"Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.
"1 Timothy 4:12 (The Message)Early last year, Joseph and Hilda Bwalya, along with their teenagers Conceptor and Margaret, realized that the youth of their community needed a fun, safe environment in which they could learn about Jesus. There was no youth group at the time, so they decided to start one, and thus the Enfys Youth Group began. It is led by Maxwell, a twenty-something who is the main teacher at the Enfys school; Conceptor; and Nicolas, a young assistant teacher at Enfys. The primary theme is simple, yet profound: study God's Word to learn Who God is. Each week, about 50 teens attend a program that
includes prayer, singing, dancing, skits, lessons, entertainment, and breakout sessions for small group discussions. Each week, Conceptor, Maxwell, or Nicholas gives a talk to the whole group about one or more of the group's 5 objectives:
1. Entrepreneurship skills
2. Human rights
3. Care of orphans and vulnerable children
4. Promoting talent identification
5. Youth involvement in civic issues.These youth take this group, and discipleship, seriously. They meet to go door-to-door and evangelize un-churched members of their community, visit nursing homes to help the residents, or visit the market to do community service such as cleaning. They also have a
boys football (soccer) team for the boys and a girls net ball (similar to Ultimate Frisbee, but with a basketball) team that play teams from other area churches and are fantastically popular with youth group and non-youth group members alike. This group is
very interested in connecting with youth groups in the US to share ideas and to encourage one another. Some
challenges and needs for which they could use prayer and support are:
- Lack of teaching materials and innovative ideas for activities/outreach/teaching/fun
games to attract new members.
- Some teens have to be pushed to fully participate
- Soccer and Net Ball Uniforms
Members of the Enfys Youth Group performing choreography / dance along with a Chris Tomlin song
Margaret Bwalya sharing her small group's responses to some HIV/AIDS-related questions
It's almost Christmas in Zambia. And even though the children won't wake up to a snowy scene through their windows, they're stirring just the same. LRPI and volunteers around the world have worked tirelessly to make sure that the Zambian families and children share in the same spirit of the holiday that we all get to experience at our own homes during this time of year.
With the backing of people all over the world, the Earn It Program participants and children in Mufulira will be waking up to presents on their doorsteps. Joseph and Hilda, who help run ENFYS and work in the village, have pledged their own profits and chickens to help feed villagers for Christmas. A local bank in Zambia that works with LRPI has pledged finances to help pay for food and necessities for the children.
Along with Zambians, countless families and individuals here in the U.S. have supported the fund that will bring Christmas to Zambian children in various ways. Steve and his wife Kendra in Florida, requested that their family donate to the children's Christmas fund in Zambia, instead of sending presents to them.
Amber Purdy and her young sons in Ohio raised $100 through a local bake sale. The money will be used to provide new trousers, underwear and shirts to both Earn It Program participants and children of the village.
A high school student, Michalya, also out of Ohio, rallied her fellow students to make over 80 personalized Christmas cards for the children in both Zambia and Tanzania. [Photo on left].
Holly Gardner of 'Holly Gardner Photography' helps to keep the organization running all year by donating 3% of every shoot back to LRPI. This holiday, she also offered clients a discount if they contributed toward the Zambia Christmas Fund. You can see her work and read about her commitment here: http://hollygardner.com/blog/
LRPI would like to thank everyone who helped support the Christmas in Zambia fund this year. From those volunteers mentioned above, to the countless amount of time and energy spent by those not mentioned in this article. On Christmas morning, there will be children awakening and smiling, feeling the warmth, love and kindness of people a world away. Thank you all for continuing to bring this joy to Zambia and Tanzania. You may never quite realize the impact your love has, but it is the most powerful thing in the world.
God Bless and Merry Christmas,
The following is a report directly from the Enfys Foundation in Zambia.
The month of September was an exciting month as we saw and experienced the harvest of cabbages and other
farm products such as tomatoe and rape. It's amazing how God is providing for the organization through farming and other related activities. When we started it was as though we were just wasting our time, but this is when we have seen that our time wasn’t in vain because the fruits are now seen. We are hoping to do more this year by God's grace to reach an extent where every child, vulnerable and orphan, goes home with some of the farm produce in order to encourage their parents to do something that can earn them a living. As we stated in one of the objectives, we want to empower the community so that they be a people that can depend on themselves in future and present. Here are some pictures of the cabbage harvest which has amazingly done well. This was after the harvest of the cabbages and the tomatoes which is yet to be harvested.
May was a busy month for LRPI members in Zambia! LRPI members Terry and Idah attended a 2-week continuing education course in Psychosocial Counseling offered through the Ministry of Health and UNAIDS. They both have previous training in this area, and hope to become better able to care for the mental health as well as the physical health of the community. The following objectives were addressed:
- · Basic facts about HIV and AIDS.
- Interventions in HIV and AIDS prevention and care such as
- CTC (Counseling Testing and Care),
- VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing),
- PMTCT (Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission),
- condom use,
- ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy),
- behavior change.
- Counseling theories, skills, and techniques
- Report writing
- Crisis intervention
- Practical in HIV Rapid Testing
- Personality and Behavior
This part of the course covered an introduction to Counseling Children and Counseling Couples. In August, the participants began a practicum that specializes in one of those areas. After completing that practicum and registering with the Zambia Counseling Council (ZCC), they can become certified professional counselors.
Terry and Idah, along with Bishop Muleya’s son, Rev. Tulin Muleya, set glowing examples during the course. Terry was appointed treasurer, Idah was appointed class secretary, and Rev. Muleya was appointed as the class chairperson. They certainly take the message of 1 Corinthians 10:31 to heart and do everything for the glory of God!
In June, Martinz Kampamba also attended a residential training course in Public Health in Ndola, Zambia. There, he learned how to administer and analyze the following tests, and how to counsel in the following areas :
- HIV /AIDS test
- Micro- organisms in food test
- Pregnancy test
- Malaria test
- Blood Pressure test
- how to sterilize clinical tools
- Temperature recording
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Health concepts
- Health psychology
- Community health
- Community mobilization
- Health promotion
- Public speaking
- Overview of counseling theories and practices
- Medical aspects of treatment
- Monitoring the growth of a child born from an HIV positive mothe
- Health talks with mothers
- Attending to mothers in the labour ward
- Environmental protection
Fellow LRPI member John Payne was able to visit Martinz during his stay to encourage him to stay focused and affirm that he was making a difference through his studies. Martinz will continue his training in September, and will allow him to “do greater things in the lives of Zambia youths…and help [his] ministry achieve a lot of things in the future.” He is not wearying in doing good, and no doubt will reap a great harvest of hope in the future (Galations 6:9).
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.
This year, STS-Zambia set a big goal. Their plan was simple- gather a team of nurses and counselors, travel to school and get students to participate in VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing). The execution, however, was much harder. Many people aren’t aware of the attitude across Africa largely taken towards VCT. Stigmas about HIV/AIDS and testing have progressed over the years- comprised mostly of fear of infection and overall misinformation about the disease and its prevention. For the large amount of free testing, treatment and
education there is available, many Zambians are misinformed about both the testing process and the disease itself.
STS-Zambia sought to defy the stigma and re-educate as many students as possible. Then, they took it a step further. Instead of just seeking to educate groups, they actually brought nurses in and offered VCT. Throughout June, STS-Zambia partnered up with clinics and school management and successfully completed the VCT School Visit Program in six schools: Butondo High School, Kantanshi High, Mufulira High, Ipusukilo High School, Pamodzi High and Mufulira College of Education.
Working with The Ministry of Health and The Ministry of Education, STS-Zambia began each program with a stage of pre-counseling and sensitization. At each school, students were divided into small groups in order to discuss the details and benefits of VCT. Counselors spent time with students discussing interventions in HIV and AIDS prevention and care, condom-use and behavior change. Students were then able to volunteer to be tested and the turnout was remarkable. As students watched their peers volunteer, more and more felt comfortable joining in. For the students that tested positively, STS-Zambia will be working to coordinate for counseling care on living with HIV/AIDS in order to complete their current programs.
Terry Simpaka, one of the leaders of STS-Zambia recalled, “Other schools after hearing about this initiative are requesting that we visit them to and do the service in their respective learning institutions.” Following his words and inspired by STS-Zambia, the Kibaha Boys’ Secondary School in Tanzania recently held a similar VCT event. Furthermore, the Kibaha Girls’ Secondary School is setting up a VCT project which will be done at both Tumbi special hospital and Kibaha Girls’Secondary School in coast region of Tanzania later on this year.
*LRPI and STS-Zambia would like to thank everyone who made these events successful: The Ministry of Health- the provision of the testing kits and the nursing staff to help in testing and counseling, alongside our trained counselors was a milestone to us, The Ministry of Education- your permission to carry out this important program in your learning institutions enabled us to fulfill our dream, all the guidance counselors, all school management and specifically Mr.Tembo for the support he rendered throughout the entire process.
LRPI Zambia leaders Terry (back row, far left) & Martins (back row, 2nd from right) with Kantanshi High teachers and the clinic 1 staff during the VCT School visit
In May 2012, over 200 students and teachers from Butondo and Kantanshi High Schools put faith into practice and participated in a VCT (Voluntary Counseling and Testing) Program. The STS clubs partnered with the Zambia Ministry of Health, which provided HIV testing kits and 2 trained counselors from a local clinic to not only test the students, but to provide pre- and post- test counseling. Care was taken to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the brave students who volunteered to be tested despite the threat of stigma. To begin, the students were separated by gender, then divided into groups of 10 for a counseling program. Each person who wished to be tested then entered the testing room separately to receive individual counseling before and after their test.
Historically, a thick cloud of stigma has surrounded VCT, especially among high school students. By God’s grace, through the hard work and dedication of the LRPI-Zambia and LRPI-US staff, and of course the STS clubs in the respective high schools, it appears that that cloud may be lifting from Mufulira. Many encouraging responses were noted on the monitoring forms passed out on the testing days, including a majority of students who reported
· A more positive attitude toward testing
· Using abstinence (only) to avoid HIV infection
· Having been tested before
· Requesting a personal follow up counseling
On top of that, other local schools saw the wonderful testimony of these brave students and are requesting a VCT program for their school as well. Pastors Terry and Martinz, as well as the many other members who work tirelessly in the STS Clubs, have turned these two high schools into cities on a hill, shining the light of truth that cuts through the darkness of stigma.
The Head Boy- an STS Club Member- sets an example of attentive listening during the pre- testing counseling
Female students waiting to be tested.
Several of the Earn It participants help to construct an extra area for the feeding program and school.
LRPI introduced the EARN IT program led by Martinz Kampapa to the ENFYS orphanage headed by Pastor Joseph Bwalya in Mufulira, Zambia, in 2010. The EARN IT program targets high school-age youth in ENFYS and the surrounding community and provides them the opportunity to earn school materials,
transportation to school, tuition, and personal items.
The overall goals of EARN IT are:
Empowering young people with useful skills
Equipping young people spiritually
Mentoring young people to work to meet their needs
Unlike in America, the cost of transportation to high school in Mufulira can be up to 80% of the total cost of attending school, dwarfing tuition and books. Inclusion of transport costs as part of Earn It helps to mitigate that barrier which can stand between our youth and an education.
Martinz says that EARN IT gives the students hope when they realize they are capable of helping themselves. The students attitudes and accomplishments as well as Martinz’ management has not gone unnoticed by the community. Now in its second year, the success has been noticed beyond Mufulira. On April 13 a Government leader visited Martinz, and said "We have heard much about your program, we would love you to come and guide us on how we can use our block-making machine to benefit the youths in Mufulira district, using your program and methods."
Martinz says, "Having done this for some time it was very easy for me to give the idea to the government official and they have asked me if I can put up a plan and then show them how I have been keeping up the hours each participant earns each day. If the Government can take this idea, it means that our friends have been supporting the right thing. We should copy the good ideas
in order to foster development in our country."
"I personally thank you. Your support to this program will see other benefit from many areas not only in Mufulira but in all the country."
EARN IT is managed stateside by Jeff Hamilton with support from Renelle Tompkins.
Innocent is one of the students who helps with the maize mill. Many from the community come to have their maize ground by the Earn It students to prepare the maize that they have grown for use in their homes as food.
Martinz looks through a new Bible. He leads studies for the Earn It group that improve their biblical knowledge, encourage a right relationship with God, and build unity within the group.
On a recent trip to Tanzania, the leaders of the Tanzanian STS clubs and the visiting American team were interviewed for "The African". This newspaper is widely distributed around Africa. They were able to pick up a copy of the article, attached below.
The students that graduated from the STS program are from the Kibaha Sec School that consists of the top students in all
Tanzania (hand selected). The visiting Americans were impressed with the students HIV/AIDS knowledge and their passion for the STS program going forward.
LRPI clubs meet weekly throughout the semester to learn about various topics, ranging from HIV education to small business basics. Most recently, the clubs at Jack Moffat and SICA in Mufalira, Zambia engaged in lessons on community service and the importance of giving back to the community around them. These lessons, led by their teacher Martinz, inspired the students to band together and give back to the community.
Students from both schools brainstormed throughout the semester and came up with the idea to take a trip to an elderly home in Chibolya, just outside of Mufulira.
Before the visit, club members coordinated the collection of sugar, almost 100 tablets of bathing soap, washing soap, meal and relish. At the home, students presented the collection to the group of elders in the home.
Students and club leaders also took the time to sit and talk with some of the elderly. It was enriching experience to not only the home members, but also to the students themselves. Martinz recalls, "It was a blessing that Chibolya [elders] were very happy to be given the donation of sorted items by the club members of the side schools." These students and teachers are a testament to the strength and hope that comes from everyone coming together to build better individuals and a better community. We are proud to have them all as a part of LRPI. They inspire us all.
Students share supplies and smiles with an elderly woman in Chibolya.
Two club schools came together to donate much needed supplies to the elderly.
A club leader lends his time to an elderly woman in Chibolya.