9So yesterday (Monday), my first day back at Mukuni. As is usual the first two days are spent getting a plan together. This being my third trip I’ve learnt to use the downtime that pops up when something I want to do can’t happen until tomorrow.
Some point during the day I find myself sitting outside Shoprite shooting the breeze with Simon.
He casually asks me if I heard about the work they’d done in August…at least that’s how I think the conversation came about. The rest of Simon’s story goes something like this.
It was August and the holidays and he thought it would be a good idea to get the group together and use what they’d learnt as Catch Me I’m A Butterfly’. He arranged a meeting with Josias who also liked the idea. They managed to get Rod, Muchimba, Mukuni Jnr, Warren (all members of Catch Me I’m A Butterfly).
They met and decided that the theme of their work would be ‘Putting a Smile on the Faces of Disabled and Physically Challenged People’. They put together a proposal for the funds they required and showed it to Mr Mulenga (the headteacher of Mukuni Basic School and also a trustee of The Butterfly Tree).
Mr Mulenga wanted to let me know of the idea but…and get this…Simon said they refused because they wanted to show that they could organise and achieve this without me. They wanted to show that they could go on!
They then contacted Jacob (a young man who also works with The Butterfly Tree) and asked him for the names of those people who needed help in Kamwi (a village that neighbours Mukuni).
Together, all six young people, visited the homes of five people. Cleaned their houses and surrounding areas, washed their dishes and provided them with 1kg of sugar & salt and washing powder. They fetched them clean water and collected firewood.
I was floored.
Oh might I add. Simon also wrote up a report of their project and Josias took minutes of their meeting. FLOORED!
Due to the age old lesson that if you don’t ask you don’t get, I spend a lot of time asking for something or another.
I’m leaving for Zambia in a week’s time and I want to trial a HIV SMS service that I want the young people to run! For this I need five smartphones so that for the three weeks I’m out there I can see if there is a demand for this service.Having a phone is such a an important part of our everyday lives. To be able to launch a service through which my young people will be able to share what they have learned without me being there and keep in touch with one another would be fantastic.
Got a smartphone you don’t need? Please email me at hello [at] meetmutsa [dot] com. Or you can tweet or Facebook me if that takes your fancy.
I posted this on my personal Facebook page and feel that it needs to be shared on a bigger platform. Please feel free to share.
When I go to Zambia I work with young people who are living with really high levels of poverty. When I first went in 2011, I kept hearing stories of girls sleeping with older men for lotions and deodorant. It’s come to light that a few of these girls are engaging in sexual activities with older men and competing with each other. They are competing to see who can get the most goods. Unprotected s…ex, low self esteem, lack of aspirations to dream a future…it’s a minefield but not impossible to deal with.