We are looking for people to Ride in support of Villages of Hope Africa in this year’s Ride for Refuge Bike-a-thon. Check out this video to learn more about how riding as an individual or forming a team and riding together can help VOH continue to care for children and youth in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia & Zimbabwe!
VOH-Malawi was just given a permanent home for our school – 4 classrooms and an administration building!
Now we are able to pick up orphans from the nearby village and give them a quality education along with our VOH children.
Meet the Twins of VOH-Kitwe
VOH Kitwe is having some fun after receiving two identical twins (meaning it is very difficult to place names on who is who, because they are very identical!).
The boys names are Moses and Ben – aged 7. They were abandoned by a living relative who failed to give them the primary care. The Boys were brought by a policewoman who was directed by someone in the area, who happen to know that VOH Kitwe was a very safe and welcoming place. The Boys have since been placed in one of the houses and are receiving food and every necessary care a child deserves. They love to play and this is one of their favourite spots – the big tire in the playground!
The Latest Members of the VOH-Chongwe Family
VOH-Chongwe welcomes two new members to their family: Monica who is 7yrs old and Catherine who is 4. They both have brought joy to the Village and we are excited to have them here!
New Director’s Blog: “Listening to the Children’s Perspective”
Executive Director Sergio Bersaglio reflects on the VOH-A Annual Leadership Meetings, which took place this past month. In attendance this year was VOH-Kitwe graduate Samuel Mamatu, who now works as the Assistant Administrator at VOH-Chongwe. Samuel got a chance to meet with the youth of VOH-Zimbabwe when the meetings were over, which reminded everyone how important it is to remember to listen to the children’s perspective of things… Click to Read this Blog Post
This past month, the VOH-Africa leaders had their annual meetings. As usual they discussed what is going on at each Village location, and then reflected on the future of Villages of Hope. Here are some reflections from Executive Director Sergio Bersaglio on the week…
Listening to the Children’s Perspective
Every year we bring the leaders from each village together to learn, share experiences, and encourage one another. Last week we met in Harare, Zimbabwe for our third annual meeting. We had several special guests speak to us about community development, sustainability, leadership and discipleship. The feedback received from all those who attended was very positive and encouraging. We ended our time together by setting some goals that would ensure that all villages apply what we learned and discussed. All in all it was a successful meeting.
Although each year these meetings hold its own value, this year was special in particular because for the first time we had in attendance a former VOH child.
Samuel Mamatu moved into the Village of Hope – Kitwe in 1999. After graduating from high school and studying business administration at the local community college Samuel joined the team at the Chongwe Village of Hope as the assistant administrator. Having Samuel present at the meeting made for some very interesting discussion as he brought to the table the perspective of the children we are caring for.
Unfortunately, we as ‘grown-ups’ often forget to view things from a child’s perspective, or, at the very least, to include them in the conversation when planning for their care. Fortunately for us, this year we had Samuel to bring that very perspective we’d been missing. He spoke up regularly and with confidence and his presence made us all richer and better equipped for the challenging job we face.
At the end of the three days we visited the VOH in Harare. We met the children, heard them sing and then toured the Village. The highlight for me was watching Samuel meet with the youth who are living at the village. They sat in a circle under the grass thatched gazebo holding hands and talking about issues that are unique to youth of Village of Hope.
I spoke to Samuel afterwards about what challenges the youth of VOH-Zimbabwe are facing and he said, “The same stuff as we did: fear of the future.” In a way that was nice to hear, but it also placed on me the need to be sure and continue to listen to the children and youth, and to engage them in dialogue; we need to help them reduce their fear of the future.
I encouraged all Village Directors to engage the children and youth in the future, because the last thing we want is to have an “us and them” attitude; rather, we want to work together with them as a family, because they are, after all, our children.
Our Mission here at Villages of Hope-Africa is to “bring lasting hope to children at risk so they can embrace adulthood as independent and contributing members of society”, and that’s why we love to share with you where the village of hope kids are now! In this series of posts, we will follow up with some of the VOH graduates to see what they are up to and how Villages of Hope has helped them get there! Today we talk about Catherine and Nelson…
After Catherine’s parents passed away, her older brother was left in charge of caring for her. However, because he could not afford school fees nor could he provide the both of them with basic needs, he found it very difficult to be her caregiver. When Catherine was ten, her brother heard about the Village of Hope in Kitwe, and so he approached us for help. Catherine moved into one of the children’s homes shortly after this and was finally able to attend school and have her basic needs met.
Catherine’s brother continued to visit her throughout the years that she lived at VOH-Kitwe and, he was very thankful she was receiving all of the things he’d so badly wished he could provide for her.
After Catherine graduated from the VOH-Kitwe Community Highschool, she entered the youth transition program where she learned a variety of life skills including how to use a computer. After leaving the Village in 2010, Catherine move to Lusaka and is staying with friends there while studying computer technology.
Catherine still visits her home at VOH Kitwe several times a year.
Nelson moved into one of the children’s homes at VOH-Kitwe in 1999 when he was 12 years old, and moved out when he graduated in 2010.
After Nelson’s father passed away he was sent to live with his aunt. One day she sent him to the market to buy some paraffin with the equivalent of about 25 cents, nelson lost the money on the way and went back home without purchasing anything. He was told to go back and find the money and to not return until he did. Nelson couldn’t find it anywhere and was afraid to return home so he ended up on the streets of Kitwe.
Within a few days a lady working in the area noticed him and brought him to Village of Hope. Nelson moved into one of the children’s homes and stayed until he graduated high school.
Now Nelson works for the Village of Hope in Chongwe – where, as the Driver, he is responsible for all of the building and operating purchases for the village!
And here are two of the latest VOH-Kitwe Community School Graduates: Mateyo and Hope. Well done, guys!
We are so excited to share our new website with you. A lot has changed from our old site and there is now even more information and exciting content that will allow you to get to know us a little bit better.
So What’s New?
One of the most interesting features we’ve added to our site is a list of our Programs. We’ve created pages offering more information on the various ways we bring hope to those in need.