For me it is always great to return to Africa, the continent of my birth, and it is wonderful to re-engage with the sights, sounds and smells of home.
Julie Wookey and I have just spent 7 days in Zambia. We worked in Linda Compound, a community living about 15 kilometres from the heart of Lusaka the capital of Zambia. If you look at a map of Africa as a body, Zambia’s position resembles the womb. It often feels that way to me and I love to visit.
We met with the groups, mainly women’s groups that we work with. Often these meetings are outside under the shade of trees and surrounded by children and animals. It is always a delight to sit listening to their stories and realising how much they do with so little and how happy they are whilst having very little. It is a constant reminder that all our possessions have not really made us much happier, maybe slightly more comfortable but then there is little for me that beats living in the open.
In the compound we have started to come out of a dive because the local mafia had taken over the school but their greed had become so overwhelming that they eventually caught the attention of the authorities and are now in prison. We now have a much clearer view of what is going on and subsequently can do far more to help the community.
Right now Zambia is facing some massive challenges; the value of their currency has halved and every day there are power cuts which often last 8 hours. This means many of the pumps we have installed for water only work every second day, so people have resorted to hand operated pumps and again they have to travel to find drinkable water. However the compound has some new roads and the school has how come under government administration. Both good things!
Lastly the hospice continues to do sterling work and as VisionZambia is the last significant donor standing we feel it is important that we continue our support and increase our donations drive.
If you want more information on what we are doing in Zambia and how we are spending the donations please visit us on http://www.visionzambia.co.uk. We all appreciate your support more than we can say.