As a church we partner with Vinjeru School in Zambia and for the last two years we have sent a small team to work in the school for two weeks… and this blog post is to encourage you to consider going!
The school provides education for some of the poorest children, and was set up by our friends Martin and Karolyn Simbeye, who moved out with their family in 2012. Since then, Larry and Leah Seaman and their family have joined them. Our team works alongside the two families and the school for two weeks, and it’s fair to say it’s ‘mutually beneficial’ – they love having us… and we love going!
Chloe and Yvonne have been previously and will also be part of the team in 2018. They list five reasons why someone should be part of Team Zambia 2018.
(1) Impact Kids’ Lives
For two weeks you work alongside and get to know lots of the kids in the school. You learn their stories and situation and are able to input into their lives in the classroom, during after-school activities and in the social times. Plus there is a chance to share your faith and encourage those who want to learn more about God with your story and what the Bible says.
So if you want to impact kids lives… go!
(2) Support two great pioneering families
The Simbeyes and Seamans are doing very pioneering work and they’re quite isolated, in that the town is not one of the big cities of Zambia. They work all year round with very few breaks, making sure the school runs well, as well as putting on other youth meetings for the kids. Not only do we ‘take some of the weight’ for those two weeks through our practical support, we’re able to be an encouragement to them and provide friendship too.
If you want to support two great families who are working in a pioneering situation… go!
(3) Help practically and use/discover your gifts
There are classes to help in, food to serve, things to paint, assemblies to run, younger kids to care for, after-school activities to offer… and lots more. You don’t need to be an expert or super-qualified or have lots of experience; you just need to be willing, enthusiastic and servant-hearted… and full of love… and you’ll make a difference and be of practical use to a school that doesn’t have lots of resources.
And what you’ll find is that you’ll use and discover your gifts, and bring dormant gifts to life. You’ll probably find you’re out of your comfort zone a few times, but with support from the rest of the team and a willingness to challenge yourself, you’ll grow.
So if you want to be use your gifts and be useful and grow… go!
(4) Experience another culture
Something that all the teams have said they benefited from was the cross-cultural experience gained, particularly working in a context where people have so little. Kapiri Mposhi is nothing like Dublin and other towns in Europe, and it’s good to experience that and allow God to teach you things through another culture. Usually we receive more than we can give (and we should be humble enough to admit that!).
This cross-cultural experience also means you are able to get ‘perspective’ on your own life and context much more, which often makes you more useful when you come back. And it means you fully ‘switch off’ and are present in the circumstances, which again is good for your soul and for your learning.
So if you want to grow and learn in another culture… go!
(5) Support a long-term partnership
As mentioned above, we’re good friends with both families and see ourselves very much in a long-term partnership with the school and the families. On top of the teams we send every year we have sent finances, additional resources that they need and provided pastoral support too, when that is needed.
This partnership is mutually beneficial, we have lots to learn and receive as well as give. And in time I hope we might be able to receive young volunteers from Zambia to Dublin… wouldn’t that be great!
So if you want to be part of a long-term partnership where we really can support and make a sustainable and long-term impact in a developing world country… then go!
If you are interested in going then here is everything you need to know:
- Dates – April 2018 (exact dates TBC once team confirmed. But it is a two week trip)
- Deposit – 100 euros needs to be paid by 31st December 2017 to confirm your place
- Flights – booked in January 2018
- Vaccines – to be arranged
- Costs – it will cost around €1000 in total (which can be paid in instalments)
- Fundraiser – to help you cover costs we run a fundraiser in March and can be creative with costs if that is the only reason you’re not able to go
- Weather & Bugs – April time is a good time to go as it is not too hot and there are not many bugs… if that bothers you!