EDUCATIONAL SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
The AACDP has recently found educational sponsorship for three young women we know. Their parents or guardians are Zambezi doll makers or artisans we have worked with, so we have a close connection to their families. Despite their difficult circumstances, they are all determined to further their education.
Banji Mulumbu was born with cerebral palsy. She had a difficult birth and grew up in poverty in a remote village in Zambia, where children with disabilities are hidden away, their families stigmatized. Despite this, and despite the fact that she was confined to a wheelchair and could not even hold a pencil, from a very young age she yearned for an education. Problem after problem arose, but she was fiercely determined, and finally graduated from grade 12. She is now in her first year of distance learning from the Monze Community College (in conjunction with University of Zambia), studying Community Development & Social Welfare.
When she completes this 4 year course, Banji plans to work for several years to gain experience before pursuing a masters degree to actualize her dream of becoming a lawyer for people with disabilities.
Her unwavering determination has been inherited from her mother, Nophreen, who has gone to heroic lengths to make it possible for Banji to come this far. Click HERE to read their remarkable story.
NAME: Banji Mulumbu
SCHOOL: Monze Community Development College, in conjunction with University of Zambia
COURSE: Community Development & Social Welfare
DURATION OF COURSE: 4 years
TRANSPORTATION, FOOD, BOOKS: $500/year
TOTAL: $2,540 per year
OTHER EXPENSES: Laptop: $300, smart phone, $100
Edith Siansulinga came to the AACDP office in Livingstone many months ago, looking for financial help to study a trade at the Livingstone Institution of Business Studies (LIBES). Her family lives in Mukuni Village, a nearby traditional village of 10,000 people. Founded in the 1300s, Mukuni Village has always been famous for its wood carvings. Edith's parents are carvers, making bowls and small animals to sell at the local craft markets. With so many expert carvers and so few tourists, the markets have never provided more than a meager living, and the pandemic has further stricken the community. Everyone has to struggle just to feed their families.
Last fall Edith began a three year electrical engineering diploma course, and must pay for tuition and accommodations. She also needs a laptop and smartphone to be able to study properly and do well. After graduation she wants to get a job at the local power plant. It would mean security and benefits, and a decent wage so that she can help support her 2 younger siblings, and further their education. They are currently not going to school because of lack of funds.
NAME: Edith Siansulinga
SCHOOL: Livingstone Institution of Business Studies (LIBES)
COURSE: Diploma in Electrical Engineering
DURATION OF COURSE: 6 semesters (1completed, 5 remaining)
TRANSPORTATION, FOOD, BOOKS: $450/semester
TOTAL: $1,250 per semester
OTHER EXPENSES: Laptop: $300, smart phone, $100
Triphonia Mwiya lost both of her parents when she was just a baby. Since then she has been living with her mother’s relatives. When she was young she was able to attend primary school sporadically, thanks to donations from “well-wishers”, informal sponsors for poor children in Zambia. After she graduated from high school, there was no one able to pay for college fees. Without support, she cannot afford tuition or expenses.
She has always enjoyed being in the garden, and is good at maintaining vegetables, flowers and other plants. With the help of the AACDP, she has begun a 3 year agricultural course. Triphonia’s goal is to finish her studies, then get a job to raise money to buy a small plot of land to start her own farm. In time, she hopes to be able to help other vulnerable young women like herself.
NAME: Triphonia Mwiya
SCHOOL: Zambia College of Agriculture in Monze
COURSE: Diploma in General Agriculture
DURATION OF COURSE: 6 semesters (1 completed, 5 remaining)
TRANSPORTATION, FOOD, BOOKS: $350/semester
TOTAL: $1,310 per semester
Below is a bit of our sponsorship history, with a story of one of the first students who found sponsors through the AACDP.
Lillian Mushe, grade 11 Livingstone High School, Zambia
The AACDP began supporting young people that we knew through the Mama Bakhita Cheshire Home network very early in our existence. Much of the money raised for this purpose was through the sale of African crafts at sales at flea markets during the summer and through Italian tours which I began to lead in 2013. When the pandemic halted both of these income sources I decided to send out a letter to all our friends and contributors with descriptions of our scholarship students and the costs to cover their tuitions and expenses.
By American standards, tuitions in Zambia are very reasonable. High school costs from $80 a semester to $150. Though it is supposed to be guaranteed by the government, there is no free public education. Economic crisis has meant little or no funds for public schools. In practice, children are "chased away" if they cannot pay. Higher learning varies from $850 to $1,600 per year, often with additional costs for computers and living expenses.
The response to our call for help with sending children of families within the Mama Bakhita Cheshire Home and Zambezi Doll Company community has been encouraging.
Busiku Mpongo and her daughter Rachael
Busiku and her daughter have lead a very difficult life, moving often in an attempt to find work. When I met her, she was working as an assistant at a small school, earning $70 per month, and supporting her parents and siblings at the same time. Her dream was to go to school and become a physiotherapist. I sent out a newsletter last year looking for sponsors for Busiku and five other deserving young people who had never had money for consistent attendance at school. She found financial help from a generous couple from Massachusetts, and began the considerable task of catching up scholastically.
It has been a struggle to do the work after a lifetime of spotty education, but Busiku has worked hard and is now in her third semester at Evelyn Hone College, and thrilled to be there.