Feeding starving children in Zambia

REPORT OF FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROJECT FOR MARCH 2021

This report was received just last week detailing the recent launch of the exciting FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROJECT at HHZ, Monze. Usually we write an article into which we insert important quotes but we have decided that this report should be shared in its entirety as it captures the essence of and the enthusiasm for the whole project and also indicates what the next steps should be. In particular, we sensed the thrill and joy of its success and the heartfelt gratitude expressed at the end.  All we have done is to insert a few comments in italics.

Read and enjoy...

Introduction:

We acknowledge receipt of funds amounting to K202, 500.00 [£6,700] in the February 2021 allocation. The Finance/Projects Committee headed by Pastor Fundi immediately met to start planning for the project.

THE PREPARATION – all bases were covered!

Activities Done:

We decided to buy the Beans in Lusaka for the entire 10 months. This was because locally here in Monze beans have become expensive. We took advantage of Robby’s trip to Lusaka to purchase wheelchair repair materials to also travel there. Beans are very heavy and since we bought them all at once, we had to use a truck from Lusaka. We got in touch with one of the businessmen who lives in Monze and who takes some items to Lusaka with a truck. They usually come back empty. This was how we managed to transport our beans from Lusaka at a fair price. Instead of buying the beans in small quantities we decided to buy 90kg bags with each bag giving us the exact amount of gallons that we would have bought had we bought the beans locally.

While in Lusaka, we also bought empty 5kg bags which we used to repackage the beans into agreed amounts of 1 gallon.

The mealie meal was bought locally here in Monze but just for the month of March because mealie meal does not stay long before it goes bad.

GOOD PUBLICITY – shining the light!

The Launch: As a Committee, we observed that for a long time now HHZ has been doing a lot of activities in the District and surrounding areas but working silently. We agreed to make some noise this time around and let the nation know about this project. Therefore, we had a launch on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2021 and some heads of Government officials were invited. We also had the media such as SKY FM and BYTA FM. This particular activity was never in the budget and so we agreed to use locally generated funds. A total of K5, 572.00 [£190].

THE BIG DAY – a whopping success!

The following was done:

The Committee decided to invite the District Commissioner who became the Guest of Honour at the occasion. We also invited the Director – Monze District Health Office, the Board Secretary– Monze District Education Board, the Director Holy Family and the Station manager at Water Aid. We also invited two media houses to cover the entire program and air it on radio.

During the occasion, we provided mineral water, soft drinks and biscuits to all the people who came including children living with disabilities.

Transport refunds were given to beneficiaries that were coming from outskirts of town, while we delivered for those coming from within some parts of Monze.

We spiced up the program by inviting Lazarus to sing and provide entertainment during the launch.

STAYING SAFE – coping with Covid!

As a way of reducing the risk of COVID 19, we did not have the function in our conference room. Instead, we had it outside, just on the carpark inside the HHZ compound. Monze has been having a dry spell of rain for almost a week now, but suddenly in the early hours of the 23rd it started raining and we all panicked. God answered our prayers because the rain stopped just after 09:00hrs and our program went on smoothly.

We provided face masks for those who came without any and ensured everyone was masked up.

REFLECTIONS – a grand day and more to do!

The Launch was done on 23rd March 2021. We had a total of 50 disabled children accompanied by a parent or guardian. The program also included a tour of HHZ, where we took the invited guests to see the ladies sewing the menstrual hygiene program pads and the face masks. We took them to the printing room to see how the disabled there make receipt books and other books. They also viewed the library and Robbie repairing a wheelchair. Finally, after the program took them to MumbaCommunity School to see what we had done there.

A total number of 50 disabled children each received a 25kg bag of mealie meal, 5kg beans, a hand washing bucket, a basin, hand wash and sanitiser.

We also took advantage of the launch to present Grace Mushiba with the wheelchair we bought for her.

For the next coming months, the beneficiaries will be contacted and given as they come. We will not have another function for the distribution.

Challenges:

Following your advice to announce in Churches about food distribution to children living with disabilities, we were so surprised to see how the response has been so overwhelming. Currently, we have in our data base 102 children living with disabilities who came forward to seek our support. When we looked at a good number of these children, they are really in need and needed our support. Some of the children turned up during the launch. However, some children were turned away and just decided to provide support to 50 children since that was how we planned the budget. We are very sure that this number is going to increase further as news continues to go round.

FORWARD THINKING – how will it work?

In view of the above, the Committee is suggesting the following:

First suggestion:

We are suggesting to allow us to give those children that were left out by reducing the period of the program from 10 months as earlier on planned to 6 monthsi.e. from March to August, 2021 instead of March to December, 2021. Our suggestion is that once we reduce the period of the implementation period, this will allow us to carter for a good number of children

If we can reduce that period to say, up to July or August, then the rest of the funds for the months August to December can be used to cater for the children that were left out.

Second suggestion:

We rotate the list of children in such a way that the 50 children we give the first month will not be the ones receiving the next month. Then we start again the third month and so on. The only challenge with this will be that the handwashing basins were bought only for the first 50 children, the rest of them will have to go without one.

Third suggestion:**THIS IS ONE FOR US** 

If it is possible for HHI UK to fund for the other 52 children in the next coming months so that we provide for all the 102 children living with disabilities every month.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU – and if you haven’t been moved by the story so far, this THANK YOU will surely tug your heartstrings!

Conclusion:

This program has been received with gratitude by everyone in Monze District. For real times have become really hard and some families are surviving with only one meal a day. The heavy rains destroyed the little crops some families had planted, while others failed to provide fertiliser for their fields resulting to poor yield. A few will be able to have a good harvest. The Government also appreciated our effort in supplementing its effort in alleviating poverty among children living with disabilities.

During the vote of thanks that was given by one beneficiary, HHZ was asked to thank HHI UK for the tremendous and wonderful gesture of considering the children living with disabilities.

As HHZ, we too are happy and proud of this great achievement and we will continue to work hard with our supporting partners HHI UK in all areas. We are grateful and deeply humbled for this noble cause. We know it is an expensive venture and that funds are not easy to access especially in this era of Covid 19.

So we want to end by saying May God richly bless you and continue providing for all of you. May He multiply by thousands the blessings bestowed upon you all.

Thank you.

Reported by:

Carole Nzila

Coordinator Finance and Projects

OVER TO YOU - What a wonderful project, a wonderful day and truly positive outcomes!  Well done HHZ!  So share the joy with HHZ but remember it’s nowhere near done and dusted.  Thankfully, wherever there is need, our HHI supporters are always ready to go the extra mile and so, once again, we reach out to you!