Finally! Julie made it back to Zambia after 2 years. And guess where she went: Chinkonono Village of course!
Check our awesome new Slideshow to see what happened in the village and what progress we made while Julie was there:
Julie had a big To-Do-List to check 😉 As you know we have been announcing a market place and kitchen for ages. So we planned to get both structures roofed within that week. We managed for the kitchen. So that is good. The market we only could do half because we lacked grass to that the roof the traditional Tonga way. But we are confident that it will be done very soon.
Also our building that houses the library and sewing room for now was supposed to be painted nicely. Unfortunately there was a lot of plastering to do to fix dents and window sills. But Jason and Albert worked hard. So with a slight delay the ladies, Julie, Wesley and many other hands could start painting.
For the rooms we chose water-based white paint and for the lower part white oil paint so we can wash of prints of dirty kids’ hands 😉 Door and window frames are painted in a dark green. For the front wall and pillars outside we chose white oil paint to be able to wash them too. Also Wesley and Julie practiced their sign writer skills and wrote Planting A Future onto the top part of the front wall.
What can I say? It looks beautiful and bright and people can see it from afar. Our members are so proud, especially the women. They say that nobody has a nicely painted wall our house at home. And to quote Media: “Not all men’s work has to be done by men only. We can do that too!”…she refers to the whole painting job, which was very interesting and exciting for our ladies.
But now lean back and take 12 minutes to watch the Slideshow! Please share if you like it! 🙂
It all began with a picture on Intsagram. It is incredible what can happen, using social networks…you meet the most amazing people. So it happened for PAF 🙂
Lloyd sent me this picture of our Planting A Future football team, the PAF Warriors…a team of Chinkonono boys.
I uploaded it on Instagram and the way it works is that you use hashtags so other people can find your pics related to certain topics. One of my hashtags must have worked out because the picture got some likes and comments. One of them was from Andrew from Melbourne in Australia.
We started talking about the conditions of our team and about how hard it is to equip the village kids with sporting uniforms and balls. Andrew said he would love to help us. And so he did…only a few days after the Instagram post I received an email from Andrew. He said he was working his way through the warehouse and found some jerseys he would love to send over to Zambia.
I was so happy when I heard that. To be honest I expected maybe around 15 jerseys, which would have been great already. But the next email Andrew sent me made me feel a bit dizzy…in total he found 60 sets of sporting uniforms (jerseys, shorts, socks) in different colours and sizes. Surreal 😉
He also talked about PAF to his mom Niki, who is a primary school teacher. She talked to people in her school and managed to get some school books and educational posters of numbers, alphabet, colours etc. for our village school.
All those things were gathered and packed (in 3 big boxes) within only a few days and then shipped through DHL…express shipping! That was new. Usually when we send stuff it takes ages to get there. So everyone was very excited. I remember Andrew texting me he wished he could pack himself into one of the boxes to be there when they will be opened 😉
And the best thing about it was that Lloyd and the villagers didn’t know anything. We planned it as a huge surprise. I only told Lloyd that 3 boxes will be in Kalomo soon 😉
After a little struggle with Zambian customs at Lusaka airport (it would have been too good to be true if all worked out like planned), which Andrew could solve, Lloyd could finally pick up the boxes on Monday and take them to the village.
I guess pictures and videos say more than a thousand words. So just check them and see for yourself!
This is what Lloyd said when he got back to Chinkonono and opened the boxes with the kids around:
“Imagine playing football in one pair of jerseys for the whole year and sometimes playing in birthday suits when some players opt to wear the jersey to church or wedding ceremony? This was the scenario at PAF Warriors until one of our supporters gave us a surprise. It was such a surprise as the whole thing from planning to shipment was done in such mystery that I kept guessing what was in store for us. Julie and Andrew did it in such a way that they deserve an Oscar for the “Mystery of the Year Awards”. 😉
This beautiful mystery kept the village on the edge…personally I thought it was books for the library. One woman thought it was a bale of chitenge materials while headman Chinkonono thought it was a batch of breadfruit trees. The mystery didn’t end there as kids competed with each other guessing on what the parcels contained. Most of the kids thought it was kids clothes and toys and the big boys thought it was a pair of jerseys. While Julie kept on keeping me on the edge of the seat by refusing to reveal the contents. This made me so anxious to get the parcels and take them to the village so that I could see what was inside.
The day we were to open the boxes was dramatic as kids came to my house at 06am just not to miss the excitement. 😉 We couldn’t do it at home due to the number of people anticipating to see the contents hence we took the boxes to PAF center which has a lot of space. We did a quiz before opening by asking kids what was in the boxes. As you may guess the general response was sweets, clothes and toys. There was a mixture of joy and horror when the boxes were opened. Some of the real young kids sighed with dismay while girls and boys, men and women cheered loudly. It was obvious they had the last laugh.
And what was in the boxes? While while…sixty pairs of brand new jerseys, shorts and socks. The village had never seen such a thing before. It was such a joy to touch what they only saw on TV.
And now their own village team was to have a full soccer kit like premier league soccer teams clubs and two brand new balls plus a soccer ball pump. But also our ladies were happy as they were given the white jerseys for the new-formed netball team, the PAF Eaglets. It was such a beautiful day indeed.
Gratitude to Andrew and Niki Skoullos for donating the kits and school materials. This will motivate the boys who bring so much happiness in Chinkonono. Gestures of love like this make it a beautiful world to live in. Indeed its love without boarders from Australia.
Thanks Andy and Niki. Thanks for being part of the light PAF is bringing to Chinkonono village.”
Andrew…you guys really brought so much joy into our hearts! We have no words to express how grateful we are! Those kids, boys and girls, love sports. It is their way of releasing stress and getting their minds off things. And now they do have proper uniforms to play football or netball and can even compete with other teams!
Also the school materials will make our village school so much nicer and more colourful. Our kids will love it and that way be even more motivated to learn and study 🙂 Thank you so much, Niki!
Andrew sent me a little text as well. Check what he says:
“Even in rainy, cold Melbourne, Australia – our hearts are warmed by the work Planting A Future does. Through the power of the internet I was lucky enough to come in contact with Julie and she helped us share what we can with the people in Chinkonono! My mum Niki, being a primary school teacher was able to collect story books, educational posters and stationary which I hope Lloyd and the teachers will put to good use! The sporting uniforms I was able to get a hold through work and I thought it would be special to be able to provide uniforms and equipment for those who love sport just like me! I would love to wish Planting a Future the best of luck with their campaign, I’ll be supporting you guys all the way! To Julie, Lloyd and all the people in Kalomo and Chinokono village – we’re sending you our love! ”
Twalumba kapati! Zikomo! Thank you! Danke! We are sending back all our love to you, Niki and Andrew!
You guys are world changers and it lifts our spirits as well that there is generous people like you out there in this world who just jump in and help us without thinking twice! We are humbled indeed! That is Love Without Boarders!
Planting A Future is such an amazing project. And it is growing so fast. So many things we need to do and that we want to do. Sometimes it is hard to focus on our running project so as to finish those before starting the next thing 😉
Our achievements are overwhelming at times. Especially for people in Chinkonono Village and for Lloyd. He sat down and wrote a nice review of the past 6 and a bit months. Please take a few minutes to read what he has to say!
As we enter the second quarter of this year lets take while to look back at awe-inspiring moments and events! 🙂 A lot has happened to PAF, both locally and internationally, and at times these incidents, events and moments have left most of us speechless and in awe. In other words these have jolted us out of the ordinary into the extraordinary and brought us to a better understanding of humanity, without the usual facade of race, religion, culture, ethinicity, tribe and social class. It showed us that humanity is just one big family. To everyone who has been following the developments at PAF it is evident that like-minded people from all over the world have made so much sacrifice to bring a smile or change the lives of Chinkonono people for the better. All this has been done while the world is groaning under the global financial meltdown, terrorism, refugee crisis and climate changes. There were many awe-inspiring moments and it is impossible to highlight all of them. Everyone of them made PAF what it is today.
While we were struggling with resources to put basic stuff together, a dying man requested his family not to buy flowers for his wreaths but to give the money to PAF so that we could buy the materials for the greenhouse. We will always remember you. May you rest in peace! Thank you so much to Baumschule Bösl!
Under very difficult financial challenges our friends from Repairer Of The Breach bought the village women sewing machines and fabrics and Bruni donated money to construct the first building of our community center that now houses a sewing room and library.
Bruni, for the second time, visited Zambia to check on PAF activities, live in the village so as to understand village challenges and learn the lives of the people. It is during this visit when PAF became an NGO with structured activities. More info, the statute and membership forms will be online soon!
Our friend Murray from Australia organised for books for our village kids. This was achieved at great financial cost and sacrifice from a lot of people in Australia.
PAF recieved breadfruit seedlings for the second time. Our partners at the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii together with Global Breadfruit and Cultivaris donated trees as a christmas gift to the village. This was such a great surprise as we did not expect any seedlings due to the challenges we had faced the first time we were given seedlings.
The ladies of Repairer Of The Breach also donated money for a christmas feast to the village. This has been unprecedented. Never in the history of the village has everyone come together to celebrate christmas. Only a couple of families used to do it while the rest of the village had no food due to lack of money and food.
We are also setting up our school sponsorship programme to help vulnerable families pay for their kids’ school fees and thus give them a chance to get education. The first kids already found sponsors. Please contact us for further information if you are interested to change a child’s life!
These are some of the events which will remain in the mind of the village and PAF members for a lifetime. These have shown the world that love has no boundaries. On behalf of PAF I thank everyone who has made PAF what it is today. The story of this success will be incomplete without Patrick Thompson, Jacqueline Mapande, Stan Watt, Murray Quant, Diane, Garry, Amy, Josh, Blair and all the rest of our well wishers… THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Whoa…now look at that!!! Somebody made a new photo slideshow of Bruni’s visit and impressions of Chinkonono Village, PAF activities and the warmth and joy of our Zambian community!
Check the slideshow to get a glimpse of what Bruni experienced and of what is going on for Planting A Future with the new breadfruit seedlings, the first building of our new community center, the first moringa harvest, our village primary school and all our lovely PAF members 🙂
It is definitely worth 9 minutes of your time…we will take you on a little break from reality and invite you to join us in the middle of nowhere, far away from all stress and hectic.
Now lean back and enjoy! 🙂
Please share if you like what you see! Spread the word!
You wonder what those guys are doing on our PAF grounds? Well…turns out they were divinging water Zambian style. And guess what? They found a perfect spot where we plan to sink our borehole. Of course we still need to get the funds and raise money to do that. But we already know where to put it…close to our library and sewing room.
Of course we will double check the spot before we start the work 😉 But TIA, people!
How time flies…almost one week ago Bruni arrived at Zambia and went to Chinkonono Village. The first 2 days, as you know, Lloyd stayed in Kalomo to deal with some paperwork and organize building materials and cement.
But don’t think Bruni was just sitting down and enjoying the sun. Well…she might have done that once in a while, having a coffee 😉 But she also went around and met lots of new people and old friends.
So lots of stories were exchanged and lots of places visited. Of course our PAF crew and Bruni took care of our little breadfruit seedlings and made sure they were all put into planting bags and being watered. So no worries…they are all fine and getting used to their new home! 🙂
Also Bruni visited the construction site of our new building. She had a proper look at what we achieved so far and talked to the guys in charge about the next steps and how to best get the flooring and plastering done when Lloyd comes back with the materials.
Obviously everyone is eager to learn from new things from Bruni and she willingly shares all she knows with our PAF crew. But it is a give and take, like everywhere in life. So she is learning a lot of new things too.
We can’t wait to hear more about what is happening down there in Zambia. What about you? 😉