Here is our t long awaited update which covers a few months past but better late than never and I hope this finds you good and healthy. As I am writing, it has been pouring like mad in Livingstone, it is the beginning of our rain season and it comes very serious but we are thankful for the rains.
In October, 3 boys joined the house from Kazungula District Social Welfare office. The 3 boys are brothers who lived with a mother as a business lady and a father a guard and an alcoholic. The boys lives faced a blink when their mother who was also a bread winner drowned in the Zambezi river as she went fishing leaving the children with an abusive alcoholic father. Since the mother died, the boys were faced with all kinds of abuse by this irresponsible father day and night. They lived in a grass and stick house with a lot of open spaces that it was easy for wild animals to pounce on one of them but we thank God for his protection. As it is in Zambia these days, relatives are denying extra responsibly of taking care of a brother’s or sister’s children. The three boys started fending for themselves as this was the only way they could have something to eat though some men started giving the older boys beer to drink. But through a social welfare office who was in the area that time, identified the boys through some concerned neighbor. The social welfare office in Livingstone recommended the boys to Kwathu Children’s Home our facility for the boy’s safety and care. It has been hard to teach these boys for us because they are from a typical village, no discipline, manners or any form of education. Hope, persistence and trust has been the key to unlock these boys that we see a big change in just a month and some weeks in their conduct.
OUR NEW BOYS
My wife Jeanette was hit hard by malaria and this was her first time to experience this sickness but thank God that the Doctor responded fast and she was put on treatment. For it was her first time to have malaria, she got weak fast especially that she was throwing up everything she was eating but the drugs worked fast too though she was left weak for days. The Doctor had prescribed 6 injections for her and 2 boxes of other pills which was also too much for her. We thank God for seeing us through that week; it was just one sad week and we also thank the women in the house who were praying day and night for a quick recovery.
Just after my wife recovered, we saw a big breakthrough in terms of donations. We were praying for Christmas gifts for the children and we were loosing hope if at all we were going to bless our children with anything. Thank God that in this very week, a couple from Canada donated to the house about 6 boxes of toys, clothing and shoes; exactly what we needed. We also got donations from missionaries from USA working in Livingstone and another unbelievable donation from a couple from the Netherlands. Our friend a young lady from the USA has been so dear to us and brought two boxes of toys and clothing making us relaxed about Christmas. I wonder, many people struggle and stress to bless only one child, how can we be calm with 9? Thanking you all beautiful people for being part of the lives of these children, know that you are in our hearts all the time.
We are now busy putting Christmas gifts for the children and our mamas; we will have to pack about 20 Christmas gifts boxes. We have just finished writing over 30 Christmas greeting letters which we will be sending to our partners, friends and relatives. All of these cards were drawn by our children with their artistic touch thought we had to guide them somehow especially the small ones. Believe it or not, this will be the first Christmas celebration for our children. We spend a lot of time to explain what Christmas is; who Father Christmas is and why people share in this season.
We also have been preparing for Eustis, Anton, Gertrude, Austin and Francis for first grade with a government school. We have enrolled them all and we are waiting for selection results which will be out by mid December 2010. Children are exited and looking forward to next year in how they will look in uniforms and school bag. We thank you all for helping all of our children to go to school next year, this for us is much better that just giving food and clothing.
Our first Anniversary was celebrated in style, we needed to wrest, reflect and most of all spend time with each other. We work 24 hour 7 days and all we have is one day off which is not enough for we many times use this time to plan for the project. This time out was a blessing for us because we could wake up and time we felt like. We went to spend our week at a secluded natural and beautiful lodge type by the Zambezi River called Bushbuck. The owners of the place were not there the first 4 days so it was only me and my wife with the workers enjoying the natural beauty, lovely sunsets and plenty of wild life. We had Elephants, giraffes, pythons, hippos and plenty of bird life which could wake us up to beautiful melodies every morning. When you need a quiet beautiful environment and mingle with nature when you are in Livingstone, then try Bushbuck.
We are so in need of a small bus for the project; it used to be easy when we only had 6 children in the house. We could all squeeze in a Taxi and drives to be were we wanted to go but this is just impossible these days. 9 children is a lot to fit in a Taxi and the worst is that rain season is here which makes it impossible for us to even do shopping. The other challenge is that next year six of our children will start going to school, we need to drive them to and from school everyday for they are still young to walk alone. For us, it is even hard these days to take our children out for outdoor educational activities but we are grateful for this season. There is a car dealer in Livingstone who offered to sell us one of his small busses for US$7500 discounted. We will highly appreciate any financial donation towards the purchase of this vehicle and please feel free to get in touch with us if you have a donation but don’t know how to send it to us.
Soon we will start with clearing the land to prepare it for the construction and the following are our needs towards the land:
- We need a small truck to transport hardware materials for the building
- Building materials
- We need to sink a borehole which will cost US$6000 for our clean water from the ground.
- We need to bring electricity line to the plot; only 5 poles are needed.
Thank you again for standing with us and supporting our project.
Jeanette and Agripa
Kwathu Children’s Home
P.O. BOX 60021