Radical Advent: Sandy’s Story from Balaka, Zambia

Seven-year-old Sandy lost both of her parents to serious illnesses back in 2006. Sandy now lives with her aunt in Balaka, and her other siblings are all scattered in different homes with relatives. Though she has a guardian, Sandy faces many difficulties. Her household relies on her aunt getting casual work to buy food, but her aunt struggles with alcohol abuse and the family often goes without eating. There are currently nine people living in her small home.  Sandy’s clothing consists of only two dresses and she attends school bare-footed. 

Though Sandy continues to have a difficult home situation, Balaka Community Based Organization (CBO) strives to provide her with the love of a family.  The Care Workers have adopted Sandy as one of their own, and she is now attending the Care Point every day where she receives one nutritious meal a day.  Those who know her say she also now wears a smile!  For a girl who has faced many challenges at a young age, this love and care provides the hope she needs to have faith in her future.  Hands at Work supports CBOs like this one to reach the most vulnerable children like Sandy.  Make this a Radical Advent by supporting Hands at Work in serving orphaned children in Africa!  Please consider making a donation to our Christmas campaign here.

A Garden of Hope (ZAM)

A little tomato plant produces so much more than just juicy red fruit.  In the bush community of Baraka in central Zambia, it has provided hope.  The Community Based Organization (CBO) in Baraka had little in terms of finances to start a garden, but the Care Workers had a desire and a vision to see the children they were feeding enjoy balanced meals with valuable nutrients from fruits and vegetables.  

With the partnership of Hands at Work and the funds raised by the Gilchrist family from the U.S., the community of Baraka was able to plant two gardens in July of this year.  The Gilchrist family, including their four children, was so moved by the story of the orphans in Baraka, that they spent a whole summer doing odd jobs and pet sitting to raise money to support this community (you can read more about their story here).  Presently, the gardens are filled with tomato and colza plants.  The Care Workers all take ownership of the gardens and come together multiple mornings a week to weed, water, and cultivate. 

Not only is Baraka CBO able to sell some of the vegetables to the local community and invest this money back into their garden to purchase seeds and fertilizer, but they are also able to feed the harvest to the children.  The daily meal that they serve to 50 of the most vulnerable children in the community now looks a little more colorful and is filled with more nutrients with the vegetables they are now able to serve.   The CBO is planning to expand the garden and to plant more vegetables in the future.  After the rainy season, they hope to plant cabbage and spinach.