The Story of new wells Community
The community of New Wells is home to approximately 11,000 people who are predominantly seasonal farmers. As a result, many families travel outside of the area to larger towns to find domestic work and odd jobs for meagre wages. Poor access to health clinics and unclean water are just some of the issues the community faces. When Pastor Charles first visited the community of New Wells in 2009, he noticed that there were a large number of children who were not attending school. He found that many children did not enjoy school and would rather go to nearby towns, beg, and return to the community. A broken-hearted Pastor Charles was burdened to teach these young children, desiring for them to gain an education and one day enjoy school.
Children currently supported: 50
Number of Care Workers: 18
Coordinator Name: charles
Distance from Local Office: 15 km
Basic Services Started: 2010
In 2009, Charles pulled together his resources and set up a ‘school’ under a tree for 15 local children. New Wells Community School began! In 2010, New Wells Community School partnered with Hands at Work and became New Wells Community Based Organisation (CBO). New Wells CBO received its first plot of land that same year and quickly a school building was constructed to accommodate 100 students. Hands at Work also encouraged Pastor Charles to mobilise the local church to help in caring for the poorest of the poor in the community. As a result, a team of Care Workers from 3 local churches came together to begin visiting and supporting the children in the school.
Alice and Rosemary, two dedicated Care Workers, have stepped up to cook for the children and be a strong presence at the Care Point. Over the last few months, the CBO has shifted from having the Care Point and feeding programme at a Care Worker’s home to using their community school building, where they are currently running the pre-school. Now, having the Care Point on the CBO’s own piece of land allows the children to be freer to spend time there and for the CBO to develop this land into a place of life and hope for the children.
The lack of rain over the last two years has left the ground and wells dried up. The Care Workers, too, are discouraged at their failed attempts to grow a garden to help support the feeding program. However, for the most vulnerable children, a hot, nutritious meal every day is offering hope in a very hopeless season. The Service Centre continues to walk closely with the Care Workers, investing in these local heroes by building their confidence and capacity to better care for more children to meet the needs of the community.
Chisomo’s* grandmother, age 67, cares not only for Chisomo (8) and Bruce (11), but seven others as well. Chisomo lives with his grandmother as his father is currently serving his second year of a six year prison sentence. His Care Worker, Alice, and the CBO have helped relieve the burden of providing food and education for Chisomo and Bruce from their widowed grandmother. Because of their relationship, Alice can encourage and support Chisomo and his family.
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 New Wells CBO. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.