I'd like to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who kindly donated to our Arise Christmas Hamper appeal. I was blown away by people's generosity and delighted to be able to bless so many children, guardians and their families over the Christmas period.
Some of the hampers we distributed to children and guardians
It was quite a feat purchasing all of the food and household items and treats to put in the buckets and bowls. Shops over here don’t always keep things in stock and often have limited supplies. There are also only so many bags of rice, sugar and beans that you can fit in the boot of a car!
|Guardians in Kamalasha|
We began delivering the hampers in November as it takes a while to get to some of the homes that we visit. With the rains expected towards the end of the month, we prioritised travelling to Kanfinsa and Mwkela first since it can be difficult to get to these places when it is wet.
|Guardians in Kanfinsa|
Rosie and I travelled back to the UK for the month of December but were glad that Naomi (another teacher from the UK who moved out here in October) was here to continue delivering the hampers with one of our Zambian volunteers. They came up with a plan which involved inviting a group of guardians from one area to gather in a local house where they could explain the reason for the gifts and distribute them in a more efficient way.
The money and the effort that we spent was totally worth it to see the smiles on the guardians’ faces when we arrived to give them their hampers. Some of these people often don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Fortunately the local community has a culture of pitching in to help who are really struggling, so somehow people manage to get by, but a surprise gesture is always very welcome.
|A very happy lady receiving her hamper|
The guardians who we support are predominantly single mothers (often widows), grandparents or aunts. They were all very quick to say thank you, some looking to heaven or closing their eyes to thank God. One lady was so happy that she even burst into song!
|More grateful recipients|
Word obviously spread among guardians. Once Rosie and I had returned to Kaniki in January, several other guardians turned up at the Arise Office asking if there was a hamper for them! Thanks to the generosity of many of you back home, we were able to give them all a hamper.
|One of the guardians who came to the office to collect a gift|
Thank you to all of you who helped make Christmas 2015 a happier one for a needy family in Zambia.