The Story of AMLEW Community
In 2008, Hands at Work spoke with church leaders in Amlew, encouraging them to follow the Christian mandate to care for the poor and vulnerable. Boyd Chishimba, a local pastor, immediately grasped the Hands at Work vision and was inspired to mobilise his church. He called a meeting to share his dreams with the community. He told them that while it would be difficult for one person to feed all the vulnerable children in Amlew, if they each contributed a spoonful of mealie-meal, they could support them. Boyd and a small team began walking through the streets of Amlew, identifying children who were in desperate situations. This was the beginning of Twikatane Community Based Organisation (CBO). The volunteers initially cared for 10 children, having identified them through home visits; providing food and other necessities from their own pockets. Boyd’s church was inspired to financially contribute to the CBO and provided tuition fees and uniforms for some of the children.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 11
Distance from KITWE Local Office: 8 KM
Basic Services Started: 2011
In 2010, Hands at Work provided training for 18 local community volunteers, teaching them to holistically care for vulnerable children in their community. By 2011, 82 children received home visits, twice a week. Visiting orphaned and vulnerable children in their homes is the foundation of everything Hands at Work does. Community volunteers, who regularly visit the children, build up strong relationships, enabling them to support each child physically, emotionally and spiritually. This also helps them to accurately assess each child’s needs and make a plan for how to best intervene and provide sustainable care for them. In order to address the most essential needs of an orphaned or vulnerable child in Amlew, Hands at Work aims to provide one nutritious meal to each child per day. In 2013 Twikatane CBO began caring for 100 children.
The CBO has also partnered with the local clinic to help with medication. “The children have completely changed,” says Boyd, “they are being accepted into government schools after graduating from our community school. Children who would have died of hunger are now happy and healthy.”
Maggie, strongly supported by two other Care Workers, is now leading the Care Worker team in unity thanks to years of investment from Boyd. In an effort to support Care Workers, Hands at Work has encouraged them in an Income Generating Activity (IGA). In 2015, Twikatane Care Workers began working together to make and sell doormats. This initiative has been going well and provides a small financial income for the Care Workers’ own families. Twikatane CBO hopes to see their community rise up together, taking ownership of their situation and bringing glory to God.
Taonga* is 11 years old and in grade four. She lives with her mother, who is a widow, unemployed, and struggles with alcoholism. With no one to care for Taonga attentively, Care Workers have intervened in Taonga’s life, loving her as parents and committing to her safety and growth into a healthy young woman. On days when Taonga does not show up at school or the local Care Point, her Care Worker Regina goes to visit her at home.
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 those Community Based Organisations like Twikatane. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.