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Ondine and Peter Chadwick visited South Luangwa and stayed at Shenton Safaris. She wrote about her experience with us whilst visiting some schools . . .
     
   

Four years ago my husband Peter and I visited the South Luangwa for a safari and learned about Hanada Orphanage in Mfuwe, a small community project then supported by Shenton Safari Camp and visitors’ donations.  It inspired me to do the same and I have been raising funds since then.  These funds may not amount to a lot in the West but even a few hundred dollars can make a difference in Zambia.

On our recent and second visit to ‘the valley’ we were keen to understand more about all the Project Luangwa projects.  A day back in Mfuwe was arranged and we hoped to do something useful.  We were met by Karen Beattie and her volunteer assistant Alex who gave us a warts and all overview of the Mfuwe needs, initiatives and success stories.

We started by visiting some schools, dorms and new buildings.  It used all our senses as we absorbed the information and sights.  We saw where Project Luangwa is working with the community to help build and implement sustainable infrastructure, where it is most needed, for present and future generations. 

Our day finished at the Katapila School where we did some art, sewing, singing and dancing with Miss Irene and her students. It was GREAT fun and a memorable, to say the least, as we made an impression on each other.  We learned a lot and the day was a poignant reminder of what I take for granted; it inspired me to continue contributing. 

Here are some of our takeaways:

  • Project Luangwa is taking a holistic approach to the welfare and education of ALL children, not just orphans.  (There are cultural reasons for this as orphanages are new to rural Zambia.)
  • 23% of children have lost one or two parents, a much higher percentage are vulnerable (to HIV/AIDS and abuse)
  • Sponsorship will enable a child to complete their education as well as support day to day needs.  Many of these children also require sponsorship into their late teens, given children do not start school until age 7 
  • Awareness and education is much needed and underway to help girls and young women navigate social issues, culture and traditions to overcome life changing and threatening situations.  This important step towards social change will hopefully pave an easier, safer path for their daughters and nieces down the track.
  • Project Luangwa has bought focus and accountability to the donations given to the South Luangwa.

We have decided to allocate our previous donation to the Matula Secondary School project for items like desks and chairs. Seeing these types of projects get completed and become functional is satisfying.  And, since our personal focus is on orphans we are also keen to promote and provide sponsorship.  Our latest donation will enable a child to finish year 12.

Karen, THANK YOU for our BIG day out.  We can’t wait to come back!

 
 
 
 
 Ondine and Peter went back to their home in Kuwait and started fundraising by running a stall at Kuwait's biggest Christmas bazaar. Ondines spends her time sewing beautiful crafts and since her last vist has sent an amaizing $2500 each year. 
 
Thank you Ondine and Peter for all your hard work, help and support. 
 
Right: Peter mans the stall at the Christmas Bazaar
 
       

 

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