A small charity with big dreams!
The Lifespring Foundation (Africa) is a small Christian charity that aims to make a big difference by providing local communities with opportunities for training and education that will lead to empowerment and hope especially for those whose lives have been affected by extreme poverty, HIV & Aids. Primarily our projects support widows, orphans & vulnerable families bringing practical empowering solutions that aim to help people to become self-supporting.
From little acorns....
Starting in Zambia from Lifespring Farm, Ndola our charitable work began in 2002 with Derry & Mike Burn, Josie & Tony Benn originally from West Sussex UK. Initially responding to the needs of the local community surrounding the farm they began to realise that if the people were to be able to rise out of their situations & find hope they would have to receive more than "hand-outs". Bringing together local church leaders & volunteers they began a programme to register widows, orphans & vulnerable families & to assess their needs. At first organising home visits, offering health care & basic support they went on to devise an innovative Empowerment Training Programme to engage people in the process of developing essential life skills. Organising small "revolving" loans to enable the candidates to develop their own small business ventures such as poutlry rearing, crop growing, market trading & crafts they have successfully empowered many to find ways to support themselves & their dependents. This work known as SOBIA was registered as an NGO in Zambia & LSFA have continued to give advice & financial support to develop this further.
Gaining Charity Status......
In 2005 Lifespring Foundation (Africa) was established as a UK charity in order to fundraise towards the ongoing work of the foundation & in recognition of the fact that it is essential to form partnerships & develop joint initiatives. At the same time it was also registered as a charity in Zambia.
Building, Growing, Flourishing....
In September 2006 we opened a small school for 40 orphaned children in Kaloko & began building work to complete further classrooms and a community centre. We developed weekly day centres for widows, orphans and vulnerable families in 3 areas around Ndola, staffed by volunteers from the local community & supported by volunteers from overseas. Volunteers began regular home visits bringing essential support & relief to may vulnerable people.
Through 2007 - 2009, many more volunteers have joined us on short-term visits to help support the ongoing community work. We initiated a play scheme for vulnerable children and a support group for children living with HIV. We have continued to support an innovative empowerment project enabling local people to grow jatropha plants as an alternative bio-fuel & developing small business initiatives for zambian grandparents bringing up their orphaned grandchildren.
In 2007 we visIted Kenya & following a successful meeting with many pastors & leaders of churches from a number of christian denominations we began to develop a project in Mombasa.
In 2008 we opened an HIV Aids Drop-In Centre in Kaloko providing an essential resource for counselling, education, advice & support for people who are HIV positive. Our Home-Based Care (HBC) programme has gone from strength to strength & our Youth programme ensures that we can effectively reach those young people
who would otherwise have no opportunity for sport, games, education & pastoral support. At the beginning of 2009 our HBC Children's Support Group reached between 80-90 children per week, between the ages of 5 - 15 years, providing a safe forum for children who are HIV positive to find the help & support that they need to be able to understand the symtoms that they are experiencing and to express their fears & anxieties about what is happening to their bodies.
In 2010 we opened our new school facility in Kaloko enabling many more orphaned children the chance of education. We hope to encourage many more people to sponsor the children that are part of our projects.
In Spring 2011 we began operating our new Maize Mill from our community base project in Kaloko, Zambia. This will now enable our projects to be more self- reliant while encouraging real empowerment.
In Spring 2011 we began our Genesis Programme offering real support & empowerment to a group of 20 people with HIV/Aids helping them to find hope and live positively.
Since 2015 we have been working in partnership with another charity WIPHAN www.wiphan.org in order to ensure the longevity of the projects that we have started. WIPHAN are now succesfully managing the school for orphans and organising the sponsorship programme.
Where do we go from here?
Jo & Tony, Derry & Mike have now stepped back from the projects to enjoy retirement.
Lifespring Foundation maintains its aim to support projects that encourage self-sufficiency & now in partnership with WIPHAN we continue to seek ways to deliver empowering opportunities to the people that most need it.
We continue to be grateful to those individuals who have given generously of their time & resources to enable us to remain a grass-roots Christian charity dedicated to delivering practical support & empowering solutions.
The Lifespring Foundation (Africa)
UK Registered Charity 1112363
UK Base: The Old Rectory, Singleton,
West Sussex PO18 0HF