The Story of Racecourse Community
Rhoda lives with three children in a one-roomed mud house in Racecourse. In 2007 she heard a visitor speak at her church about a Christian’s responsibility to care for the orphaned and the weak. She felt convicted, and together with a few friends and neighbours, Rhoda committed to helping the orphaned in her neighbourhood. She immediately started an informal feeding programme. Today, despite many challenges, and struggling often to feed her own family, you will find her gathering the children in her community together. With her friends, Rhoda has inspired others to serve the most vulnerable children in Racecourse. She, along with other Care Workers, have become like mothers and fathers to many children in the community.
Children currently supported: 150
Number of Care Workers: 14
Coordinator Name: cosmas
DISTANCE FROM KITWE LOCAL OFFICE: 5 KM
As Rise and Shine Community Based Organisation (CBO), the Care Workers visit the children in their homes to ensure they are being cared for and know they are loved. Visiting orphaned and vulnerable children in their homes forms the foundation of everything Rhoda and the other Care Workers do. They build strong relationships with the children and provide physical, emotional and spiritual care. These volunteers are also able to accurately assess the needs of each child.
Rhoda had a dream to one day build a community school especially geared towards those who cannot afford to pay school fees or buy uniforms and are the most vulnerable in the community. Her dream came true and today, 90 children attend the community school in Racecourse. They are provided with basic school supplies like exercise books and pencils, and Care Workers who love the children deeply, teach them each day. To address the most essential needs of an orphaned or vulnerable child in this community, Rhoda and her team provide each child with basic health care, and one nutritious meal a day.
The CBO purchased land for a new Care Point in 2015, and plans are being put in place to transition the children there once other basic facilities, like a toilet, have been completed. In January, the Racecourse Life Centre moved to a new location with enough space for 150 of the most vulnerable children to play and spend time together.
Local church involvement in Racecourse has been less than previous years. However, following a meeting in July with several CBO coordinators, Pastor Cosmas, who is the Racecourse CBO coordinator, expressed an interest in involving the wider church. Please pray the local churches in Racecourse will once again unite in their efforts to serve the most vulnerable!
Ten-year-old Uzondile* lives with her mother, Monica, who sells vegetables to earn a living. Since her father’s death, Uzondile faces challenges with food security and clothing, as her mother’s vegetable sales are not enough to support the family. Poor sanitation affects Uzondile’s health, and she is often ill. However, Care Worker Emeldah has been building relationships with both Uzondile and Monica through Holy Home Visits and connecting with Uzondile at the CBO, giving her hope and a Christ-like love.
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 Rise and Shine. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.