Friday, April 24, 2015

A Lifechanging Afternoon

24th April 2015

Gideon wants to be a pilot flying long distances to America and even the UK!

In August 2003 I spent an afternoon with Mrs. Sianga who at the time was a nurse working in “Home based care”. This meant visiting patients dying as a result of AIDS. She had no anti-viral drugs, just a few paracetemol tablets and some comforting words.

She took me to see some of her patients. Although I had been in Monze for a week or two, this was the first time that I had entered a house of one the poorer residents. Typically the houses comprise a single room made of bricks – sometimes the houses use 'burnt' bricks and other houses are made of simple mud bricks. The houses have no electricity or running water.

For me it was a humbling experience but one which made me feel very privileged. The people I saw were all dying – some very close to death. Yet, I was welcomed into their houses and was able to understand a little more about the huge challenges they had been facing. I remember that one lady was waiting for her young daughter (her carer) to return with a little sugar that she was begging from neighbours to go with her mother's maize porridge.

That afternoon changed my life! I think it was the experience of meeting these people, of their amazing generosity in sharing their lives in such vulnerable circumstances, that made me want to share my life with the people of Zambia.

I was talking to a friend from church the other day. He spent some time in Zambia in the 70s during a gap year after university. He was saying that he would love to return. He wondered what happened to some of the people he spent time with. I am fortunate that because of my regular trips, I have been able to maintain contact with many people – some who I met in 2003. People such as Jennipher's daughter Sandra who is a nurse in Livingstone, Diven, whose many adventures over the years have kept me busy, and many others who will greet me again when I return in June!

Mrs.Sianga also became attached to the families of her clients. I don't know what happened to the young girl who was looking for sugar. Her mother will have died within a short time of my visit. I am sure Mrs. Sianga didn't forget her. Maybe she became a student at PIZZ School - like so many of the children of those patients.

Fortunately anti-viral drugs are now available, there are still huge numbers of deaths from AIDS related diseases, but there is some hope.

I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to share my life with the people of Monze. Mrs. Sianga has dedicated her life to some of the most vulnerable people in the area and deserves every help she can get. PIZZ School is reliant on the funds that Hands Around the World can raise and obtaining sufficient donations is becoming difficult.

The more people who are willing to engage with the project, the better the chances are to ensure the long term future and development of PIZZ School.

Please forgive me for reminding you that Mike Daly is supporting PIZZ School by running the London Marathon this Sunday – every penny raised will help PIZZ School – if you want to donate you can do so online using this link Mike Daly's Marathon - supporting the children of PIZZ School

Of course donations can also be sent to Hands Around the World at P.O.Box 117, Monmouth NP25 9AR. UK.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Hunger in Zambia

5th April 2015 Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

It might surprise some people to realise just how much poverty there is in Zambia. I have just come across a report that puts Zambia in the World's top 10 hungriest countries – in fact if you look at their report Zambia is number 4 in the world, in terms of the percentage of under nourished people . In 2013 they estimated that 47.3% of the people of Zambia were under nourished. The World's 10 Hungriest Countries Last year the rains were not good and the changing weather pattern has continued to make the rain erratic this year. The rains effectively stopped in February – at least a month too early – yet last week the Palm Sunday procession had to be cancelled due to heavy rain. Rather than helping, this rain will have damaged the poor maize crop still in the fields. The crop is therefore again likely to be very poor and hunger even worse.

When talking to Jennipher a couple of weeks back she asked me for help for some of her clients. She told me “people are dying here”. It is hard for us to imagine such a situation. It is not the starvation some agencies like to show on television to shame us into giving, but it is a shortage of nutritious food which results in under nourishment and susceptibility to illness (especially if already HIV+). This is why too many of Jennipher's clients are dying.

It therefore shouldn't surprise us when we hear how important it is that PIZZ School provides a meal for their students.Supporting Orphaned Children at PIZZ School Zambia This year Mike Daly is running the London Marathon to raise funds for PIZZ School. All money raised will go to support the school. He wants to raise sufficient to fund meals at the school for at least 3 Months at a cost of £1,000 - £1,500 (possibly more Mike Daly's London Marathon I am fortunate to have seen students like Mawini grow up – she is now studying medicine at Lusaka university - Maxwell who did very well with his school certificate and GCE and with support will be able to become a science teacher. Others like Samson, and Mwanga – the lovely girl with the smile and frizzy hair who is featured on our Facebook page and some of our posters - I have the joy of knowing personally. I know just what a difference this school has made to some of the poorest children – all who know what it is like to be hungry.

because of the extra students recently taken on by the school). Personally I would like to secure meals for one year! We are also struggling to cover other costs – particularly teacher's wages. If you want to support PIZZ School I would be grateful for your help in spreading the word.

I am therefore wanting to advertise the marathon as widely as possible to ensure that it is a great success. I am sure that with your help the future of this wonderful school can be secured. At this time Mike has raised £811.20 plus Gift Aid – lets watch the total rise!!

Please help me by sharing the links, Thank You,

With my love and prayers for you and your loved ones this Easter,