The Story of KAMBOVE Community
Kambove is a mining community 27 kilometres north of Likasi with a population of 36,000. The closing of the mines devastated the local economy and left the infrastructure broken. With thousands out of work leaving fewer breadwinners in the home, Kambove saw a massive increase in prostitution, further exacerbating the spread of HIV in the region. Of the areas comprising Kambove community, the poorest is called Kiwewe. Here, with the intervention of Hands at Work, local churches came together to establish a Community Based Organisation of volunteers, committed to caring for the poorest of the poor. In 2009, Maisha (meaning “life”) Home Based Care was born, the only group in all of Kambove actively caring for children.
Children currently supported: 125
Number of Care Workers: 16
Distance from Likasi Local Office: 27 kM
Basic Services Started: 2010
Care Workers immediately identified more than 500 orphaned and vulnerable children who were desperately in need of care, and have since brought the poorest children into their care, providing them with access to the 3 essential services of food, education and health care, as well as visiting them regularly in their homes.
The mines have also polluted the water sources for the community, so there is just one clean water source for the entire community to access. Many people are using contaminated water for washing, cooking and drinking. The Care Point, which was constructed in 2015, is far from the water source, but with new toilets and space for children to feel free to play, life is springing up amongst the vulnerable of Kambove.
Local volunteer Care Workers are not only feeding children at the Care Point six days per week, but they are visiting them in their homes to become more involved in their lives. Always pressing in to reach the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable, the Care Workers from Kambove Community Based Organisation have recently done a reassessment of the children to ensure that those that they are reaching are in the most need of care. This led to an increase of children from 100 to 125 in July 2016.
Nardelie* is 7 years old and lives with his two siblings and their ailing grandmother. After the death of his father, his mother struggled to care for her family. She left her children with their grandmother and went in search of any means of work. She visits Nardelie just twice a month. Nardelie’s mother is so grateful for the second family her children have found at the Care Point, and the support of Mama Kalenga, their Care Worker.
The Hands at Work office in Likasi currently supports seven Community Based Organisations, which exist to care for the most vulnerable in their communities. The office provides training, networking, and encouragement to those Community Based Organisations like Maisha. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.