by Virginia Sowers
It’s amazing what people can accomplish when they work together.
In just three months, 22 generous ChildFund supporters have raised $62,588 to reduce malaria in Zambia, feed malnourished children in Kenya and bring fresh water to rural communities in Timor Leste.
These supporters likely will never cross paths, but they all shared a common quest through Fund a Project, which identifies critical needs in ChildFund program countries.
For the project in Nambala, Zambia, five ChildFund contributors and one major donor have put up more than $41,000 for malaria prevention and education. The program will significantly increase the number of treated bed nets in Nambala. A much larger trained force of malaria agents will also educate households on prevention and management.
In Kenya, ChildFund’s successful Pamoja nutritional support program will continue and expand to the Mukuru informal settlement in Nairobi, thanks to the generosity of a major donor and 10 contributors who gave more than $18,000.
The program will supplement the nutritional needs and reduce the levels of malnutrition in preschool children within the settlement. Funds will also cover the costs of transporting and distributing the supplement, employing cooks to properly prepare foods for the children and monitoring children’s progress to ensure the reversal of malnutrition.
In Timor Leste, children will no longer have to walk up to 40 minutes to reach a source of potable water and then carry a supply home to their families. With more than $2,800 from five contributors, ChildFund will be providing a nearby source of clean water for approximately 15 rural families. Without such long treks for water, children will have more time to study, play and help with other family chores.
All three projects should be under way this spring and summer.
More worthy projects await funding. So, what else can we do together?
By Chola Chifukushi
During the first 10 years of the country’s independence, Zambians of all walks of life participated in the annual independence celebrations, which were characterized by dancing, eating and other forms of merrymaking. The government then used Independence Day as a time to engage children and youth in many social and cultural activities as a way of identifying and promoting their various talents in sports, music and dance as well as other creative activities. Children and youth were also taught the virtues of being a good Zambian citizen. During this day, the government also promoted feeding programs in schools, as a means of improving children’s nutrition.
“Our government made independence celebrations a joy for all, as it marks a memorable day in the history of our country,” says 75-year-old John, a former counselor during the UNIP (United National Independence Party) Government. “Our policy of inclusive participation in the celebrations of independence especially for young people was based on the understanding that the future of Zambia lies in the children and youth of the country,” he notes, adding that the country should not lose sight of this premise.
However, over the years, the diminishing economic fortunes of the country have made it difficult for Zambia to continue with the celebration of independence in the manner it was originally celebrated. Today, very few children and youth, if any, participate in the celebrations of their country’s independence. The anniversary has now become a symbolic gesture restricted to few people fortunate enough to be invited to the statehouse, where the president hosts some dignitaries and cadres, mostly from the ruling party.
It is therefore no surprise that although Zambia’s independence forms part of the curriculum for both primary and secondary schools, very few young people know well the facts and figures about their country. For some children like Taonga, a 10-year-old student at a private school in Lusaka, Independence Day is only a “holiday.”
“Teacher only told us that Independence Day is usually a holiday,” Taonga says innocently.
As a part of its strategy to help children understand some significant days on their country’s calendar, ChildFund Zambia plans to start holding community-based celebrations on days like Independence Day. It is envisioned that once implemented, such a strategy would contribute to the preservation of Zambia’s historic heritage as well as contributing to bringing up knowledgeable children, thus contributing to ChildFund’s achieving two core outcomes — educated and confident children as well as skilled and involved youth.
For more information about our work in Zambia, click here.
More on Zambia
Population: 11.5 million
ChildFund beneficiaries: More than 810,000 children and families
Did You Know?: Zambia’s national flag holds much symbolism: Green represents the country’s abundant natural resources; red symbolizes the blood that was shed during the liberation; black stands for the people of Zambia; orange represents the country’s rich mineral deposits; and the eagle is the national symbol of unity and Zambia’s resolve to “rise” above all social, political, economic and other challenges.
What’s next: Timor-Leste, where independence is still quite new.
By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist
In July we thanked you for following us on Twitter; now hear it from those you helped – a family in Zambia. A couple of months ago on Twitter we promised to send items from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog to areas that needed them the most – for every 200 followers during the campaign, one gift would be given from an anonymous donor who went above their usual giving amount.
As part of our campaign, we promised to share with you video of children and families receiving those gifts. After a small delay, videos have arrived back at our International Office in Richmond, Va.
The first video features Phiri, chairman of a goat restocking group in Zambia who talks about the benefits of goats to the families. These goats will help a family make money that can be used for school uniforms and provide nutritious food and milk. Also on this first video are Cement and Mary with some of their grandchildren thanking you – our Twitter followers – for helping provide the goats. Cement and Mary have seven children and 10 grandchildren.
In addition to the goats in Zambia, the other gifts made possible from the Twitter campaign are two sets of chickens in The Gambia; three sets of 15 grafted mango trees for Kenya; and three sets of vegetable seeds in Ethiopia. Once we receive additional footage, we will share it with you.
Once again we want to thank everyone for following us on Twitter (@ChildFund) and helping make a difference in the lives of these children and their families.
By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist
It has taken just a little longer than we anticipated, but the gifts for children and families in four African countries made possible by our Twitter campaign in July are in transit.
To give you a brief recap, the Twitter campaign worked like this: every 200 followers @ChildFund received during two weeks in July meant a gift from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog to one of the countries. The gifts were made possible by an anonymous donor who went above their usual giving amount. You can read more about our campaign here.
When the campaign ended July 27, we had more than 2,200 followers, which meant 11 gifts. Two sets of chickens are now headed to a school in The Gambia; three goats are going to families in Zambia; three sets of 15 grafted mango trees will be planted in Kenya; and three sets of vegetable seeds will soon arrive in Ethiopia.
These donations are about much more than the actual item. Each item represents a livelihood for a family, income, responsibility, and, most importantly, an opportunity for a brighter future thanks to each of you.
Small video cameras have already been shipped to The Gambia and Zambia and we expect footage from those areas in the coming weeks. As the videos arrive back in our U.S. headquarters in Richmond, Va., we will share them with you. Due to delivery issues to remote parts of the world and technology issues with slow Internet connections in many areas where we work, getting information from our program areas takes time and patience from everyone involved.
Thanks to everyone for following and helping to change the lives of 11 children and their families.
For more information about ChildFund International, visit www.ChildFund.org.
By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We can’t say it enough! On July 10 when we launched our Twitter campaign, we didn’t quite know what to expect. We knew we’d get a lot of new followers, but perhaps we underestimated the generosity of people out there. For everyone who lent a hand in this – THANK YOU!
As the campaign ended at noon today, we had more than 2,200 followers – that’s 11 gifts to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children and families in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. (For more information on the campaign and how it worked, click here to read our initial post and here when we reached 1,500 followers.)
Now that this campaign is over, what’s next? Thanks to anonymous donors who are going above their usual giving amount for this campaign, children and families will receive the following gifts:
• Chickens for a school in The Gambia
• A goat for a family farm in Zambia
• Mango trees in Kenya
• Vegetable seeds in Ethiopia
Over the next few days, we will ship the items to the program areas so they can be put to immediate use. During this process, we are working with ChildFund International employees in those countries to film video and take pictures so that you can see how following us on Twitter helped children living in poverty. It’s a commitment from us to hold an accountable dialogue with you.
We expect this process may take a couple of months to complete. Due to delivery issues to remote parts of the world and technology issues with slow Internet connections in many areas where we work, getting information from our program areas takes time and patience from everyone involved.
Now that the Twitter campaign is over, it certainly doesn’t mean that our presence there is disappearing. We’ll continue to post updates about ChildFund, answer questions followers may have, retweet others’ posts on topics we find relevant and much more. This campaign is only the beginning of our conversation.
Our Twitter campaign is drawing to a close – it will officially end at noon Monday, July 27 (by noon we mean on the East Coast in the U.S.). This campaign started July 10 as a way to bring awareness to the needs of children and families in four African countries. For every 200 followers @ChildFund receives, agricultural gifts will be given to families and children in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog.
So far we have more than 2,000 followers — that means 10 gifts to help children and families in those countries. These gifts are being made possible by donors giving above their usual amount.
We’d once again like to thank several blogs and followers on Twitter for bringing awareness to this campaign, in addition to ones we have already mentioned:
Once the campaign ends, we’ll send the gifts to the communities. We’re also sending small video cameras so we can share firsthand how these gifts make a difference in the lives of the individuals and the community. We want you to know that your efforts are leading to the well-being of the world. Continue to check back for additional details in the coming weeks.
For more information about ChildFund International, please visit www.ChildFund.org.
Follow us on Twitter and you can make the difference in the lives of children. Really. It’s that simple.
To celebrate our new name and our commitment to children, we’re giving agriculture gifts from our Gifts of Love and Hope catalog to children and families for every 200 Twitter followers we receive.
These efforts will directly benefit children in The Gambia, Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia. There is no cap on followers, and the offer will continue through July 27. Each country has different needs so the gifts vary:
As part of the effort, ChildFund International is sending Flip video cameras to program offices in each of the four countries to report back. We’ll share the recipients’ stories and photos with you. We want to share how your efforts and these items benefit children and their communities. It is also a commitment not to simply promote, but to continue an accountable dialog with our supporters.
So come follow us. Tell your friends. Tell your friends’ friends. By simply following @ChildFund we can all make a difference in a child’s life.
By David Hylton,
Public Relations Specialist
Since he was 7 years old, Pardon of Zambia has been at the head of his class.
Pardon, now 20, is a cool and gentle looking young man of the Kafue District who dreams one day of becoming a medical doctor.
“I want to do medicine and later specialize in pathology or neurosurgery,” he says.
Pardon, who has two younger sisters and a younger brother, remembers entering a ChildFund International sponsorship program 14 years ago.
“The program paid for all my school fees and other requirements like school shoes, uniforms, books, mosquito nets, just to mention a few,” he recalls.
To read more about Pardon and his life goals, click here to visit the new “Children” section of ChildFund International’s Web set. In addition to reading about Pardon, you’ll find more stories of children in our programs, and you can find out how you can help make a difference in the lives of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children around the world.