A space for widows in Zambia
An important part of Spirit in Action’s mission is to respond to the real needs of the people and support already existing grassroots community organizations abroad. We start by acknowledging the experience and local knowledge of the community leaders and encourage with them as they hone projects that will work for the their specific community.
One such grassroots organization that Spirit in Action has supported is Welfare Concern International (WCI), in Livingstone, Zambia. Moses Chibanda, the current director, left a job in teaching in 2005 to run WCI full-time because he felt a deep calling to help those around him work their way out of poverty. The organization’s mission, in Moses’ words is “to bring hope and give people life survival skills through training and economic empowerment programs”.
Community members meet to pray and plan for the new WCI building.
Most of WCI’s members are widows who have lost their spouses due to the AIDS pandemic, and many are working to have enough money for their children to attend school. Moses explains, “One of the crucial problems faced by guardians is lack of capital to start their own income generating activities to sustain themselves and their families.” WCI provides skills training and small loans for new Income Generating Activities (small businesses) for the widows.
To help WCI in their efforts, the Livingstone City Council, donated an old building (pictured right) that will house a resource center and serve as a place for skills training and other economic empowerment activities. Not wanting to let any space go to waste, the group will use the land around the center to raise chickens and plant a vegetable garden. Spirit in Action will continue to follow their renovation progress and encourage them to reach out to more widows in their community.
Through the challenges of starting to build a center for WCI and seeing the mounting poverty around him, Moses continues on, always expressing dedication to his mission and acting as a strong role model for those who are able to do great works in their community by starting small and dreaming large. Moses shares, “I desire to serve the less privileged people to the best of my ability and take Welfare Concern International to great heights of success. There are moments in my life when I have felt like giving up but because of Spirit in Action’s encouragement and prayer support I have continued to soldier on to drive the work of WCI.”