmabana@gmail.com

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