The Story of maposa Community
In 2003, Lucky, a Christian man from Maposa, saw that there was a need for a school, as the nearest one was a fee paying government school 3 kilometres away. This left many local children with little hope of receiving any education. As well as access to education, food shortages, alcoholism and unemployment are some of the issues Maposa faces. Lucky looked around at his community and said to himself, ‘something has got to change’. Lucky decided to start a community school, initially teaching 15 children in a small thatched roof building. The work was tiring. He was the only teacher covering grades 1 to 4 and he was using his own resources to buy school supplies. However, he continued to follow his dream to provide free education for the children of Maposa. In 2006, through support from another church, a larger building was constructed to accommodate 150 children.
Children currently supported: 100
Number of Care Workers: 18
Distance from Luanshya Local Office: 30 km
Basic Services Started: 2010
In 2008, Hands at Work saw Lucky’s efforts and began supporting him in educating vulnerable children. A new building was completed, enabling the school to accommodate a total of 200 children with the addition of grades 5 to 7 and 3 more teachers. Maposa Community School then became Bwafwano Community Based Organisation (CBO). In 2010, Hands at Work cast the vision to the local churches to join with Lucky and unite as Christ’s body to care for the community’s most vulnerable children. As a result, 18 volunteers from 15 churches were mobilised and trained to give holistic care to those children most in need. In 2011, home visits were added to the services provided by Bwafwano CBO.
The group of Care Workers in Maposa are growing in their relationships with one another, the children, and their Heavenly Father. A Relationship Group has started, and Care Workers are participating well and are willing to engage in reading scripture, as well as sharing their burdens with one another. They are finding reconciliation and are maturing as a group. In 2016, Stephen, long time Community Based Organisation (CBO) Coordinator, sadly passed away. In response, two dedicated Care Workers, Honesta and Chami, have taken ownership for the day-to-day responsibilities of running the CBO. It is through this group of Care Workers that Faith* and 99 others are cared for lovingly. Through receiving a nutritious meal every day, access to education, basic health care, and, perhaps most importantly, the love of Christ, it is hoped that these children will grow up to be positive influences in their community.
Volunteers also work together with the teachers so they are all aware of how best to support each child. “It is important to understand where the children are coming from” says Lucky. “We need to know the real problems; where they live, sleep, and their struggles.” Initially, Bwafwano CBO began with a desire to provide a feeding program for the children they visit. However, they dream of one day assisting the now 357 children who attend their school, not only giving them an education but also fulfilling their physical needs and offering parental guidance and mentorship.
Faith* is eleven years old and attends grade five at the community school. Her father is unable to care for her as he is chronically ill, and Faith has been living with her grandmother since her mother’s death in 2013. Faith’s grandmother struggles to provide for her, but since being taken in by the CBO, Faith receives a meal each day, basic health care, education, and the love and encouragement of her Care Worker, Chami.
The Hands at Work office in Luanshya currently supports eight 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 Bwafwano. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.