Today we got to see some more of the good societal development work being done in Zambia by ACE and CAC-ZED, and to have a little fun in the process.
Our first stop was the Bill & Betty Bryant Center, which generally houses anywhere from 20-40 boys and girls aged 2-4. These children are often delivered by the police after having been found abused, abandoned, or simply lost, either in the market or on the confusing streets of Lusaka. I’ll spare you the details of the abuse/abandonment stories, and instead focus on the positives: the kids here are safe, well-fed, clean, clothed and – incredibly – being educated. The Bryant Center complex includes a classroom that would be considered nice in the U.S., and CAC-ZED provides two teachers who conduct pre-school classes in the same fashion we would come to expect in America. The students have a playground and they even take chaperoned nature walks.
Later in the day we moved on to the House of Martha, a CAC-ZED facility for elementary and middle-school aged kids who are brought out of distressed situations (they are not graduates of the Bryant Center – those children are placed into homes following rehabilitation). The House of Martha also provides a clean sanctuary and education for these children. Classrooms are spacious and well-equipped (electricity, water and roofing also go without saying in facilities run by CAC-ZED). For both sets of kids, their current existence as compared to their past constitutes yet another African irony.
We had fun with the kids at both facilities, playing, talking, laughing, eating ice cream, and generally having a good time. Nothing can be done to erase the events that led to their being delivered to these homes but, for these children, the present is safe, clean and nurturing, providing the platform for a future, whatever that may be.
For the security of the kids and, in light of our limited bandwidth, I’ve held back on posting pictures but, if you’re interested, official pictures and more detail can be found in the Team blog at zamjam2012-1.blogspot.com
It’s been a privilege to have served as a witness to the amazing work of ACE and CAC-ZED, and I hope you have appreciated the posts. We’ll wind up our work here tomorrow and I’ll write about that too but, in the meantime, if you want to learn more about the work of ACE/CAC-ZED, visit childreneverywhere.org – hey, you can even leave behind a donation if you’re so moved.
Thanks as always for reading and for your comments. Take care.