VOH-Malawi Finds Permanent Home for their School: This Week at Villages of Hope

A Permanent Home for VOH-Malawi School

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


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Director’s Blog: Listening to the Children’s Perspective

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.


Samuel meeting with the youth of VOH-Zimbabwe


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Where Are They Now: Catherine & Nelson

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…

Catherine Ngambi

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 Lubasi

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!


Recent Graduates!

And here are two of the latest VOH-Kitwe Community School Graduates: Mateyo and Hope. Well done, guys!


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Welcome to our New Website!

Welcome to our new Website!

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.

Our Programs:

We’ve also updated our Village pages. Find out what is going on at each of our locations, read Country Profiles that show education & health statistics, and visit our Staff pages and new galleries!

Visit our village pages:

And if you haven’t yet:

And don’t forget to check out our new Galleries!

And last but not least, if you’re ‘Social‘ follow us!

Director’s Blog: VOH-Kitwe turns 13-years old

This month, Village of Hope-Kitwe (the first VOH location) turns 13-years old! We’ve come a long way since then, and here are some thoughts from Executive Director Sergio Bersaglio, sharing some of the things he’s learnt  over the past decade+.


The other day I attended a meeting with the house mothers and teachers of one of our villages. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the development of individual care plans for the children. Kristin Neufeld, a volunteer from Canada, was helping us to develop a template that could be used by all our villages.

As I sat and listened to the dialogue about the challenges that our house mothers and teachers face both in the homes and classrooms, I was so impressed with the level of understanding these ladies have of the challenges the children are facing. They knew about the backgrounds of the children, how they were doing at school, who was struggling with what subject, and which children had behavioural problems.

There was also discussion about how to address these problems, with great ideas coming  from both house mothers and teachers. I think the best idea that came out of the meeting was that the house mothers would have bi-weekly meetings with the teachers to discuss the progress of the resident children.

We also discovered that children who attend our school who do not live in one of our children’s homes have their own unique challenges. Many have to work before coming to school causing them to be late. Most have care-givers who are illiterate and unable to help the children with their homework. Many are sent to school early because the care-giver has gone off to work. However, on a positive note, I was told that many of the community children come to the village even when school is closed. They see Village of Hope as a child-friendly place and enjoy coming to the village to play with the children who live there.

I was impressed how the house mothers were in tune with what was going on with the community children. This gives us a great opportunity to assist those who are struggling with their education during school breaks and to strive to make Village of Hope an even more child-friendly place.

At the end of our meeting I realized that we have come a long way in 13 years. Back in 1999 when we opened the first children’s home in Kitwe, Zambia we were not aware of issues such as Child Protection Policies, the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, or official care plans. Our focus was on providing shelter, nutrition and education for children in need. This was a “one size fits all” approach to care. Today we know that the needs of vulnerable children vary from child to child. Many face challenges that we cannot imagine. We have learned over time that we can help these children overcome these challenges by caring for them as individuals.

If there is one valuable lesson I have learned as a leader over the last 13 years, it is that Village of Hope is a work in progress and will always be a work in progress. As the challenges children face change, we as an organization need to be ready to adapt our programs if we expect to make a real difference in the lives of the children in our care. This is not easy, but if everyone takes on the attitude of the mothers and teachers I met with the other day, it will be possible.