Thursday, 26 July 2012

Giving Back: Uniforms for Orphans in Chibobo, Zambia

It's turning into a week all about uniforms here!

We're very proud here at Spotlight to partner with Overnewton Anglican Community College in an intiavitve called Chibobo Help Ministries Project. 
The Chibobo HMP is a joint venture between Australian businesses and the non-government HMP organisation in northern Zambia, reaching out to and supporting orphans in the area. 

The project started off with 32 orphans in 2003, but the long-term goal of the scheme is to improve the lives of the approximately 100 orphans identified within a 6km radius of the HMP Chibobo Centre, through the provision of facilities and procedures involving the vital care of these orphans (eg feeding, clothing, educating).

Zambian students supported through the Chibobo HMP
 
We were privileged to be able to supply, in partnership with Melbourne Glitter & Dance, 200 school uniforms to the Chibobo HMP! Amazing! Mike Lampard from Overnewton College writes: "...only when a child has a uniform [can they] go to school. For many of the families in the community, especially those supporting orphans, this is an expense that they cannot meet. Once the child is able to attend school they can then be placed on the ‘list’ of orphans and can become eligible for some support from the government"


School buildings in Chibobo


The school uniforms provide these children with a way to gain an invaluable education and break the cycle of poverty. The real benefit comes when they are able in turn to empower their communities.

200 uniforms donated by Spotlight and Melbourne Glitter & Dance

We're so excited to be able to make a difference in a community that really needs it - and Spotlight is proud to support community intiatives across Australia & New Zealands and overseas.
We would love to hear about what you are doing in your communities!

Click "read more" to see the whole letter from Mike Lampard.





One of the joys on my recent trip to Chibobo was being able to hand over the 200 uniforms that you organised to the Chibobo community. They are very thankful and wanted me to pass on their appreciation to you and your suppliers who made it possible. It was a very generous donation.
It was only on our arrival in Lusaka that we were able to get the shipment released from the courier and customs officials, and we were able to transport them to Chibobo. The extra school uniforms are making a big difference in the community. Staivous explained to us that it was only when a child has a uniform that they can go to school. For many of the families in the community, especially those supporting orphans, this is an expense that they cannot meet. Once the child is able to attend school they can then be placed on the ‘list’ of orphans and can become eligible for some support from the government. I found it interesting that the ones who most need the support are often prevented from getting into the ‘system’ simply because they don’t have a school uniform. These clothes are a means of giving access to the support that they need to break the cycle of poverty. Many families in the Chibobo community support a number of orphans. I know of one family who care for 4 orphans from the community in addition to their own children.
I also had the chance to speak with a number of the leaders in the community, including the Chief’s representative, Shadrach, and some of the ‘headmen’ of the community. They commented how they are seeing the community improving, and a lot of the credit for this is given to having more children attending school and receiving an education.
The real benefits will be seen in the years to come when these orphans, who have been given hope, are able to contribute to the life of their community and country. I got to see the difference that this support is making to our 1st group of students who are being sponsored to Grade 10. They are motivated and have big dreams, and I have no doubt that these younger children will also have big dreams now that they have the chance of an education.
Our next big project is the construction of a High School at Chibobo. At present there is no High School for 80km on the Chibobo side of Serenje (the nearest town, which is 30km away), and the schools in Serenje dstrict are already overcrowded. The Chibobo High School will give the students, especially the orphans, the opportunity to access the senior years of schooling in a local setting. We are aiming to have the 1st stage ready for Grade 10 for the 2014 school year, but a lot needs to happen with the planning and financing for this to occur.
I have attached a couple of photos of the uniforms when we were sorting them into their sizes (20 sets of each size 6-14 for boys & girls) for the presentation to the community. I hope to soon have a photo of some of the local children in the uniforms.
Please accept our thanks and the thanks of the Chibobo community.

3 comments: