We flew home today having risen early and dropped the pick up truck off at the airport. We saw the sunrise over Lusaka on the way.
Flying back across Africa in daylight we got a real feel for the immensity of the continent. The equatorial area was covered in cloud but this thinned out and we flew across the Sahara Desert and then the North African Coast.
Reflecting on the visit we have had an amazing time. We have driven a total of 3,300km across Zambia in the last 3 weeks, and saw a dozen different projects who were already working with orphans and vulnerable children. We have met some amazing people who are giving of their time and resources for this work so generously. We have met a former President, former Prime Minister, Ministers of the Government, Generals and Local Officials, all of whom have given us their time and have been receptive to our vision. We have also been encouraged and helped by the Christians here, especially the members of the Anglican Cathedral in Lusaka. The Deputy High Commissioner has affirmed our approach was right to make this fact finding visit, to learn what works and what doesn’t before we start our project.
The other projects we have seen fall into a number of different models, including dormitory-style provision like Kabwata, the extended family model at Kalomo, and supporting families in their own homes at Kafue. We will be carefully considering what we have seen and heard over the next few weeks before we report back to the Church leadership.
In summary, Zambia is a fantastic country but there are many children an young people who are in need of help. There is scope for external organisations to provide this help but it needs to be right in terms of it’s context and delivery for the people and location. There must co-operation, working in harmony with the local authorities. It also needs to be sustainable to ensure that children and young people are supported through education to become successful independent citizens, able and willing to support themselves and their families.
We want to thank everyone who has helped us especially Panji Kaunda, David and Jasmine Thompson and Father Charley. Thanks also to Caalie for doing the blog, and to all of you for your prayers and support.