About Moira

Dear reader,

Thank you for finding and getting this far in reading about my trips to Zambia and what I do there.

The info below is from my visit in 2013 so thought I would leave it here for you to see.

As this is the about me page I am will tell you that I am a 58 year old lady now with a passion for Zambia after 2 previous trips. I also have a husband and grown up daughter.

I believe in our God and that He works for all that believe in Him. The Zambian people have a passion for worship that is not dependant on their wealth or health.

I am a trained mental health nurse and after changing the conditions of my work I now have time to to volunteer and give back the privilege I have of living in a country of plenty. My time in Zambia reminds me of the basics in life, what I actually need as opposed to what I want to have.

Other than that I am really a pretty everyday, boring person!

13th of October is the date I leave for Zambia to volunteer with Jenny. Jenny has moved posts within Zambia and is now the principal of a training College ‘Chodort’ in Choma which is in the southern province of Zambia. I will be in Zambia for 10 weeks.
During my time in Zambia I will be a pair of hands supporting Jenny in whatever she lines up for me! There is a whisper from her she will have me doing some training in mission clinics in rural parts, or it may be helping build a house, or office work, who knows! Last trip she had me out in the fields picking maize within 48 hours of arriving and much more!
Chodort College trains mostly vulnerable young adults in carpentry or tailoring. In order to expand the previous principle acquired some land on which to build a new college. To fund this he started to build a small housing complex for rent. They also employ former pupils in a carpentry workshop, and more recently, in a tailoring venture making clerical clothing for United Church of Zambia and feminine hygiene for schoolgirls. In order to give them a chance to learn a useful skill, the fees are fixed at as low a rate as possible. They are also taught life skills, particularly around HIV and entrepreneurship. Being able to make your own way in a land where 50% of the adult population are unemployed is vital.
I will be able to take some items to Zambia; however I will be very specific in what is required, concentrating mostly on items that are difficult or very expensive to purchase in Zambia. The cost of a second suitcase this time is much higher, and any money raised here would be better spent in Zambia itself which then benefits Zambia. It is challenging to convey in words the difference it makes to people in Zambia knowing that we care for them and the gratefulness they feel for even what seems to us very small amounts.

Money raised here will be divided between supporting the students at Chodort College in Choma, Play4All in Kitwe, a group of orphans in Kitwe and Heart of Care in Kitwe Though Jenny now lives in Choma she still has a lead role in Play4All, just not the day to day running of it. All of the work that Jenny does is targeted to enabling the local people to become self-sufficient and therefore money raised here will be allocated by Jenny as she knows the local situation best.

All money donated will go to Jenny either via Church of Scotland or direct to a donor account, therefore making it transparent what happens to your money.

100% of the money donated by you will go to the individual organizations/ groups.

I totally fund my own travel and expenses to volunteer in Zambia.

While most of my time will be spent in Choma I will be revisiting Kitwe. Since my last visit to Kitwe in May 2012, along with Play4All I have continued to follow the work of Caroline who is an inspiration with the work she does with the Albino people in Kitwe and the street orphans she has taken into her home.

Another person was Rachel Kalaba who is now making a difference with PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools) a UK based charity http://www.peas.org.uk/ and Kabuto with Heart of care.

Some more information from UNICEF is that there is a total population of 11.9 million; 6.2 million are under the age of 18; With 1.2 million orphans less than 15 years of age; 800,000 of those are affected by HIV and AIDS. A high rate of early marriage with 42% of women aged 20-24 married before 18 years of age; In all of that statistics’ education is the key to turning things around.

I cannot think of Zambia without remembering the wonderful worship times, the exuberance of their worship and their total trust that God will provide. A lady called Shine said to me if you can’t dance for our Lord in church; where can you dance?

Below is the items I would be delighted to have donated.

General items
Bibles: Zambians love the Word of God, but often can’t afford a bible. Small bibles only, therefore I can carry more or make it a New Testament one.
Reading glasses: The single vision reading glasses you buy in shops are ideal (prescription glasses can still be taken to a local optician here for them to check the prescriptions and reuse through other specific sight charities).
Lap top: I would have space for ONE lap top if anyone was planning to upgrade this year, what better way to reuse your old one! Minor faults may be able to be repaired by college staff. Speak to me before donating please.
Mobile phones: – these have revolutionized communication in Zambia and inexpensive mobiles can now be purchased there, but if you have upgraded recently and have one in good condition that is unlocked from a network and complete with charger and all data erased I would be delighted to take it. (If they cannot be unlocked they can still be donated to charities’ here via the church).
Digital cameras: these are used to allow people to raise money for things like college fees by selling the pictures.

Items for Chodort College
• USB sticks – new ones please, 8-16gb at least. They will be used as prizes for graduation and also to resell to students for their studies, which will also raise funds for Chodort. IF you have a used one you would like to donate, please clear them of ALL data and check for viruses first. A suggestion given to me is to download a Bible on to them prior to arriving in Zambia.
• Measuring tapes; – the students’ have to provide the equipment they need for their courses. I will not be carrying heavy items like the safety shoes they need! but some good quality carpenters and dressmaking measuring tapes and 30cm rulers are possible if you have any to donate.

Albino people; Good quality long sleeved blouses and shirts capable of blocking the sun, good quality sunglasses and wide brimmed sunhats are not so readily available in Zambia. The Albino people need these for protecting their very fragile skin and eyes from the sun. If they can’t cover up properly, they can’t go to work or school.

How money raised here could be used in Zambia;
Chodort; Providing a ‘back up’ hardship fund that Jenny could use in emergencies would ensure students can complete their courses. As money can simply run out and the student can no longer stay in college. Jenny would like to have a target of £500 in the fund.
Providing enough funds to sponsor a student for one year would also be an option. It would mean a young person in Zambia who would have NO chance of learning a skill would now be able to do so. The actual cost for the year per student is approximately £600 with the student paying half and college subsidizing the remaining amount.

Play4All; train the volunteers / help the volunteers with start-up costs for income generation projects to purchase items for play and sports to give structured activity to aid learning.

Heart of Care; assist in providing start-up loans. This would allow people to generate their own income to provide for the community. Kandabwe compound has a high elderly population where there is little work or income to support them.

Orphans in Kitwe; basically to feed and clothe them and any excess would allow an orphan to go to school. Clothes for the children can be bought in the local markets for as little as 1 Zambian Kwacha. (£1=8 Zambian Kwacha.)

thank you for reading this and for your help in advance

Contact me via the contact button at top of page if you require for more information or have a query. X Moira