The Story of Kamakonde Community
Kamakonde is a peri-urban community. There are high rates of early marriage, prostitution, alcohol abuse and a lack of employment which leads people to resort to illegal activities in order to make money. In Kamakonde, 90% of people struggle to meet their most basic needs. Many of the houses are made of mud bricks and the rainy season poses many challenges with houses leaking or, in severe cases, collapsing due to the heavy rains. There is a stronghold of disunity as this community is influenced by political divisions. There is no access to clean drinking water which forces people to get water from unclean sources, leading to diseases such as typhoid and malaria - because the mosquitos are drawn to stagnant water. In order to provide for their families, many people sell charcoal, vegetables or alcohol. If those opportunities aren’t available, people are forced to travel to nearby towns in search of work, leaving their families behind.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 12
Coordinator Name: Pastor Joseph
Distance from Kabwe Local Office: 11 km
Basic Services Started: 2008
In Kamakonde, many people struggle to pay for education because the only school in the community has high fees. A local woman in the community, Tendai, recognised the need for children to be educated and decided to start a school for children who couldn’t afford to attend the private school. When Hands at Work heard about the dire situation in Kamakonde, volunteers from Hands at Work started walking in the community; connecting with families and church leaders. Hands at Work connected with Tendai and heard the vision behind the school which she had started for the most vulnerable. In 2008, Kamakonde Community School partnered with Hands at Work and became Dorcus Community Based Organisation (CBO).
In 2016, the Zambia Regional Support Team (RST) and Kitwe Local Office spent a significant amount of time in Kamakonde to ensure that they understood the vulnerability of the children and the resources that were available to use. There was a three-day gathering that church leaders from Kamakonde, and their wives, attended. The RST connected well with a Pastor called Joseph, from a Pentecostal church in Kamakonde and they have been walking with him in the community, doing Holy Home Visits and building a strong relationship. In April 2016, Blessings Sambo (Kitwe Local Office Coordinator) met with Pastor Joseph’s key leadership team at the church and shared the vision of Hands at Work. The leadership really caught and embraced the vision of caring for orphans and are standing together as a strong voice in this to the church alongside Pastor Joseph. There are two teachers within this church that expressed a desire to become Care Workers.
Over the last couple of years there has been a shift of Care Workers and the management team and a new ‘Mother Theresa’ within the community, Bana Fumbo was identified. A core team of four Care Workers formed: Bana Fumbo as the Mother Theresa, Clara and Melinda, who are currently cooking for the children, and teacher Mutale who was serving in the Hands at Work community school. These four Care Workers became the core group around which the Kitwe Local Office started to bring in and build into new Care Workers and local pastors to further support the work. In November 2016, foundational training took place in Kamakonde. The newly identified Care Workers have demonstrated a heart to learn and to serve and have been able to open up about their own lives to one another.
Members of the local Hands at Work office in Kitwe have been working hard to encourage the Care Workers to engage in Relationship Groups. It is important for them to share with one another the issues that they are dealing with, which often are not too different than those of the children they care for. They have come to understand the importance of visiting children and their families in their homes in order to assess and care more holistically on a physical, spiritual and emotional level.
Deborah* is 10 years old and a talented singer, dreaming of being a nurse one day. Her dream is not surprising, given that she is regularly cared for at the hospital where she goes for check-ups. She has been very ill with a heart condition. Care Workers from Kamakonde were able to fund Deborah’s travel to the hospital. Deborah also relies completely on the food from the CBO’s daily Care Point.
The Hands at Work office in Kitwe 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 Community Based Organisations like the one in Kamakonde. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.