Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Seasons Greetings!

25th December 2013

It's Christmas time and this weekend the project in Kitwe decided to partner with the Talent Community Club to celebrate Christmas with the visually impaired and their children.  This club focuses on building skills and encouraging the visually impaired and their children to move off the streets and make a living by using their skills. 

The visually impaired women and men whom we invited for Christmas lunch live in the corridors of Kitwe town begging for money and help from passers by. Most of them have children who are affected by their parent’s disability and have to sit by their parent’s side the whole day directing them to a better spot to sit or to walk them to a car to beg for money. The sad part of it is their children and their children’s children have become part of this street life.  About two thirds of the 40 children of the visually impaired go to school but their classes are often interrupted by their parents or grandparents need for a guide on the streets. Christmas is about sharing and we decided to share our day, love, smiles, fun, and food with these precious children of Kitwe to give them a Christmas to remember.

The children seated alongside their visually impaired grandparents.

One of the highlights of the day was a visit from Zambia’s first ever Track and Field world champion, Samuel Matete. Having grown up in a small township in Chingola he encouraged the children to polish up their skills and talents to attain greatness just like he did. 

Zambia’s first ever Track and field World champion, Samuel Matete visits Book Bus Charlie
After all the fun and games and eating the children took time to talk about the importance of school and knowing how to read and write.  It’s during these interactions that I asked the children “do you know what a library is?” one answered “it’s where they park cars” none of the children had the correct answer or any clue what so ever. With that we took them on a tour of Book Bus Charlie. The children felt extra special to have Charlie come out on a Saturday just for them to have a fun reading day and for those who couldn't read they still felt encouraged and happy to be part of Book Bus day. Some of the children go to school and were extremely proud to have a book as a Christmas gift; one could easily see the smiles on their faces, the excitement to own a brand new book and their visually impaired parents and grandparents were pleasantly surprised.  Some of the kids were eager to show off their reading skills. This Christmas lunch and the Miles Kelly Books are probably the only gifts they will get this Christmas.

Children of the visually impaired reading their new Miles Kelly books
One of our favourite things to do as individuals is cooking and the book bus team and talent community club all got together for a big Christmas lunch cook out. 
Happy Christmas and New Year  from Kitwe to all of our supporters around the world!
Monica (Kitwe-Zambia).

Doc cutting up vegetables for the master stew he was cooking for the children of Kitwe Christmas lunch (Doc is part of Book Bus and has been driving our bus Charlie for years)

Ethel volunteered to help with the cooking

Time to eat

The Children of Kitwe waiting to say a prayer before they eat their food.

The Book Bus team make sure everyone gets a plate full

Drinks anyone….?

Our youngest reader enjoying her meal