Malambo Grassroots, a member project of Rose Charities Canada, is focused on community development in southern Zambia. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this small and dedicated group of people! If you would like to know more about our numerous community collaborations and projects in Zambia, or if you’d like to help out in any way, please visit malambograssroots.ca or visit us on facebook!
Here is a look at two of the projects that are my focus!
Ngoma Dolce Music Academy
I had the pleasure of being introduced to this Zambian run music academy two years ago, shortly after the school had opened it’s doors. Co-director Moses Kalommo shared his stories of being a youth, wanting to study western classical music, in particular the violin, and all that he had to overcome to make that happen. It was a remarkable story that resulted in Moses’ desire to create a space where students could learn music.
Inspired by everyone we met at the Academy, we wanted to see how we could contribute. With donations and assistance from across Canada, we were able to ship a container with over 100 musical instruments (all repaired and in tip-top shape!), boxes and boxes of music, CDs, strings, reeds, music stands etc etc. We were also able to start a scholarship program, the Chen Family Scholarship Fund, which allows Zambian children to study music at the academy!
There is excitement about future possibilities right now for the Ngoma Dolce Music Academy! They have been offered a donation that may be enough for the school to buy a parcel of land. It would be wonderful to no longer pay rental costs. As well, the Academy is in need of more space! The school will move into containers until they are able to fundraise enough to build the school!
St Vincent de Paul School
I was introduced to my friend, Sister Lontia, and the children at St Vincent de Paul on my first visit to Zambia in 2010. Since then, our relationship with Sr. Lontia and the school has continued to flourish. Sr Lontia provides a beautiful environment for underprivileged, orphaned children to attend elementary school. They are able to offer the children one meal a day and are extremely creative in keeping the school funded…. raising chickens, making shopping bags for market, rugs to sell. Sr. Lontia has been making school uniforms for the children as well, a standard requirement in schools across Zambia.
Our partnership with St. Vincent is multi-dimensional! One of the upright pianos, shipped from Canada in the Malambo container, was dedicated to St. Vincent de Paul! Sr. Lontia applied to the ministry for a music teacher and recently received news that the school will receive one! We are thrilled to learn this!!
We have also provided school supplies, and most recently we started a scholarship program with St. Vincent. Once children enter high school in Zambia, they must start paying for their education. This is not a possibility for most of Sr. Lontia’s students, so we have created a scholarship program with Sr Lontia, to support several children through high school. We are so grateful to be able to provide this! It is a scholarship program that we hope to grow.
On our first visit to the school, we brought an art project…..the opportunity to create a mural on the front wall of St. Vincent de Paul! The children painted over several weeks, making a beautiful, bright and cheery entrance to the school. It was wonderful to see the joy, happiness, and care that radiated from the children as they painted.
More to come soon….