I awoke early this morning and took a gentle run after sunrise. I ran briefly with a fellow, Odinga, as he ran to work. He is Bemba – don’t mess with the Bembas. He laughed when I said the Bembas are the warrior tribe. He graciously slowed his pace down for me and tolerated his friends saying something about the Mazungu (white guy). I ran through a cemetery, Mutumbi, very nice by Zambian standards. I had hoped to see the monkeys that climb through the trees next to the cemetery but missed them.
I observed the Strengthening Children group today. The children shared their life stories. The stories are difficult to hear though I was also encouraged to see the children comforting/supporting each other. There is also an emphasis upon finding hope and a way forward. A true privilege for me to listen as the children shared.
The lesson today reminded me of the importance of teaching positive coping strategies through the curriculum. Tomorrow I will have a small group of trainers to train. This is ideal since I will be able to tailor the training to the specific needs of each trainer.
Today I also saw our good friend, Rev. Kondwani Nkoma. She heads the CCAP community schools and will be present for the trainings in Lusaka and Lundazi. The community schools are free schools established within poor “compounds” as an alternative to the expensive private schools and the public schools that still require some fees. The poorest people in Zambia cannot afford the school fees of even the public schools and the community schools offer the only educational opportunity for these children. Most of the volunteer teachers in the CCAP community schools have completed high school. Machelle is working with these teachers to improve their skills as teachers.
The cemetery I passed by on my morning run.
The road I ran this morning through the elephant grass.
A street in side a compound that is unusually clean.
The group of kids I observed today (sorry about the size, the young children were not part of the group but joined the picture because that is what happens when someone takes out a camera).