Our vision at Love Abounds is threefold in the hopes to achieve holistic, sustainable development:
1. Meeting physical needs
2. Partnering to empower
3. Building networks of advocacy
We came to Zambia with a goal to better understand how to accomplish 1 and 2 of our vision. We’re thrilled at the progress we’ve made already in gaining more understanding.
This past week, we’ve had the opportunity to spend dedicated time brainstorming projects with our partners here in Zambia. Their insight to the culture and village dynamics are critical to Love Abounds' success.
Establishing roots in the Kunchubwe Village was an important first step. It is our hope that Kunchubwe will become a model we can use in other villages around the country and continent. With a solid foundation and trustworthy relationship established with Headman Steven, we feel comfortable taking the next step.
Although we’re not at the stage to start rolling out projects just yet, we are ecstatic about their potential. Over tea & coffee, walks in the neighborhood, and running errands around town, no time has been wasted. We are constantly discussing strategy, scenarios, and likely obstacles of each potential project.
We have an abundance of ideas that we would love to bring to life. It is Love Abounds goal to pursue projects in which we can address both empowerment and physical needs.
Bore-hole wells are a great example of how to meet physical needs while also empowering people. Access to clean water automatically improves the health of the community. Also, the time saved from fetching water enables children to go to school and gives women the opportunity to work.
Other projects we’re brainstorming are:
- Women’s Empowerment through Agriculture: chicken rearing and other agricultural initiatives provide opportunities for income generation and training on operating a small business. With reasonable monitoring and sound budgeting this project can be sustainable for years to come, as well as dramatically improve the lives of women.
- Community Lunch-and-Learns: most individuals in the village have never been taught many things we take for granted, such as basic hygiene, family planning, and how to manage finances. Community Lunch-and-Learns will provide a meal, teach some of these basic skills, and hopefully set the foundation for strong community building.
- W.A.S.H. stations: Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene stations go hand-in-hand with drilling boreholes. These stations are available for bathing and washing hands. Studies show that implementing basic sanitation in villages immediately reduces illness and disease dramatically.
- A community center preschool: currently children under the age of five have no access to education or care during the daytime in Kunchubwe. This creates a heavier burden on mothers who must also attend to keeping the household, fetching water, and maintaining the garden. Childcare with focused programming sets the stage for lifelong learning and development.
One challenge we’re currently facing is choosing which project to implement first because they all are exciting with the potential to change lives.
Tomorrow we’re participating in the Kunchubwe Village Women’s Club meetings! We’re excited to learn more about the women of Kunchubwe and how Love Abounds can partner with this group to impact change.
Stay tuned for more updates soon!