VOH Africa Update: Zoom Calls with the Executive Director!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not possible for Sergio Bersaglio, our Executive Director, to travel and visit the various VOH Centers and meet with the children as he usually does. He is also not able to hold his weekly meetings with the discipleship group at VOH Chongwe. However, even though meeting in person is not possible, thanks to Zoom, Uncle Serge and the children have been able to continue meeting!
Initially, each discipleship call was broken down by Village. Now, all three VOH Centers join the same Zoom meeting with Uncle Serge.
Each week they discuss different aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus. Their goal is to understand who Jesus was, where he came from, and what his mission was.
Uncle Serge says, “The discussions have been productive and meaningful. As I interact with the children, I can hear that they are being challenged and growing. I think it’s terrific that children from one location can see and interact with those from other VOH locations. I thank God for the technology that allows me to continue to meet with the children.”
The children have also shared about the zoom calls. Here are some of their comments: “It’s exciting to meet kids from different locations”; “I like that sometimes our questions were answered from other children at other locations”; “It’s very interesting to have fellowship online with Uncle Serge and other children that we have never met, in places that we have never been!”; “Uncle Serge makes us think because he usually answers our questions with another question”.
Everyone agrees that this new way of meeting is a wonderful experience!
VOH Bulale (Tanzania) Update: Learning to Garden
At VOH Bulale, in addition to the normal school activities, our children also get to learn practical skills like gardening. At the Village, we have a number of trees and gardens and we are growing a variety of fruits and vegetables including mangos, oranges, guavas, and spinach.
The children get to participate and learn how to take care of the plants. They take turns watering the trees and gardens to ensure everything grows well!
The kids enjoy learning about the different plants and taking care of them. We know these practical skills will help them in the future.
VOH Bwiza (Burundi) Update: VOH Alumni Get Married!
Amissi was cared for by VOH Burundi until 2013 when he graduated and left the program for post-secondary technical studies. Generose began working for VOH Burundi in 2014, one year after Amissi graduated. Generose started as a primary school tutor and then began working as a Health Officer.
Because of their connection to VOH Bwiza, Amissi and Generose met a few years ago and this past week, they got married! We pray for God’s blessings upon them.
VOH Chongwe (Zambia) Update: Health Checks!
This week the children at VOH Chongwe were grateful to receive their regular Hope Packs, which include face masks, soap bars, and a bag of Mealie Meal (for porridge).
Our medical team is involved in distributing the packs and carrying out medical checkups while the children are on-site. They check the children’s height and weight and give them Vitamin C. During these checkups, we take care to observe COVID-19 safety protocols.
We are so grateful that we can continue caring for the children from our community during the pandemic. Thank you, everyone, who has supported our Hope Packs project so far!
VOH Kitwe (Zambia) Update: Supporting Joseph
Joseph is in Grade One at the VOH Kitwe school. He has a medical condition that puts him at high risk of malnourishment. Since the closure of schools, the teachers noticed Joseph had not been coming for the feeding program and to pick up his school work. This prompted his teacher to look for him at his home nearby. Unfortunately, Joseph was found to be in very poor health.
He was immediately brought to our clinic at VOH Kitwe where he received medical attention and was put on medication. He was also given nutritional support to enable him to gain strength and boost his immunity.
We will continue to monitor Joseph and will ensure he receives what he needs to restore his health. Caring for Joseph has all been made possible by the proceeds from Hope pack campaigns and we are so grateful to all who have supported it!
Support our Work During COVID-19 by Giving Hope Packs!
Each package contains:
- 1 bottle of liquid hand soap
- 2kgs of nutritious porridge
- reusable face masks (with use and care instructions)
- children’s multi-vitamins
- a COVID-19 safety handout
Each HOPE Pack costs $20.
VOH Luongo (Zambia) Update: Caring for our Community
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those who live in rural areas have become more vulnerable than they already were. This week at VOH Luongo, we extended our love and care to one of the community members of Luongo.
She is a widow who lives on her own near our school. Even though she does not have any child enrolled at our school, she has been there regularly just to help wherever needed. We noticed recently that she had stopped walking due to a medical condition that affected her legs.
As soon as we noticed her condition, we helped her get proper medical attention from the Kitwe teaching Hospital and gave her some food. We have noticed a great improvement in her health so far!
She has expressed her gratitude to VOH for our support and to God for leading her to us.
VOH Malawi Update: Virtual Leadership Summit
This week at VOH Malawi we had the exciting opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit by streaming it from our campus here in Malawi. Every afternoon our staff would gather in a large room where we could properly social distance as we took in the event.
All of us were so inspired as some of the world’s greatest leaders shared their wisdom. We are so grateful to Oasis Church in Winnipeg who generously bought VOH Malawi a ticket to this event.
The pages and pages of notes taken by VOH team members testify to the powerful impact it had!
VOH Maramvya (Burundi) Update: Meet Dorcas and Estella
Recently at VOH Maramvya, we’ve been paying visits to the children’s families. This week we visited Dorcas and Estella, two siblings from our VOH community.
Their mother is a widow and is very thankful that we are able to help her care for her children. These two girls are very intelligent; they are in the same class and are both at the top of the class with their grades.
The sisters are always together everywhere they go and they both want to become doctors when they grow up. We are so happy to see these sisters so full of hope for their futures!
VOH Mongu (Zambia) Update: Musole's Story
We are so excited for Musole, a sweet little boy who graduated from our Save A Life feeding program at VOH Mongu this week!
Musole was brought into the feeding program when he was 10 months old and weighed 6.4kgs, much less than he should be measuring for his age and height. He was brought in by his young mother who struggled to provide the food he needed with the small earnings she made selling veggies in the market from her vegetable garden.
Musole’s mom did such a great job in the program and learned so much about how to properly care for her son and how to keep him healthy! She has also done a great job in the microbusiness classes and her small business is doing so much better and growing nicely so she can afford to care for her son. We know that Musole and his mom have a bright future ahead of them!
VOH Mwanza (Tanzania) Update: Family Reunification
Recently at VOH Mwanza, we held a special training for staff all about family reunification. This is an area we are emphasizing and trying to put a lot of effort into this year, as we have a goal of reuniting 20 children from our shelter program with their extended families in the community.
We want our entire staff–from housemothers to teachers–to know why we are doing this and why it is important. We are working with a partner organization, Railway Children Africa, who is helping us with the process and was also able to send some of their staff to help train ours.
The training looked at why reunification is the current trend versus long-term institutional care, why reunification is important, how it benefits both the child and the family/community, and how everyone has a role to play in the process.
It was very well received by our staff and we are grateful for their cooperation in this process.
We pray we will see many children reunited with family and thriving in the community this year!
VOH Zimbabwe Update: Sanitizing Spray
At VOH Zimbabwe, in addition to regular cleaning and sanitizing, we are following health authorities’ recommendations by regularly spraying all public areas that are frequented with a sanitizing chemical.
This includes the clinic, where people come on a daily basis, offices that are used daily, pathways, and the school premises.
Public places can pose a risk, which is why we are committed to keeping them as sanitized as possible.