Self-Help Activities Change The Face of Jokwe Community

Jokwe is a name of the School with an enrollment of more than 250 pupils and it acts as a central place for 8 villages in Chief Simwatachela Chiefdom of Zimba district. It is about 75 Kilometers from Kalomo town, along the road going to Mapatizya, an Amethyst mining area in the district.

Getting ready for market day

The first permanent structure for the School was a 1 by 1 and office Classroom block by Response Network in 2007. This community had very little developmental activity before the intervention by the Organization. Later in 2017, the organization went back and carried out a full program in the area, which led to starting up of various self-help activities by the community and the extension of the School to have 1 by 3-classroom block and a teacher’s house. This time it is a registered School under government office of the DEBS. What started as a “by-the-way thing” among the community members of Jokwe after Response Network held their Sensitization meetings two years ago has now changed the appearance of the community. Jokwe was among the target communities in 2017, when Response Network went round sensitizing communities on self-help initiatives. The community members started various activities just to try out the knowledge they got during meetings. As they continued, they trained how they can make money from the activities they were doing and improve the quality. The clubs members realized that, since they started engaging in various income generating activities, their lives have improved and they can now have money to pay for their children in school and even buy food and other household necessities. They now faced challenge of how to sell their products within a short time so that they could continue making money to continue supporting their families especially during the drought period of 2019. They idea of mobilizing themselves (an idea they got after seeing the exhibition of activities held at Jokwe where many clubs from surrounding area participated) and build a market where all clubs would come and sell their products was supported.

Farming activities at Jokwe

They asked for land by the roadside from the headman, where even vehicles to town pass so that many people can easily access their goods and it was given. This time, the market has attracted many people who come to buy and even spend time during their leisure, as they do not have a nearby shopping place. The market is run by 8 clubs who have already moved to the sight and doing their business although Jokwe has 12 clubs that are active. Four have not yet moved to the market. The community is extending invitation to people who can bring some business and other structures hoping to develop their area. The hosting head-person is very happy about the turn of events in her area and appreciates the initiative and education given to her community. Everyone is now busy finding ways to support their family. The women are overjoyed and feel motivated because now they can earn their own money, and control over unlike before. They feel more empowered to add their voices in making decisions at family level and community.

ACADEMIC WORK VISIT IN PICTURE

Check out the gallery below from our partner organization, Academic Work’s recent visit to Zambia where we went into the rural areas of Southern Province to the villages of Chinkonzya and Mabwa and the barbeque with the sponsorship girls that they so generously support through their #onepercent movement!

Just a little bit of HOPE

As most of us know by now, RN in collaboration with SMISO Tromso has been running an exchange program called HOPE, which is an acronym for Hope, Opportunity, Participation, Empowerment. Two participants from Zambia are sent to work at RN and two Zambian participants are sent to Norway.

The idea being to exchange knowledge on sexual abuse and incest between Norway and Zambia. Our two Norwegian participants, whom you may have already met via this blog and also social media, Preciosa Luras and Amy Andersen conduct lectures on sexual abuse and incest in selected schools around Livingstone. I recently accompanied them to Maramba Primary School where they had a meeting with senior teaching staff where they discussed their results, findings, and experiences while running the program in the school.

The key areas they aimed to target are awareness and prevention. When it comes to awareness, the aim was to find out how conversant the students are in issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and incest and prevention looked at among other things, whether or not the school had an obvious reporting system for these types of cases.

GBV, incest and related issues are very important and schools and communities need to work hand in hand in conjunction with organizations, not just RN, but organizations in general to spread awareness and develop systems and processes that will help protect our children and safeguard them in all ways. This task will not be an easy one, but as Amy said, we never stop learning, and learning new ways and improving upon existing systems and relationships will go a long way in curbing this scourge. For more on the HOPE program, follow HOPE on Facebook:
HOPE- Hope, Opportunity, Participation and Empowerment and Instagram:
@hopenorzam

Amy and Preciosa presenting their findings to staff at Ngwenya Primary School

EXHIBITION DAY

Who doesn’t love a good exhibition or fair or pop up market. Knowing me, I wouldn’t miss the opening of an envelope at this point. So when the Community Education Program (CEP) team told me that they would be heading out to not one, but two exhibitions, I just had to tag along.

Exhibitions were held in the villages of Jokwe and Mafumba where RN has been running various activities. We arrived in Jokwe to much fanfare and a warm reception from the participating clubs, some having covered wide distances to be able to showcase their wares at the exhibition. The exhibition in Jokwe was held at a sporting field, nearby a school that is being supported by Academic Work of Sweden.

The exhibitions took place on August 29th and 30th under the theme “Resistance through self-help initiatives”. The meaning and symbolism behind this theme is that in these tough economic times in Zambia and with the challenge of lack of rainfall, how have these clubs and how do they build somewhat of a resistance to all these seemingly insurmountable challenges. How do they adapt their self-driven self-help activities to the current reality they are facing. There were numerous and varied self-help activities carried out by the groups and clubs, including but not limited to farming activities, skills based activities, i.e. carpentry, basket weaving, place mats, floor mats, reed mats (traditionally called museme (sing.) or miseme (pl.), pottery, bricks, clothing items, grass brooms, etc. Other groups showcased other edible goods such as wild fruits, traditional cakes and homemade beverages.

The groups were judged in several categories, including creativity & innovation, product display & neatness, interpretation of the self-help concept and confidence. The women and gentlemen belonging to the winning groups were beyond thrilled and even performed celebratory dances as they walked up to claim their well-earned prizes which ranged from 50 to 300 Zambian Kwacha.

All in all, the exhibitions were a success and everyone seemed pretty happy with how it went. Some of the winning clubs actually received drip kits which will surely ease their burden when it comes to tending their crops. More on this later though.

For pics and video on this and more, follow us on insta @response.network, twitter @response_netwrk and like us on facebook at response network.

FIRE SAFETY

Fire safety is an essential topic and it is imperative that one know what to do in case of a fire. You know the old saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, better to know something and not need to use that knowledge than not to have that knowledge and actually need it.

With the extent of know-how a lot of us have when it comes to fire safety, if a fire of any classification did break out, I’m sure a whole lot of us would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle. We were fortunate enough to have fire experts, Lexka Fire Equipment & Services Ltd, who are situated in Livingstone’s 217 area, along Mosi-Oa-Tunya Road, visit our office for a crash course on fire safety procedures. First off FIRE is actually an acronym, who knew right. So here’s the breakdown:

F – FIND
I – INFORM
R – RESTRICT
E – EXTINGUISH

Those are pretty self-explanatory right? First you find where the fire is, then you inform everyone in the vicinity that there is a fire and assist anyone who is not able to evacuate themselves. You then restrict the fire and lastly extinguish it, if you are able to. We also learnt that there are different types of fire, which are categorized into classes. Class A being solid fires, i.e. involving paper, furniture, cardboard, most plastics, etc. Class B is for fires involving flammable or combustible liquids, i.e. gasoline, kerosene, grease or oil. Class C is for fires involving electrical equipment, like appliances, wiring, circuit breakers or outlets. Class D is for fires most commonly occurring in chemical laboratories, these involve combustible metals, like magnesium, titanium, potassium or sodium. Class K is for fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances, typically occurring in restaurants or cafeteria kitchens.

Now color me ignorant but I had not the foggiest idea that there were actually different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires. Check out the diagram below.

We should all look into equipping ourselves with the necessary implements needed to combat fires because you never know when disaster can strike. There is such a thing as knowing too little, there is never a point at which someone knows too much…#themoreyouknow #firesafety #educateyourself #stopdropandroll  

Good jobs require better education, Broms

VERY good jobs require better education for children and adults all throughout life, says Academic Work’s Michael Broms.

And Ddabali Educational Zone Head James Nanjame says without the support of Sweden’s Academic Work the community of Siakabanze would not have managed to have a teacher’s house constructed at the school.

Speaking when a delegation of 11 Academic Work visitors handed over a teachers house at Siakabanze Community School in Zambia last week with the collaboration with Response Network, Broms said his delegation was happy with the participation of the community in the construction of the house.

Response Network, a non-governmental organization based in Livingstone, also works in Zimba, and Kazungula districts.

“To have very good jobs we believe that it is very important to have very good education for children and adults all throughout life. We are here to visit you and hand over the house because of the very good
collaboration we have with Response Network,” Broms said.

He said it was pleasing to see that the school also built through financial assistance from Academic Work through Response Network was in good shape and the children of Siakabanze were very happy and
accessing the much needed education.

Siakabanze Community School is located 50 kilometres east of Kalomo district.

And Nanjame also appealed for more support from Academic Work so as to complete a classroom block extension.

“We have a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.

Chawila councillor Roy Sialubala appealed to Academic Work to build more teachers houses in the area.

He said building a school and a house was an expensive undertaking and thanked Academic Work for the financial support.

Sialubala appealed to parents and Siakabanze community to work hard and develop the school saying government does not help those who don’t help themselves.

“We need more houses so that we can have more teachers,” Sialubala said.

Siakabanze Community School head teacher Wilton Chifuwe told the delegation that spent a night in camping tents at the school that the institution catered for over 300 children sharing two classrooms.

The delegation also visited Siamwaamvwa Community School and presented footballs and skipping ropes.

The delegation on Saturday had lunch with vulnerable girls who are receiving 100 per cent financial support for their education in Livingstone.

The Swedish-based organisation funds the vulnerable girls all their educational requirements until they complete university or collage, while those who don’t make it to university or collage are paid for skills training.

L/stone girl pleads for school sponsorship

As it appeared in The Mast Newspaper of Friday January 11,2019

Thando (r) with her mother

Thando (r) with her mother

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who hopes to be a neurosurgeon one day is on the brink of never ever making her dreams a reality as there is no-one to pay for her school fees at Njase Girls Secondary School.
Thando Ngwenya obtained 511 from her Grade 9 examinations.
In a her appeal for assistance, Thando whose father died when she was only a year-old said she is failing to sleep always thinking that she will never see the inside of a Grade 10 classroom.
“At school, I used to frequent the library and liked to research on science related jobs, because I love staff to do with science…this gave me courage that I should pursue this career path (neurosurgeon). I want to save lives because most people don’t survive such surgeries. I like challenging issues but it is sad to think that I may never be able to do this,” she said with a smile but visibly emotionally disturbed.
She began her primary education at Malima School up to grade 2 and then moved to Starlet Private School for her Grade 3 stint.
Thando the 3rd born out of a family of four, did her Grades 4 and 5 at Indeco Primary School but was fortunate to have been taken up by later father’s sister to continue with her studies in Lusaka.
“In Lusaka, I had to repeat Grade 5 at Ndabeni Academy where I completed my Grade 7 and qualified to Njase Secondary School in Choma where my auntie continued to pay for my school requisites,” she revealed.
Thando said she knows some of the ex-Njase Girls pupils were now prominent women in society and appealed to any of them or as a group to assist her.
“If people that have been at Njase such as Honourable Sylvia Masebo and others that I don’t know by name but are respected in society and may have the means to assist me with my school fees, I would be the most grateful girl on earth. I just want them to or even men and women who may have never been to Njase Girls to find Grace in God and assist me get back to Njase,” she said holding back tears.
“I promise never to fail them and I will work very hard to ensure that I grow up to save my country and also be able to help other girls in need, who may be in my situation. It is sad for me having lost my
father when I was only 1-years-old,” Thando lamented.
However, her mother Mampi Salome Simwanza, aged 45, who was looking more devastated, said her sister in-law has since indicated that she also wants to educate her children and would thus not be able to help the brilliant young Thando.
On Wednesday, Thando’s mother visited Response Network an NGO that assist vulnerable girls through the financial assistance of Sweden’s Academic Work, but was turned down on grounds that the organisation was only focusing on vulnerable girls eligible for Grade 1’s so as to have up to 50 girls up to grade 12 by 2025, but will continue to assist those it had enrolled earlier for further studies and not new entries such as Thando who has never been the organisation list of supported girls.
Simwanza said that she is appealing for assistance for her daughter because she currently is not in any gainful employment and takes care of her children through selling flitters once in a while.
“The cost of doing business is too high and sometimes I don’t make ends meet, it is by the Grace of God that I get on by daily life,” she said.
Simwanza of Namatama residential area said her eldest child is not in gainful employment, while her second born has just completed a teacher training course but was yet to get the results.

“My youngest child is in grade 2,” Simwanza said.

Since the publication of this story in Zambia’s independent newspaper (The Mast) Thando has recived assistance from well wishers and has since reported for school.

Zimbabweans flock to Livingstone for basic needs as economic crisis continues

LIVINGSTONE AFFECTED BY THE ZIMBABWEAN RIOTS
DESPITE the heavy security forces in major towns of Zimbabwe, the neighbouring town of that country with Zambia, Victoria Falls is relatively calm.
However, the town has had no fuel for weeks now forcing many Zimbabwean motorists including government officials to drive into Livingstone to purchase the commodity.
The other calamity that affects the residents of Victoria Falls town is that there are no shops stocking school requisites such as books and also there are no stationary shops to service the business community and offices.
This scenario has led to an increased influx of Zimbabweans into Livingstone causing long queues as at last week into this week at a major stationary shop in Livingstone called Bhukhans.
It is reported that Zimbabweans resale the school books for as much as US$ 3 to 10, while a ream of paper is fetching as much as US$30.
Many of the Zimbabweans have also found it easy to buy food from some take away restaurants such as Hungry Lion and also buy some groceries from Shoprite Chain stores in Livingstone as most shops in that city are either closed for fear of looting or have no products to sale at all.

Two Judo for Fred youths are crowned Zambia’s best 2018 cadets

As it appeared in The Mast Newspapers of Sunday, January 20,2019

ZAMBIA Army is the 2018 best judo team after beating Zambia Police by 478 points.
And Livingstone’s Judo for Fred youths Thabo Sitali and Fillet Musonda are 2018’s best male and female cadets respectively after having not lost any bout last year.
In an interview, Livingstone Judo for Fred coach Mama Hamoonga said her team was forth behind Zambia National Service.
“At the grand finale held in Lusaka, Zambia Army amassed 811 points to be the nation’s best judo team followed by Zambia Police with 333 points, ZNS had 218 while we had 119 points,” Hamoonga said.
In fifth position was Central Sports Judo Club with 53 points while Ipon, Sable of Kabwe, Mazabuka and Maheba Judo Clubs had 30, 23, 16 and 10 points respectively to take up the sixth,
seventh, eighth and ninth positions in that order.
And Hamoonga said the Norwegian- sponsored Livingstone outfit through Response Network will this year embark on a massive recruitment exercise targeting school children.
“We will embark on a recruitment drive by visiting schools so that we can have many young girls and boys joining Judo. We are tired of always settling for either third or fourth position. We want to go for the top slot this year,” she said.
Hamoonga, who was also awarded the best judo coordinator trophy, and for being committed to the sports activities by the Zambia Judo Association (ZJA), praised Sitali 13 and Musonda 14 for not losing any of their bouts last year.

Musonda

Livingstone Judoka Fillet Musonda

Sitali

Zambia's best male cadet Judoka

It’s neer worth it to be proud, says Spigseth

RESPONSE Network director Håkon Spigseth says he belives his main purpose in life lies in doing well to other people.

And Spigseth says that it is never worth it to be proud because one’s purpose of life and work is above that.

Addressing workers of his organisation in Livingstone to preview the organisations 2018 challenges and successes, Spigseth said he was lucky to come to work in Zambia, an environment where people are God.

“I co-started RN because I believed that my main purpose in life lies in doing well to other people, and to put that first.  The other things in life I feel is rather of smaller importance… one result of
that thinking is that as long as we focus on the main purpose of life, other things become of much smaller importance. It is never worth it to be angry with someone, because love is our mission. It’s never worth it to look down at someone else, because love is our mission,” Spigseth said.

He added that RN workers needed to remember that whenever sorrow and challenges come, they need to be kind to it, because God had placed a pearl in sorrows hand.

“I was lucky to come to work in an environment where people are God believers, and many therefore also have the same outlook on life, that: ‘To do to others what you want others to do to you’ is so
important in life.  So we became the Response Network family,” Spigseth added.

He, however, indicated that life was difficult, and challenges and disagreements will come.

“We need to remember the above purpose of our being here. It’s never worth it to be proud, because our purpose of life and work is above that. It is never worth it to talk very strictly to anyone, because our purpose of life and work is above that,” he said.

“It’s never worth it to be bossy because our purpose of life and work is above that. If you are bossy you are failing on our love goals,” Spigseth said.

And Spigseth informed the workers that whatever difficulties are there, whatever they thought their
colleagues were doing wrong, all they needed to do is: “say it with love.”

“We need is to ‘say it with love’ and then she/he will accept to be talked to and corrected. If we have talked something negative about someone, all we need is to swallow our pride and go and say ‘sorry my brother/sorry my sister.” Spigseth advised.

RN receives assistance and collaboration from the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympics Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF), Support Centre for Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse (SMISO), the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (NOREC) formerly Fredskorpset (FK), the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Academic Work of Sweden among other organisations and individuals.

 

 

RN Director

Spigseth