Reaching a Generation || August 20-31 2019
Our 2019 trip to Zambia was one for the books. Our fundraising efforts resulted in 4 wells funded and the drill rig was running in tip-top shape, so the team was able to complete 4 wells for 4 different villages. After each well was installed and the hand pump attached, the joy that you would see on the faces of the people is forever etched in our minds. Just to see the smiles over something as simple as water. Hundreds of lives have been impacted by the generosity of the donors and the team that helped build the wells. Having access to clean water – in this drought stricken area – really means life or death. In the last village we visited, Malula, the nduna (village chief) told us that he lost his son in 2014 to a crocodile. The team really felt the weight of this, but rejoiced with him over the fact that no one else in his village has to die that way.
One exciting thing we learned this trip is that in several villages where well have been built, some women have started small businesses. Due to the fact that they no longer spend most of their days walking to and from the river to get water, they have more free time. In their free time they started small businesses. This is how one small thing – that only costs $5000 – can have such a domino effect of positives things for hundreds of people living in poverty.
We also got to spend some time with the girls at one of the Imagine Hope Centers and host a Children’s Church for over 100 kids. Reaching A Generation (RAG) is about to open the third Imagine Hope Center, which is rescuing girls from child marriage and giving them a hope and a future to help be change agents. RAG will also be opening a skills center that will focus on teaching tannery skills to local woman and allow them to start businesses. There is quite an epidemic of hoof and mouth disease impacting cattle in Bostwana, so those cattle are just slaughtered and the meat is not eaten. But, there is nothing wrong with their hides, so teaching some women the art of tannery will allow them to take an already abundant resource and turn that into profit for their families.
The heart of RAG to build sustainable entities in Zambia amazes me. They are not trying to just be a hand out, but really trying to give hands-up help so that Zambian families can thrive on their own and go on to impact that nation for Christ.