The Story of Twashuka Community (Formerly New Wells Community)
The community of Twashuka 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 Simbeye first visited the community of Twashuka 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: 14
Coordinator Name: Foloko Chalwe
Distance from Luanshya Local Office: 10 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 10 Care Workers from 3 local churches came together to begin visiting and supporting the children in the school.
The Care Workers pooled their own resources to construct a temporary kitchen structure in a new location to provide care for the most vulnerable children in their own community. The lack of rain in recent years, has left the ground and wells dried up. Families have anxiously faced several seasons of unfavourable harvest. For the most vulnerable children, a hot, nutritious meal every day is offering hope in these challenging circumstances.
Over the past couple of years, the New Wells CBO has undergone a restructuring work where the local volunteer Care Workers supported by the Luanshya Local Office Team have reassessed the vulnerable children in their community to ensure that the most vulnerable are being reached. As part of this reassessment, the Luanshya Local Office Team have spent time walking with Pastor Charles and his team of Care Workers to ensure that the leadership of the CBO is healthy and continues to represent the needs of the most vulnerable children, and that the CBO was still pursuing the vision and model of Hands at Work.
In 2017, Hands at Work and Pastor Charles came to the agreement that they were pursuing different visions, and agreed to amicably part ways. lLeaders of Hands at Work still felt that Twashuka remained as one of the most vulnerable communities that they were called to serve in. In 2018, the Luanshya Local Office team, with support from the Zambian Regional Support Team met once more with the leaders of the local churches in the community, where they re-shared the vision and model of Hands at Work. Out of this meeting, 14 local Christians , who have the heart and passion to serve the most vulnerable in their community, recommitted themselves, forming the new team of Care Workers.
In 2018, the new group of Care Workers, having recognised God’s faithfulness to them over many years, decided to rename the CBO, ‘Mount Moriah’. Today, 50 of the most vulnerable children gather under the name of Mount Moriah CBO to receive access to life-giving services, and are visited in their homes by the loving Care Workers. The Luanshya Local Office Team continues to walk closely with the Care Workers, investing in these local heroes by building their confidence and capacity to holistically care for children and to meet the needs of the wider community.
When 12-year-old Amos’s* father passed away over five years ago, his mother made the heartbreaking decision to leave her six children with their grandmother. Life with his grandmother is challenging for Amos. With the responsibility of caring for six children alone, Amos’ grandmother does her best to provide for their needs by selling vegetables, but the business does not always provide a sustainable profit.
Amos and three of his siblings were invited to come to the Care Point every day where they receive a hot and nutritious meal, which is often their only source of daily food.. Additionally, with the support of the CBO, Amos has the opportunity to go to school and is currently in grade two. At the Care Point, Care Worker Rosemary shares God’s word with Amos, who loves going to church. Amos sees the love of God displayed by the Care Workers every day.
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 Mount Moriah CBO. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.