The Story of CHILABULA Community

In 2007, a local community group named Mutende Organisation travelled to different communities, speaking to their leaders. They encouraged the communities to come together and form groups to support the sick and dying by visiting them in their homes. The leader of the Chilabula community was inspired, and spread the message to local churches who soon got involved. From these churches, men and women came together and began visiting patients, using anything that they could from their own resources, as well as counselling and praying with the sick. Thus, Chilabula Community Based Organisation (CBO) was born. The CBO is coordinated by Jackson, who is working together with the other Care Workers, supporting one another in their shared mission to see Christ’s love shining into the dark places of Chilabula.

Children currently supported: 75

Number of Care Workers: 10

Coordinator Name: Jackson

Distance from Luanshya Local Office: 15 km

Basic Services Started: 2008

In 2008, Hands at Work partnered with Chilabula CBO, encouraging them to focus on children in their home visits. Hands at Work spoke about the biblical mandate that the church has to care for the orphaned, the widowed and the dying and is supporting them in these efforts. A group of Care Workers were trained to carry out weekly home visits to children. These Care Workers come from the same community with a similar background to the children they serve. Some children live as far as a two hour walk from the Care Point. Caring for these children means assessing their vulnerability and then caring for them in a holistic way.   

‘Team Luanshya’, a group from Hands at Work who are focused specifically on providing support for eight communities in the Luanshya area, including Chilabula, has been working hard to ensure the leadership in the CBO is healthy. Team Luanshya has encouraged Jackson to involve more Care Workers in the day-to-day running of the CBO, such as shopping for food and assessments of children. This has been going well with Care Workers feeling they add value and are valued within the CBO and being willing to participate in the smooth running of the CBO.

 Jackson can certainly play a role as a ‘man of peace’, a term adopted by Hands at Work to describe people of influence in their community who will advocate for the work of a CBO. The group of Care Workers in Chilabula are looking to identify a ‘Mother Theresa’ – someone who can lead the day-to-day work and build a strong, committed team of Care Workers around her. This will take some time to do well, and needs to be done on the foundation of relationships. Through this Hands at Work is seeing Care Workers develop a greater heart to serve the most vulnerable .

Meet Festus

Following his father’s death in 2009, Festus* and his mother were left on their own. His mother struggles to meet his most basic needs through what little she can harvest from her garden. With the support of the Chilabula Care Workers, Festus attends the government school where he is in grade 6. In addition, he receives a meal every day, has access to health care and experiences the love of Christ through his Care Worker, Kalumbu.

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 Chilabula. It also gives administrative support, including helping with funding proposals, monitoring and evaluation, bookkeeping and reporting to donors.