Tuesday, January 30, 2007

continuing on...

If this is your first time on this site, please go to the bottom of the list and read from the bottom post to the top one, that way you will be reading them in order! I posted three times at once but the newest one is on the top and the oldest one on the bottom.

So the reason we are here is to get the Family Resource Center of Zambia started. In the past year MWB has been able to purchase just under 100 acres of land about 20 miles outside of Lusaka. Our goal is to make the roads, get the wells dug and get electricity to the land. Then we will begin making bricks for the construction of the first buildings. It is a massive project and things move at a rather relaxed pace here in Africa. One step at a time we will make progress. It takes someone being here for an extended time to actually push the work forward, so we packed our bags and came prepared to become Zambians for the better part of this year. We will be returning home around the 3rd week in March for a few weeks and then will come back here to resume this work as well as work with our church Humanitarian Services program for measles inoculation.

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Please also check out Mothers Without Borders on their website: motherswithoutborders.org

From Africa with much love,

-Pam & Mike Headlee

Children's Village aka Family Resource Center

Family Resource & Support Center - Zambia

We believe that all children should be raised and cared for in loving homes by their parents or other family members. The sad reality is there are many children who do not enjoy this basic right, due to illness, disaster or conflict. Millions of children have been orphaned and suffer neglect and abuse. These children are extremely vulnerable.

Local communities, already burdened with devastated economies, are struggling to meet the needs of this exploding population of orphaned and vulnerable children.

In response to the rapidly growing need, we have created the Family Resource and Support Center of Zambia. The Center is located on 80 acres of land just outside the capital city of Lusaka.

The Center provides the resources, training, mentoring and support that will enable communities and individuals to nurture and care for the orphans living in their midst in a way that most closely resembles family life.

Included in the project:

· Community Resource Center

· Preparatory School/Leadership Academy

· Health and Wellness Center

· Vocational Training Center

· Micro-Credit Bank & Small Business Institute

· International Volunteer Complex

· Local staff housing

· The Children’s Resource Center

The Children’s Resource Center

The Children’s Resource Center was created to provide orphaned and vulnerable children with the resources they need to enter society as caring, productive adults. The Center offers children found living in child headed households an opportunity to be raised in a family setting with caring adults who will mentor and encourage them.

In this environment we can meet their physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs. Each child is raised in a family setting, with house parents and caregivers. We keep siblings together. Each child has access to the following resources:

· Education

· Vocational training

· Spiritual development

· Grief and psychosocial counseling

· Opportunities to find and develop individual talents

· Involvement in community service

· Family reunification

· Healthcare

In addition to the Family Homes, the Children’s Resource Center also includes a Crisis Home for girls who have been abused, and a Hospice Care facility for the children who are dying.

We currently have 20 children in residence, with plans to build 6 new homes, which will allow us to offer services for up to 72 more children.

Community Resource Center

The purpose of the Community Resource Center is to:

1. Provide trainings and workshops that will assist members of the community in understanding the needs of the orphaned and vulnerable children in their community.

2. Train members of the community the skills needed to care for their families and the orphaned children. the orphaned children.

3. Provide training, workshops and mentoring designed to strengthen families.

a. Grief counseling

b. Meeting the emotional, social, educational and physical needs of children

c. Literacy for adults and children

d. First Aid

e. Nutrition and gardening

f. Health and hygiene

g. HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention

h. Accessing local resources, government aid and assistance.

4. Provide a lending library of relevant learning materials and reading books.

The Beginning...

Well here we are in the middle of Africa so far from friends and family, yet life is very good. We have been gone less than a week and our reality is now completely different than it was a week ago. We left a cold wintry village in upstate NY to end up in the middle of a hot and humid city in the middle of sub-Sahara Africa.

I look forward to documenting this adventure and I hope to get Mike to contribute, too. I hope you who join us on this web site will bear with my obvious lack of writing skills and feel the spirit of what I share. I hope I will be able to convey in word and photos a small portion of what goes on here.

The beginning…. Mike came to Zambia for the first time with his sister Kathy about four years ago. Kathy began a non-profit organization called Mothers Without Borders in an effort to help orphaned and vulnerable children all over the world. She has worked in Eastern Europe, South America, Central America, India and Africa. Her focus for the past five years has been in Zambia. Here the HIV/AIDS crisis has produced thousands upon thousands of orphans. She supports existing local organizations as they try to respond to this crisis. One step at a time MWB has expanded its support here and with each trip and each contact with the children here a vision has emerged for her. Mike returned four more times and in 2005 I made two trips here. Now we both share this vision with Kathy. There is a great work to do here and we have come to help continue what Kathy has started. We are here to support Mothers Without Borders as they develop the vision of a Family Resource and Support Center. I will make the next post all about this Center.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Ready to go

Mike and I are ready to go...this is the day of departure and we leave from home at 3:00 pm for a 10:30 pm departure from JFK. We hope you will follow our progress... Thank you for "joining" us!!