Future PAF members in the making – Books to teach them the skills ;)

Education is a universal human right and books play an important part in attaining it. Books are scarse in Zambian schools. Usually the “pupil to book ratio” is 1 to 4, so one book for 4 kids…This is worse in homes as village homes never stock books.

To provide books for kids PAF has come up with a plan for a village library. Our library room will be ready very soon as furniture is being made. Thanks to good-hearted people out there we sometimes recieve books for our kids.

This time our friends from Australia have donated books to stock up the library. Thanks to Guama School, Liane Hornig and all who have donated books. Twalumba! 🙂 You brought a lot of smiles to the village and our kids!

Thanks so much!
Thanks so much!

The books cover all aspects of life relevant to kids all over the world. We received books for entertainment and education. All aspects of learning have been catered for, such as subjects like History, Geography, Science and Crafts…but also a lot of story books.

Books for the library
Books for the library

So when you visit PAF library be assured that you will find adventures of Alice in Wonderland and books on how to grow potatoes or how to sew a shirt.

Apart from kids books our library has novels ranging from wild west adventures to The Book Thief.

A lot of books are still needed and our humble appeal from our well wishers is to continue helping us. Thank you so much!

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Future PAF members in the making – Books to teach them the skills ;)

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

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.

The Planting A Future Warriors :)
The Planting A Future Warriors 🙂

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.

What Andrew planned to send us...so awesome :)
What Andrew planned to send us…so awesome 🙂

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 😉

Andrew :)
Andrew 🙂

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.

Niki :)
Niki 🙂

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 😉

DHL packing the boxes...sooooo exciting!
DHL packing the boxes…sooooo exciting!

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.

So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes :)
So happy when Lloyd finally got the boxes 🙂

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!

Feels like Championsleague now! ;)

No looking back? Well…we do a bit :)

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!
Little James recieving money from his sponsor to go to school
Little James recieving money from his sponsor to go to school

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!

No looking back? Well…we do a bit :)

Books…Lost in Fantasies

As some of you may be aware 75 percent of Zambian families live on less than a dollar a day. This situation makes it impossible for families to have three meals a day, buy clothes and have a decent shelter.

As people struggle to satisfy the most urgent needs, buying books and educating their children very often becomes a luxury they can not afford.
It is rare to find a book in homes.

Most of the timed a child’s first encounter with a book is at school where they learn how to read but only have access to books for a small amount of time.
Schools don’t have an adequate supply of books, so kids have to share them:  one book for ten pupils or worse.

But last week it was a very happy day for our Chinkonono kids. Thanks to tour Austtalian friend Murray our community now does have a variety of books. Murray asked around qith his friends and at local schools to donate books and then sent them to Zambia.

Just look at all those sparkling eyes!

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Our village kids will now be able to read books for education and entertainment outside school.

The donation of story books is a very big development. It will make books accessible to kids in the village. As we all know that early introduction to books helps an individual to learn and it also exposes readers to more ideas and experiences and helps to ignite fantasy anf creativity.

Also we plan to extend the library with novels and education books for adults so that we can also teach women and men how to read and read English. Unfortunate there is a high number of adults who can barely read at all or do not know the English language. That way we will try to literate them and help increasing their job chances and change lives.

It was such a wonderful day seeing all those angels smilling. Also we were choosing the chairperson, secretary and librarian of our small library.

Right now the books are being stored at Lloyds house until we finish the building. At the moment we do not have the financial means to build two seperate buildings for library and sewing room. So for now both projects will be located in the same building. But due to the noise of our twittering ladies we will try to build a second building for the library so that people can read in a quiet environment.

We are transporting the last bricks now. The building is on window level and we hope to put the roof on next week. Of course we will need shelves and furniture. So Lloyd already bought some wood and timber.

Keep checking back on us to see the process.

Thank you again to Murray and all the generous donors! No way we get the kids outside to play these days…everyone wants to read 😉 This changes lives!

Books…Lost in Fantasies

Small things can change lives

WOW! We are so humbled and grateful. We just recieved a message of our dear friend and supporter Murray from Australia. He loves Zambia and found our project online. Since that day he has been soreading the word and been supporting us.

A few months ago we came up with the idea of creating a reading room and small library for the kids and people in the village.
He loved the idea so much that he spontaneously shared this idea on Facebook and asked his friends and local schools to donate books for that cause.
The feedback was amazing. People sent him books and books and books.

Just look at how crammed classes in Zambia can be. It is almost impossiböe for kids to actually read and find the joy in reading because of lacking books and school materials.

image
Look how crammed classes are...

Just a few days ago he was able to send the first box to Zambia.
Shipping will take 60 to 90 days. But we have no rush. 🙂 It is mainly books for the young ones, as Murray says. Also he will send more once we see that they actually get there.

image
Murray sent the first huge box on its way 🙂

Just to quote Murray here:
“I was packing / weighing the box at the Post Office and a very kind and generous Lady donated $50 to the postage when she heard what I was doing .. Thank You kind stranger whose name I did not get.”
WOW again. This is really touching.

Just to mention some people we have to thank for their kind donation:
Katrina Vrenegoor, Jaye Bolte, Quamma Public School, Cobargo Public School, Well Thumbed Books in Cobargo …
Thank you to everyone who supports us. We are humbled.

You guyd have no idea how many sparkling eyes this will bring and what a huge difference and change this will make.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!

…we will keep you posted. 🙂

Small things can change lives