Radical Advent: Meredith's Story from Susu, Zambia

As a part of our Radical Advent Christmas campaign, we want to share Meredith's story.  She is an 8-year-old girl living in the community of Susu. Meredith attends the Susu Community School and is currently in first grade. Meredith lives with her two siblings, mother and grandmother - many people for their small house. Meredith’s father died when she was only four months old and sadly, her mother struggled to cope with caring for her 3 children. The family moved in with Meredith's grandmother so that there was another adult in the house to help with daily chores and taking care of the children. Unfortunately, Meredith's grandmother is aging and it’s a struggle to look after the whole family. They found it difficult to find good food and they often went to sleep on empty stomachs.

The Care Workers in Susu found this family and wanted to help them. They started by registering Meredith and her siblings at the feeding point where the children can eat a nutritious meal each day. Meredith says the biggest difference it has made to her is that she now gets food every day without needing to worry. She feels like she now has energy to work well at school, and she was very pleased to pass her recent school exams.

Meredith's Care Worker, Patricia, frequently visits this needy family, taking soap for them, helping to wash their clothes and sometimes bringing gifts of corn meal. Patricia encourages the children to attend school each day, too. Meredith loves it when Patricia visits her - particularly when she brings sweet potatoes as a gift for the family!  Hands' partners in the U.S. have provided critical prayer, short-term teams, and financial support enabling local Christian volunteers to care for children like Meredith and her brother and sister in Susu.  Many other communities have no support.  If you are able, please consider making a donation to our Christmas campaign here.

Radical Advent: Susu, Zambia

As a part of our Radical Advent christmas campaign, we want to highlight Susu, a rural community in Zambia.  Hands at Work identified Susu as a village with particularly high rates of HIV/AIDS and low access to support; government clinics, hospitals and schools are too far away for the local people to access. Though the situation in Susu is desperate, the local Care Worker team, with the support of partners outside the community, is making a great impact. Many of the children visited by Susu Home-based Care attend the Community School, which was started by a local church in 2004. The school has six volunteer teachers, dedicating their time to giving 250 children in Susu a basic education.

The school used to meet outside under trees, but in faith the community made bricks for a school. In 2011, in partnership with Hands at Work, they were able to complete a large building with two classrooms and an office for the teachers. This has made a huge difference to the community; having shelter means the school can continue during rainy season, and now the children have desks to work at!

Surrounding streams supply Susu with water but during the hot months the streams dry up. In the past, the community had no option but to walk long distances to fetch water. However, in 2010 a Hands at Work support partner blessed the community of Susu with the drilling of a borehole well on the school property, a tank to hold water, and a pump run by a solar panel. In a community where there is no electricity and no access to a clean drinking water source, this is a huge blessing. The community is overjoyed—now the children have a safe and dependable drinking water source and it will help to decrease illness in Susu.  Make this a Radical Advent by supporting Hands at Work in serving destitute communities like Susu!  Please consider making a donation to our Christmas campaign here

Wendy's Story (ZAM)

It wasn't long ago that Wendy, 14 years old, and her five brothers and sisters were going without food for days at a time. Since losing Wendy's parents, her elderly grandparents struggled to care for the children near rural Susu, Zambia.  When things were at their worst, Wendy didn't have the energy to play with her friends, let alone make the 3 mile trek to school each morning. 

Everything changed when Wendy started receiving weekly visits from a concerned neighbor.  Through Grace Church in Racine, Wisconsin, Hands at Work has been working in Susu since 2004 to empower the community to care for children like Wendy--the poorest of the poor.  Hands at Work operates through local people, like Wendy's concerned neighbor, who identified her as incredibly vulnerable and was able to connect Wendy to a program providing a meal every day at school.  Now Wendy has the energy to go to school again, and to play with her friends, too.  Wendy's favorite subject in school is called Creative and Technical Studies, and she dreams of becoming a teacher some day.


Siphwe's Story

Siphwe is 6 years old.  She was living in the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka, when her parents passed away and she was abruptly uprooted and moved 300 km to live with her elderly grandmother in the small, rural village called Susu.  Siphwe's grandmother is doing the best she can, but she is very tired, and her only source of income is the small amount of money that comes from crops she can sell from her garden.  Siphwe sleeps on the floor at home with one blanket and often receives very little food at home.

But Siphwe's life is changing, because she is now visited regularly by Christopher, a care worker for a small grassroots organization called Susu Home-based Care.  Christopher has been a consistent parental influence and encouragement for Siphwe.  He is someone who she can trust, who loves and supports her.  Christopher ensures that Siphwe is consistently attending the local school here she receives a healthy meal.  This consistent food has been a huge blessing to Siphwe, as she now has the energy to walk to and from her home, to focus in school, and to help her grandmother with household chores.  Siphwe still has many challenges in her life, but Christopher and the other care workers for Susu Home-based Care believe that the longer she is in their care and a part of this program, the more she will grow into a healthy, happy young girl.

"No longer will the poor be nameless." -Psalm 9:18

Thanks to generous American donors like Grace Church in Racine, Wisconsin, the Ten Talents Foundation, Nurses for Africa, and individuals like you, Hands at Work is able to support the village of Susu through Christian volunteers who have big dreams for their community.  If you're interested in supporting a a child like Siphwe through Hands at Work, click GIVE NOW.  Tell Siphwe's story.  Advocate on her behalf.  Give a name to the nameless.  If we can help you, let us know by emailing