Retired teacher’s project to help Zambian orphans
PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 February 2015
THE children of Zambia have captured the heart of a Nailsea woman who wants to set up a feeding station and orphanage to help them.
Elizabeth Rhodes, a retired teacher, spent a month in the African country last summer teaching in a basic school.
She was so moved by the poverty she saw, she has decided to set up a charity called Mulako Safe Home Zambia with her friend Patricia Sililo.
Patricia’s mum has two houses and some land in Mulako on which the pair are hoping to establish the feeding programme and orphanage.
But before they can realise their dream, they need to raise £5,000 so they can achieve charitable status and begin fundraising.
Elizabeth said: “I spent a month as a volunteer in Zambia and saw for myself the number of orphaned children.
“We have developed a project – first setting up a feeding station and ultimately leading to the creation of an orphanage - in a rural area in Zambia.
“Some children have no adult support at all and live in a child-headed family. Some stay with relatives, but they don’t have enough money to look after their own children let alone someone else’s.
“HIV is prevalent and children and adults can receive free treatment but the drugs are very strong so if they are not eating it can destroy their bodies and they stop taking them.
“We want to establish a feeding programme so we can feed and clothe the children and make sure they go to school.
“Our aim is to convert one house into a safe home for six to 12 young people.
“At the moment we are renting one of the houses out so we can get some cash flow and we’re going to use the other one so the children can come for breakfast before school and also for an evening meal.”
Elizabeth and Patricia have already sent 200kgs of clothes, shoes and equipment out to children.
They are now appealing for businesses and individuals to back the cause and help them raise enough to set up a charity.
Waitrose customers in Nailsea can support the cause with the green tokens given out in store and St Francis Church is also backing the project.
Elizabeth said: “I love the country. The people are so open and friendly.
“Our ultimate aim is to not only help them through school, but teach them to look after themselves and learn a trade.”
The duo are holding a Taste of Zambia event, with food and music, in aid of the cause at St Francis Church, in Ash Hayes Road, on April 26 from 12-3pm.
Anyone interested in donating can contact Elizabeth on 07765 252601 or visit www.mulakosafe homezambia.org.uk
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