Howard is an 11 year old boy who has been attending our school in Kaloko, Ndola. He lives with his aunt. He has never seen either of his parents because they died when he was only a few months old.
Howard is a small slim handsome boy with an electric light smile. His best friend is Godfrey who is also at our school and has the same challenges that Godfrey has on a daily basis.
They love to play soccer.
Howard’s aunt struggles hugely to provide for the family as she is unemployed. They have tried to sell braziers made from metal tins picked up from the industrial dumping site. They only eat once per day after making a sale, but not regularly because sometimes they go for many days without selling.
They live in a small house made of mud that has leaks in the roof during the rains. Mud bricks make very cheap housing but encourage insects to live in the wall. The roof is made of rusty pieces of iron which the uncle hammered into sheets from tins and a few pieces of bamboo lay across them. The walls have many cracks due to the weight of the roof. The floor of the house is just like outside with gravel which is a breeding ground for termite mounds.
Howard is very excited to have the opportunity to go to school to look to a future where he can read and write and be able to get a job to help his family. He dreams of becoming a pilot when he grows up.
Recently Jane's husband died of AIDS, she is also HIV+ and although she has started on Anti-Retroviral treatment she is still struggling to manage her symptoms. She has four children under 10 years old, 3 boys and a girl. She is also the sole carer for her sister's twin sons. Her sister died of complications in childbirth, she had been a single parent. Jane & the six children live in a small two roomed house made of mud bricks. There are holes in the roof and there is a termite mound against one of the walls so the house is gradually being eaten. Jane has no income, the children do not currently attend a school, they are very poorly clothed and eat only if they receive handouts from neighbours or if her small vegetable plt has yielded anything. Much of the day is spent collecting wood and water. Jane has recently started to come along to our HBC drop-in centre where she is receiving counselling. The children have started to attend our HBC kids group. This vulnerable family is now part of our Lifespring outreach work. They will now receive regular home-visits from our local volunteers, assistance with practical things they need help with, life-skills training, counselling & pastoral support as well as food and clothing parcels. If it is possible for the children to be sponsored they will be able to attend our school.
The Lifespring Foundation (Africa)
UK Registered Charity 1112363
UK Base: The Old Rectory, Singleton,
West Sussex PO18 0HF
It's all too easy to read the bare facts and figures and lose sight of the reality that behind every statistic there is a real life story of a flesh and blood person with hopes ,dreams, fears & worries.
At Lifespring we get up close to that reality everyday. For us it is all about the people, those stories, those challenges that cause us to reach out and try, with whatever resources we have to make a difference.
Within a small community of people there are stories to be told of courage through adversity, hope through tragedy, faith & friendship, laughter & tears. It is these stories that give us a glimpse of how good it can be to work together to bring opportunity, education, empowerment & hope to those around us.
Cultures differ but some things are universal. We need to feel safe & live in a safe, sheltered, restful place. We need food to sustain us & fresh clean water to drink. We need to feel that we have a purpose in life & that we matter to someone. We need to be heard.
Shadreck is 5 years old. His father died before he was born, his mother died recently of cerebral malaria she had been living with HIV. Shadreck has 2 brothers who are 11 and 7 years old, they now live with their grandparents in a small mud house. The grandmother Bertha grows vegetables on a small plot and sells what she can to make enough money to feed the family. Now that all of their sons & daughters have died it is just her & her frail, disabled husband Albert who are left to support 11 grandchildren. Bertha has been coming along to the Home Based Care drop-in centre. Volunteers regularly visit their home and have helped to make sure that the roof is waterproof through the rainy season. She has been learning about basic health care & this has made a real difference to the way that she looks after the children & her husband. Shadreck loves the Lifespring Pre-School that he is now attending as a result of sponsorship and is looking forward to being able to read and write. He loves singing & is especially good at the Lifespring song "Mighty Mighty Lifespring" joining in with all the actions. Their family are benefiting from the generosity of people many miles away who have donated to Lifespring and continue to support our work.