2014 Update for Kasensa
ZAMBIA MISSION FUND - CANADA
4368 Lochside Drive
Victoria, BC V8X 2C9
Greetings from Victoria! Steve and I are back from our annual visit to Zambia and we have left Wes and Doreen holding down the fort at Kasensa.
The annual trips give us opportunity to be physically and emotionally present to evaluate each program and brainstorm with those we work with in Zambia.
This past year our colleagues Richard and Sue Krogsgaard invested much time in the temporary baby care program at Kasensa. For a number of years we have been researching best practices for orphan care, researching Zambia’s protocols for same and observing first-hand the effects on babies/children when placed in full-time care.
The information is overwhelming in its findings: infants need the nurturing of consistent care-givers for proper brain development. Emphasis and resources are better utilized to strengthen capacity of a family to care for their baby versus placing a baby in temporary care.
The Social Welfare department in Kalomo has also been on-board with studying best practices, and they have committed to follow protocols to reserve full-time care for babies within district only, and for dire situations only. We have found that with encouragement and the provision of baby formula, most families are able to cope with the loss of a new mother and keep the baby within the family.
The number of babies at Kasensa is currently two - twins Inonge and Mukubesa. Their mother appears to have developed schizophrenia but she is responding well to medication and we are confident she can resume care of her babies soon. The Haven, at Namwianga Mission, will continue to receive babies in dire situations and we are confident of their capacity to provide good care.
Based on all of the above, we have decided to bring this program to a close when the twins return home mid-April. The infant formula program will continue, and the older children next door at Tendai will continue to be raised by Wilson and Nancy Siazilo.
We have notified five staff that their employment will soon end, and provided for the school fees for each of their children until the end of 2014. Richard and Sue have shared much knowledge with the staff regarding best practices and they understand the reasons why the program is coming to a close. Still, it will be a huge change for all of us!
We have appreciated your generosity for Kasensa through the years, and are asking if you are comfortable with your monthly support being used to purchase infant formula? Some families also need a little money for transportation to visit each month to pick up the tins of formula.
As we look to the future we are exploring ways of strengthening families who are stretched with children and dependents. It is rare to find a family not caring for more children than those born to them. The Christian Community Schools and the Sponsored Student program are already meeting some of the needs for these families and we are looking at ways to enhance these existing programs. We are aware that girls in particular are vulnerable. We see patterns that trouble us and yet we also understand that these patterns do not come from a vacuum.
Poverty is complex and the overcoming of it is also complex. We ask ourselves frequently “What is the goal?” It always pares down to knowing the love of Jesus. Knowing that He is who He says He is, and that we are who He says we are - His precious children.
Again, thank you for your support through the years and for your kind words of encouragement. We plan to continue to keep in touch with the families whose babies we have held and loved.
Mukubesa, one of the twins, with his doting grandmother.
Board of Trustees
K. Carter S. & R. Krogsgaard C. Langley D. Mann S. & J. Mann A. French S. Mbumwae R. Philipchalk A. Sampa