Sarah aims high against all odds

 

Sarah

Sarah with Response Network Frayor Chabauni sponsorship programme manager

By Edwin Mbulo

GROWING up without knowing her father, losing a mother at the age of 6 and not having any siblings didn’t dissuade Livingstone’s Sarah Mainza to put education first ahead of persuasions that lure youths in Zambia.

In an interview an upbeat, Sarah aged 19 based in Livingstone said she used the influence of her family life situation to draw the passion to work hard in her academic work so that she could better her life.

“I got a distinction in Mathematics and English, while i managed to get credits in History, Religious Education, Biology and Science. In Agricultural Science and Civic Education I managed to get credits. I got the zeal to work hard in my studies after taking an audit of my situation, i realised that being an orphan being kept by grandparents it was incumbent on me to work hard and better my future and the only way to do this was through studying hard,” Sarah said.

She added that she would have loved to do far much better that what she got in her final secondary school examination results.

Sarah who has been accepted by the University of Zambia (UNZA) to study a Degree Course in Adult Education also added that she has always been interested in a career that has to do with calculations hence her distinction in mathematics.

“I have never seen my father and my last name Mainza is my mothers, she was born Queen Mainza and died when i was 6 years-old, thereafter i was taken up by my grandparent, my grandmother is a retired nurse and currently my grandfather is a businessman at Maramba Market engaged in tyre mending,” she said.

Sarah who attended her junior education at Shungu Primary school and later did her senior education at St Marys in Livingstone further added that she initially wanted to study law but eventually lost interest.

She said her acceptance to the University of Zambia is just a stepping stone for her to pull off her dreams of being an accountant.

“I have always wanted to be an accountant from as early as Grade 7, so this is a stepping stone to my dreams,” Sarah said.

She further praised Response Network for having offered her financial and material assistance through Sweden’s Academic for her to complete her Primary and Secondary School education.

“Response Network assisted me from Grade 6 to pay for my education and i am very grateful to them and Academic Work. It is my dream that they can continue to assist me even as i go to UNZA,” Sarah said.

Asked what her advise would be to Zambia’s girls with regards education Sarah urged her peers especially those in wretchedness a to put God first in all they do and work hard in academic work.

“I would advise girls especially those in a situation as mine, to work very hard if they are to attain their dreams. Those in my shoes of uncertainty, misery and a solitude to turn to education in order to secure their future,” she said.

Asked what her hobbies were, Sarah said she love singing and read.

She added that at Response Network a non-governmental organisation which operates in Zimba, Kalomo and Kazungula on various human development projects targeting the girl child, people living with disabilities, children living with HIV and also encourages the construction of community schools on self-projects she was involved in a programme known as Kicking Out AIDS.

Zambia’s Minister for General Education,  Dennis Wanchinga who is also the chairperson of the National UNESCO Commission in his foreword to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s)  2016 Zambia annual report published in May 2017 said: “Education can only be deemed to have achieved its purpose if it equips learners with the necessary skills they will need for both personal and national development.”

According to the demographic and health survey (2013-2014) 29 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 in Zambia are either mothers already or pregnant with their first child.

“Teenage pregnancy is much higher in rural areas (36%) than in urban areas (20%). Zambia’s North-Western Province has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy (41%), followed by Western Province (40.4%). Its lowest rates are in the more industrialized Copper Belt, where teen pregnancy stands at 16%,” the survey revealed.

 

 

Targeting resilience among families with children who are HIV+ in Zambia

By Edwin Mbulo

RESPONSE Network has embarked on a programme to increase resilience among households that have children living with HIV in Zambia.

Response Network’s programme manager says Julius Simfukwe says sensitisation of villagers in Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo’s rural areas on child sexual abuse and gender based violence has been scaled up.

“With the support of the Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) through USAID we at Response Network have a programme which seeks to increase resilience among households that have children living with HIV,” Simfukwe said.

He said 719 villagers have so been reached in the first six months of the year out of which 363 were men and 356 females through goal oriented project planning workshops and meetings.

Simfukwe said of the 719 villagers 10 persons living with disabilities have been involved with the funding by the Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD) and Academic Work of Sweden under Response Networks village Self-Help Programme.

He said Response Network’s advisory board members Dorothy Velemu, Andrew Lwenje led by board chairperson Peter Matubulani were recently briefed of the networks programmes.

“We informed the board that from USAID through Development Aid from People to People’s Zamfam Project we want to increase resilience among households with children living with HIV. So far 828 beneficiaries comprising of 263 males 565 females including 17 persons living with disabilities have been reached against a target of 7,028,” Simfukwe said.

He said the project is aimed at achieving alleviated poverty through rights based self-help approach among the marginalised in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo districts.

Simfukwe said under the HOPE programme two young women are working SMISO and Response Network on the child sexual abuse of children.

He said under the Community Schools building project aims at supplementing communities that have started self-help community schools with building materials with funding from Academic Works of Sweden and the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) through the Joint
Country Programme (JCP).

Simfukwe further added that through Academic Work, Tore Shulze Memorial and the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF) staff, adding that the programme has over 700 girls being supported with school fees at both primary and secondary.

“We have 20 young girls in tertiary learning institutions and 80 are undergoing skills training in catering, auto mechanics, electrical and tailoring, while 15 community members from various Response Network self-help facilitated clubs are undergoing skills training in agriculture and carpentry,” he said.

170 L/stone youths undergo judo training

Zambia’s private Newspaper “The Mast” today (September 14, 2017) carried the Response Network story as copied  below:

170 L/stone youths undergo judo training

By Prince Lubanga on September 14, 2017

ONE hundred and seventy Livingstone youths are being trained in judo with the assistance of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport.

In a statement, Response Network programmes manager Julius Simfukwe said the youths are being trained under a ‘Judo for Fred’ programme.

“We are training 170 children in Livingstone with funding from the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport. This project is being implemented by Judo for Fred in conjunction with the Judo Association of Zambia. ‘Fred’ is Norwegian meaning peace,” Simfukwe said.

He added that Response Network is also training and sensitizing villagers in sports in its areas of operations in Kazungula, Zimba and Kalomo.

“Village sports self-help sensitisations and trainings are ongoing and so far a total of 2,476 people have taken part. These included 1,607 and 869 males and females respectively, including 45 people living with disabilities,” said Simfukwe.

 

 

People living with disabilities can help develope sports-Response Network

By Edwin Mbulo

PEOPLE living with disabilities can help to contribute to sports development, says Annet Sonko

In an interview Sonko who is Response Network (RN) assistant sports facilitator urged people living with disabilities to engage in sports activities.

“Through our community interventions we managed to get people living with disabilities especially women to engage in sports activities and our inaugural sports tournament in Zimba’s Nyawa village attracted 13 teams. We firmly believe that people living with disabilities can help contribute to sports development through their participation in tournaments,” Sonko said.

She added that RN encourages communities to engage in self-help projects as opposed to dependency but however, appealed for assistance from any organisation so as to be able to sustain the tournament planned to an annual event.

“Women in Nyawa mobilized themselves and organised an inclusive women tournament and each team had two men, the qualification for each team was that it should have two people living with disabilities,” she said.

Sonko said the tournament which started on August 14 was held on August 30 and Younger Stars Football Club won the tournament.

“The tournament motivated and encouraged the women to take up leadership roles,” she said.

And Young Star FC captain Veronica Sikayasa said the tournament was the clubs first active football participation.

“This has been our first time to play football and little did we know that we have the skill…the RN facilitator really motivational and inspired us,” Sikayasa said.

She further added that her team was now williwould also participate in other tournaments anywhere in Zambia.

Response Network has made my future bright-Lweendo

By Edwin Mbulo

A 30 YEAR-OLD Zambian mother has praised Response Network for making her future ‘bright.’
In an interview Lweendo Hantumbu said she faced hurdles in paying for her school fees and taking care of her son who is now 10 years-old.

“I want to thank Response Network who through Sweden’s Academic Work aid managed to assist me pay for my school fees both in secondary and at university. They have made my life easy and my future is now bright. Without Response Network assisted by Academic Work, i would be nothing, and i

Lweendo

Lweendo Hantumbu (l) with Response Network sponsorship manager Flayor Chabayuni

don’t know what my son Cornelius could have done,” Hantumbu said.

She said sponsorship from Academic Works through Response Network commenced in 2012 when she was in Grade 10.

“I got pregnant and only recommenced my education after giving birth to a baby boy, and to help pay for my education i started working as a maid but after my qualification to Grade 10 i heard of Response Network sponsorship programme and i applied after i was informed that i needed to provide my acceptance letter from Linda Secondary School.”

“After i completed i started to look for a placement into collage and i was accepted by Paglory University in Kabwe were i am pursuing teaching studies, it is a three year programme and i am in my second year. All my school fees at Linda Secondary School were paid by Response Network and now they are also paying for my tuition boarding and transport allowances to the university,” Hantumbu said.

She said her son’s father Kelvin Muleya died in 2010.

Asked about her advice to other Zambians especially women on the need to place education as a priority, Hantumbu said being a trainee teacher who is also studying psychosocial counselling she always
advises women and youths to use every opportunity that they have to further their education.

“I always say that others are blessed but others are not and whenever an opportunity arises it is better to grasp it with both hands and ensure that one succeeds, i always remind young men and women to work hard in academics,” Hantumbu said.

She said after completion she would like to work for Response Network if there would such an opportunity but added that she would like to settle in Choma north of Livingstone.

Hantumbu of Livingstone Dambwa’s Zambezi Sawmills said she was the last born in the family of three.

“Response Network has done a great job for me,” she added.

And Frayor Chabauni who is the sponsorship programme manager said Response Network was not mandated to assist Hantumbu because she already had a child when she sought for sponsorship from funds made available by Academic Works.

She however, added that Response Network after carefully analyzing her results and seeing her zeal to education despite her ordeal decided to assist her with sponsorship.

“We were happy with her performance in school and help personal initiative to find work as a maid so as to pay for her school fees,” Chabauni said.

She said Response Network has since not regretted assisting Hantumbu with school sponsorship going by her continued good results at university.

“We know that our assistance has not been in vain because she has kept on recording good results at Paglory,” Chabauni said.

Kristina and Benedikte depart for Zambia's Nyawa villageAuto Draft

By Edwin Mbulo

KRISTINA Antal 25 and Benedikte Ridderholt 24 who are in Zambia for a sports development programme on a Youth Sports Exchange Programme (YSEP) with Response Network have finally departed for Nyawa village.

Antal and Ridderholt who are students at the Norwegians Sport School of Sports Sciences (NSSS) in Oslo, departed  for Nyawa village over 80 kilometres northwest of Livingstone city are have been escorted by Response Network’s facilitators Amon Kasweka and Annet Sonko, and also Caleb Chabauni who is the organisations buildings officer.

The two students will be in Zambia until June next year.

Antal who will be based in Nyawa’s Mabwa village says “I chose to be taken to a rural part of Zambia and I want to learn a lot, see new places, know different cultures and get to meet new people. I also want to show my competence in my work on how sports can be used for development, especially at grassroots levels.”

Ridderholt on the other hand says she wants to grow her understanding of Zambia.

“During my stay here in Zambia I want to grow as a human being,” she said.

“Before coming to Africa I only had the perception of the continent as given by the European media, who only showed the worst part of the continent, the media has a lot of apathy on Africa, so I want to make my own opinion and not trust media gossip.”

Response Network runs several programs such as village self help programmes with the aid of the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD), Academic Works of Sweden and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

The organisation however is still seeking more funding from local and foreign organisations to be able to sustain its programmes being implemented in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo districts.

Antal Ridderholt

Norwegian students depart Zambia's tourist capital for rural Nyawa

Auto Draft

Annet Sonko

Response Network's assistant sports faacilitator Anet Sonko

By Edwin Mbulo

PEOPLE living with disabilities can help to contribute to sports development, says Annet Sonko.

In an interview Annet Sonko who is Response Network (RN) assistant sports facilitator urged people living with disabilities to engage in sports activities.

“Through our community interventions we managed to get people living with disabilities especially women to engage in sports activities and our inaugural sports tournament in Zimba’s Nyawa village attracted 13 teams. We firmly believe that people living with disabilities can help contribute to sports development through their participation in tournaments,” Sonko said.

She added that RN encourages communities to engage in self-help projects as opposed to dependency but however, appealed for assistance from any organisation so as to be able to sustain the tournament planned to an annual event.

“Women in Nyawa mobilized themselves and organised an inclusive women tournament and each team had two men, the qualification for each team was that it should have two people living with disabilities,” she said.

Sonko said the tournament which started on August 14 was held on August 30 and Younger Stars Football Club won the tournament.

“The tournament motivated and encouraged the women to take up leadership roles,” she said.

And Young Star FC captain Veronica Sikayasa said the tournament was the clubs first active football participation.

“This has been our first time to play football and little did we know that we have the skill…the RN facilitator really motivational and inspired us,” Sikayasa said.

She further added that her team would also participate in other tournaments anywhere in Zambia.

Norwegian students aim to use sport to develope rural Zambia

  • Krsitina and Benedikte

    Benedikte Ridderholt (l) and Kristina Antal of Norwegian School of Sports Sciences in Livingstone

By Edwin Mbulo

A NORWEGIAN woman says she is in Zambia to utilise her sports competence to help develop Nyawa area in Zimba district.

In an interview Kristina Antal 25 from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NSSS) who is in Livingstone with her colleague Benedikte Ridderholt said she would be in Zambia for ten months until June next year to work with Response Network (RN) after being selected by the Norwegian Sports Association under the funding of the Norwegian Peace Corps.
“I chose to be taken to a rural part of Zambia and I want to learn a lot, see new places, know different cultures and get to meet new people. I also want to show my competence in my work on how sports can be used for development, especially at grassroots levels,” Antal said.

She disclosed that she will be based in Mabwa in Nyawa area over 70 kilometers north-west of Zambia.

Antal said she has three siblings’ one older sister, one younger sister and brother.

She revealed that she just like Ridderholt, was in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time but has been to Egypt before.

Antal said she was not sure of which country she was going to be sent to between, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.

And 24 year-old Benedickte Ridderholt said she wants to grow her understanding of Zambia.

“During my stay here in Zambia I want to grow as a human being. Before coming to Africa I only had the perception of the continent as given by the European media, who only showed the worst part of Africa, the media in Europe has a lot of apathy on Africa, so I want to make my own opinion and not trust media gossip,” Ridderholt said.

Being the oldest in a family of two girls Ridderholt said she was happy to be in Zambia and will be based in Nyawa village west of Zimba district under a programme being implemented by RN known as Youth Sports Exchange Programme (YSEP).

“When I was selected I just was happy because all I wanted was to come to Africa, until I heard that I was being sent to Zambia,” she said.

And RN programme officer Julius Simfunkwe said Antal and Ridderholt will be under the mentorship of Amon Kasweka who is RN sports facilitator and his deputy Annet Sonko.

“YSEP also greatly helps the volunteers in aspects of cultural exchange as they get to know our various cultural aspects and our people in the villages where they would be based get to know and understand foreign cultures and values,”   he said.

Simfunkwe added that apart from YSEP, RN which is based in Livingstone also runs other programs such as village self help programmes with the aid of the Norwegian Association of Disabled (NAD), Academic Works of Sweden and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

He added that the non-governmental organisation was seeking for more corporation from local and foreign institutions to be able to sustain its programmes mainly implemented in Zimba, Kazungula and Kalomo districts of Southern Zambia.

Meet Josephine

During the show we are helped by volunteers that are connected to RN in different ways. This year we had Violet Shinguluma from Tujatishe Self-Help Group and Josephine Lishomwa from Lwikute Women’s Club. Josephine shared some insight into how the club works and how it is for her to be at the show.

Josephine and the products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josephine is 38 years old and has been a member for the club since 2012. The club is based in Buiketo village, 45 km from Livingstone. They are 10 women and 1 man in the club. The members grow produce such as maize, cow peas, ground nuts and sorghum together. After harvesting, they cook and dry the produce they have grown, so that during the dry season they can sell it or have a back up for food. During the show she sells their different produce, and then shares the income, ensuring that all members benefit from participating in the show, in addition to giving invaluable help for us during the show days.

Josephine has been to the show once before, and says “I like to be in the show to learn and get ideas for new opportunities”.

 

The products from the SHG and Women's Club

 

STACSS 2017

Like every year, RN participated in the annual Southern Tourism, Agricultural and Commercial Show (STACSS) for 2017 which was held from 13th to 16th July in Livingstone. The theme this year was “Promoting a Green Economy” which is in line with the national theme of reaching the SDGs of sustainable development of 2030. This was perfect as is it also in line with our way of working, particular with the organic vegetable growing that many of the clubs and self-help groups are doing with our support.

Outside our stand at this years STACSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The show is a great opportunity for different businesses, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Government ministries to showcase the different services and merchandise that they offer to the community.

Our neighbour stand showcasing the work the inmates do

 

Florence and Caleb representing RN at STACSS 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the past years that we have participated we have impressed the judges and won several prizes in the NGO category. We are proud to have won the second place in the overall NGO category this year. Our team put in a lot of hard work and our stand gave an insight in to the variety of programs that RN provides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to this our own co-worker and sensei Mama and her talented Judo group presented their skills during the opening ceremony, showcasing another of the thematic areas RN work in.

Judo presentation during opening ceremony