Tuesday, March 17, 2009

life in Bellingham

 I haven't been updating my blog as often as I would like. Things are a little busy here in the 'ham. We're almost at the month mark living with the Barons. Things are going great but it can be a little crazy with the eight of us around the kitchen table. I definitely have less free time to blog or read. Not to mention the applications for Action that we're working on. They are huge and time consuming and some of the questions are pretty hard to answer. Sometimes you just want to give the easy Chrish answer and move on - but that's would miss the point. So you can be praying that we can get through the 20+ pages and that our references get their forms back in time and for a little sunshine up here in the great white north. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Community Schools in Lusaka

One of the things that Action Zambia does in Lusaka is work with the community schools in the compounds (slums). In Lusaka, the school system is under enormous pressure due to high enrollment and a derth of teachers. Last year the universities in Zambia graduated 1000 teachers from their education programs; 2000 teachers died, most from HIV related illnesses. In order to give some education to the children, many churches have opened schools or support schools. AZ gives support and training to some of the teachers in these schools. Check out this article on a similar situation in the country of Mali. 

Here are some pictures from one of the schools we visited in the Kabwata compound.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Some Numbers about Zambia

These numbers are from UNICEF (2005)
  • Total Population 11.7 million
  • Estimated adult HIV prevalence rate in Zambia        17%
  • Estimated number of people (all ages) living with HIV        1.2 million
  • Life expectancy at birth (years)                   41
  • Total number of orphans 1.2 million
  • Number of orphans due to HIV 710,000
  • Population below US$1 a day, 1995-2005         64%
This is A LOT of information to really process. Spend a minute really thinking about what these numbers mean to the people of Zambia. The number of orphans is always what blows me away the most - More than 10% of the population is made up of orphans! For you Bellinghamers - that's 16 times the population of Belligham!! If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what can. Pray for healing and help. Pray for change.

One small and important step

Just thought you should know that I received an email last night from the director of Action Zambia. The Zambian board of directors met and officially recommended us for AZ. Now on to the 20+page Action International application. Pray for patience and perseverance.