I am sure that you’ve heard the one about the starfish – it’s an old story but if you haven’t here’s the gist of it . . .
A man was walking along a beach covered in thousands of starfish when he came across a woman frantically running around, picking up individual starfish and throwing them back in the sea one at a time. ‘What are you doing?’ he asked.
‘I’m saving the starfish’ she answered.
‘But you won’t make any difference, there are thousands of them’.
The woman picked up another starfish, hurled it back into the waves and said, “Well it made a difference to that one’.
Earlier in 2018 we sent a young girl off to university in Lusaka. She comes from a remote area and had attended a rundown primary school with few teaching aids. She graduated to secondary school but struggled to walk the round trip of 34 kilometres to school each day, as well as study and get her homework in on time. Her house had no electricity and so night time study was difficult. Mwami came to Project Luangwa for help and we found her a sponsor enabling her to attend school as a boarder. This same kind family are now supporting her to attend university where she is studying to become a nurse. When she traveled to Lusaka it was a life-changing moment for a girl who had never even been as far as Mfuwe airport.
In March 2011 a boy, who’d traveled for two days, arrived at our office too late to apply for sponsorship; we had no waiting sponsors and the new school year had already started, meaning he had lost his school place. However, he’d achieved top marks in the district, and we felt that he deserved a chance and so, at the last minute found him a sponsor as well as a place at Chizongwe Secondary School – one of the best schools in the Eastern Province.
Slowly his full story emerged: his father had died and his mother had remarried only to have her second husband pass away. On his 13th birthday Richard’s mother died and he was sent to live with a relative, but sadly things did not work out and he left this new home. He was taken in by an old man but a few weeks later the man was became very ill and went to live with relatives. Thirteen year old Richard continued to live alone and to provide for himself and his school needs by doing odd jobs. Almost 5 years later, on the day he came to us to apply for sponsorship, his benefactor died. Relatives claimed back his house making Richard homeless again.
Through sponsorship Richard attended secondary school, passed his final exams and his sponsor continued to support him throughout his time at university. In 2018 Richard gained a Diploma in Biomedical Sciences. He is now working in at a lab in Lusaka.
Elinah and Mary are from different villages but in common they work hard, have a drive to learn and have wanted a career for as long as we have known them. Both have been sponsored through school and college via Project Luangwa; Elinah is now a qualified secondary school teacher and Mary is working as a qualified pharmacist.
Gerald is blind yet this did not stop him from attending Nkhruma University for 4 years (traveling there & back on his own – a 2 day journey via Lusaka). He knew he could be a teacher and so did we – so we had no hesitation in finding him a sponsor. He is now teaching at a secondary school. See what he has to say about his experience – 4 years in 4 minutes (and sorry about the Malcolm, cat!).
These are just five young Zambians who have had their lives transformed by individual people like you ‘changing one life at a time’. Without sponsorship their lives and their future (and their future families’ lives) would have been very different. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported a pupil or student through Project Luangwa – you should be very proud of yourselves.
From Christmas to next February many children will apply to us for assistance to attend school. If you would like to ‘make a difference to just one of them’ register your interest through the ‘contact us‘ button and we’ll get back to you. Thank you every one and until next time . . .