This article is about community, generosity, and partnership. With the help of the local community in Raleigh North Carolina, specifically Peace College, Exploris Middle School, and many of our friends we were able to collect and purchase 205 kilograms of supplies to take to Zambia.
PfaP’s partnership with Sharon Luggage and Gifts made it possible to take the supplies in donated luggage that did not need to be returned to the United States. American Airlines in Raleigh generously allowed us to take the extra weight in supplies at no additional charge. Tours Africa met us before customs in Lusaka, taking our documents and seamlessly handling the customs process.
Three of the 13 bags were going with us to our first stop in Zambia Chaminuka Nature Reserve. Chaminuka supports two community-based projects the Munano Rural School and the Kasisi Orphanage. As we arrived on a Saturday, the school was closed, but Evaristo, the gracious manager at Chaminuka, arranged for us to visit the Kasisi Orphanage that day so that we could deliver the supplies. We left the school supplies with Evaristo, who offered to take them to the school on Monday. Kasisi Orphanage is run by Sister Mariola, who is an amazing woman full of love, energy, and compassion. Our visit to the orphanage left us full of joy that the children who live there were the beneficiaries of love, proper nutrition and an education. It was a privilege to be able to take supplies for the orphanage. Sister Mariola discussed some needs that we were able to add to the website on our return.
Meanwhile, Africa Tours transferred the supplies that were going to Project Luangwa in Mfuwe to Proflight Zambia. Proflight Zambia sent them on their flights to their final destination at no charge, as space was available.
We stayed with Robin Pope Safaris at Nkwali Camp in the South Luangwa valley. Robin and Jo Pope have been deeply involved with the schools in the Luangwa valley for many years. They set up Project Luangwa with other operators in the valley two years ago. Robin Pope Safaris made all the arrangements necessary to take us on two school visits during our stay and coordinated the distribution of the supplies to Project Luangwa.
The two school visits we made reaffirmed our understanding of how great the need is for supplies. There were only five teachers at the first school we visited. There were 50 students to a teacher, and each teacher taught two sessions a day. Since there were very few supplies in the school, we were delighted that we had been able to bring science charts and geometry kits, as well as pens, pencils, rulers, etc,. as requested by Project Luangwa.
The second visit we made was to a pre-school that was started by the employees of Flatdogs Camp. (A flatdog is a crocodile in Zambia.) Many of the guests at Flatdogs have packed for a purpose, which has been a help for the preschool. Even so, there was only one teacher for the 50 children, aged three to five. Watching her teach, we were incredibly impressed with her skill and professionalism. It was a pleasure to bring supplies that would make such a meaningful contribution.
On our website, we recommend taking 2.27 kilograms of supplies, as this is very easy for anyone to take on a trip and is a very meaningful contribution. There are more than 26 places in Zambia on the PfaP website. Since we had the opportunity to take more supplies, we did. It was our pleasure and privilege to do so. It does take many hours of work and coordination. For us, the reward far outweighed the effort – even at 205 kilograms.
If anyone else has the desire and ability to take a larger amount of supplies, please feel free to contact me at Rebecca@packforapurpose.org with any questions you may have.