Namumu Orphanage Center - January 2019 Update
Dear Outreach friends,
Greetings and Happy New Year! In September 2018, an Outreach team spent three days visiting the children at Namumu Orphanage Center (NOC) near the district town of Siavonga along the shores of Lake Kariba. People in the district rely mainly on fishing and tourism for economic support. Unemployment is very high, and the times are challenging for them.
The Outreach Foundation has been partnering with Namumu Orphanage Center since the early 2000s to support vulnerable and orphaned children with residential care and education. There are currently 22 children in residence (12 girls and 10 boys) ranging in age from grade five through secondary school. We have been working with the NOC board to strengthen this ministry.
The NOC board’s plan (in keeping with Zambian policies and international best practices) is to not accept additional children into the residential program and to try and reunite children with their families and guardians where possible. As the current children at the center “age out” or graduate, the board will have the opportunity to examine options for using the existing facilities for training and vocational instruction. Recently, through an Outreach connection, NOC board member Rev. Charles Ngoma participated in a foster-to-adopt training event organized by the Christian Alliance for Children in Zambia (CACZ). The report he shared is very encouraging and informative, offering additional information on government policies for alternative care for vulnerable children and families.
The NOC is emerging from several difficult years due to poor administration and financial management. We are aware that, consequently, some stakeholders have lost confidence in the program. During our visit we spent hours reviewing a strategic plan developed by the updated Board of Management. The four-year plan (2018-2022) is comprehensive and ambitious. The cost of the plan has not been determined, but it is an encouraging step moving forward.
The center’s facilities include a chapel and offices, clinic, girls’ dorm, boys’ dorm, two staff houses, dining hall and kitchen, chicken coop, and kraal (enclosure) with six dairy cows. The latter is a new development to increase local revenues and feeding for the children. We are grateful for the partnership with the local Rotary Club who repaired and painted the dorms and the sanitary block. Both the boys’ and girls’ dorms are clean and comfortable. A member of the Outreach team, Dr. Jennifer L. Ellis, brought medication for the clinic, which was much appreciated.
We left Namumu feeling cautiously optimistic about the future of the program. We continue sending funds through a trusted church partner to cover educational expenses for the children for both primary and secondary education. We will continue to follow closely the steps the board takes in drafting a revised constitution and analyzing the results of a financial audit. There are important management tools that must be developed and implemented, and the board is now more willing to receive guidance.
We are grateful for all who are seeking the best interests of the children, to help them complete their education and reach their potential. We recently received good news – nine of the ten students who wrote the 7th grade examination passed successfully (results for #10 are not yet available). Please hold the Namumu board and children in your prayers.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2
Ebralie Mwizerwa, Projects Coordinator
Frank Dimmock, Africa Mission Specialist
Read more about Namumu Orphanage Center HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $20,000 to feed, clothe, offer medical care, and educate children at Namumu.