Zambian communities are very closely linked and Nyamphande is no exception. Communities in Zambia are also very well known for their charitable ways of life that they have lived, valued and treasured amongst themselves for generation.
It is very common in these communities for one to ask his neighbour for financial help or a bowl of sugar, salt and other essential items. It is also very common amongst neighbours to help in the care of children and the sick like they would care for their own relatives.
For most children in Zambia life as an orphan has not been easy and in communities like Nyamphande which is well known for being the only established orphanage in Rufusa district, it becomes very disturbing to learn that most genuine orphans are being disadvantaged by those that are meant to help them. The charitable values for which our communities are known for are being crashed by those who would rather put a relative or people in the family cycles first on the priority list then an orphan or a venerable child. Smart and Justina Tembo are one such case that our community system has failed to help for the past 8 years.
Smart’s life has had an uphill struggle ever since he was a young Child. Smart now looks after his grandmother and is always in constant search for part time work in order for him to buy books for school, clothes and food items for him as well as his grandmother.
Smart Tembo studying in his class room.
The passion for the 14 year old Smart, who is now doing his grade 7 at Nyamphande, is to help those that are in need like him. Smart is a bright young man who loves mathematics, his career choice is to become a teacher as is the case with most children in rural areas who see teaching as their only profession. Smart has little time to play like other children because of his responsibilities at home which includes caring for his grandmother.
Smarts grandmother was born in 1930 making her 71 years old; she looks a lot older then her age with a frail body that has been through a lot of emotional and physical pain. For a lot of grandparents it has not been easy witnessing the passing away of the younger generation their children and grandchildren all passing away right in their very eyes. Grandparents pride themselves when they have a lot of children and grandchildren as they become dependent to their children in their old age.
In the Tembo household Smart has become the bread winner of the family he is responsible for his school resources and management of his house which he share with his grandmother. His time for study and homework is highly dependent on his duties at home, he cannot study at night as the whole community is not under any power grid, but he still manages to find time for studies and home work. Life was not only hard for smart but for his older sister as well.
Justina Tembo left his grandmother and brother to live with a cousin in Lusaka. This was after she was turned away from school because she could not afford the school fee and had no uniform. It was very heart breaking for Justine who had worked very hard and passed her exams which she wrote in 2010 but could not be given a place at the school. After finding life difficulty in the village, she turned to her cousin in Lusaka for help, she now resides with her cousin, living behind her grandmother and brother.
Smarts hardships started 11 years ago when his father Mr Samuel Tembo passed away after a long sickness, Smart was only 3 and too young to understand what was happening in his life at the time. He does not have any memories of his father Mr Samuel Tembo but he was always told that his father was a kind and generous man.
Smarts Mother Fostina Tembo got on very well with her son and she would share warm memories of her husband with him. Fostina started being unwell after some time she sadly passed away Smart was only 6 years when this happened. Fostina left her two children in the care of her in-laws who had cared and looked after her during her long sickness.
The two grandparents where now sole cares of Justina despite their old age the two took their role as parents with pride. Smart developed a very close relationship with his grandfather as he was the only man in the house that smart new as a father. He looked up to his grandfather who was full of wisdom and encouraged Smart to work hard in school. Smart remembers his grandfather because he provided and cared for them. One day Smarts grandfather come home, he complained of a cold a few days later he passed away. Smart was only 9 years and he had seen his family being destroyed by death like a blow which struck every 3 years of his life.
In all the years that Smart was going through his pain and grieving the community grieved with him saw him through all the pain and suffering then turned their eyes away from him.
It was during one of the distribution excise which was in 2012, Smart was waiting like the rest of the other OVC there was a large crowed outside and work had progressed through to the night when the last names where read out for his section of the village Smart with some woman come in to the small room to find out if it was true that their name where not called out.
(1) Smart Tembo lining inquiring his name on the list of OVCs (2) Care givers going through the list of OVCs
Smart had with him his beddings just to keep him warm he wore a faded T-shirt which was a donation from 2011 Christmas donation from the willinston church of God in America, after reaching the end of the line Smart could not find his name in any of the lists. The care givers could not give an explanation as to why his name was not on the list, yet most of the people in the room had attended Smarts parents’ funeral or his grandfather’s funeral.
Also present in the room where two brother who are also orphaned but not on the list, their two young sisters could not wait that long and had gone home.
(1) The two orphaned brothers Imikani and luka Phiri (2) Their young sisters being presented by their guardian Mr Sakala for registration.
(3) Mr Sakala giving details of the orphaned children he looks after.
There are more children like these in our community.You can help them fulfill their dreams of attaining a higher education and make a big difference in their life.
To those who wish to help our is project number 1318080