How was your experience in Zambia

See you in Chibombo

  1. begin
  2. Worldwide help
  3. Africa
  4. Zambia
  5. Sponsor visit to Margret

Three years have passed since Martina and Wolfgang Förster from Speyer were last in Zambia to visit their godchild Margret. A lot has happened since then. The two founders of the “Christian Cyperek Foundation”, which also benefits the people in Chibombo, report.

September 2011, Frankfurt Airport. It's 10.30 p.m. Our plane takes off towards Zambia. With a stopover in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and in Harare in Zimbabw, we land punctually the next day at half past two in the afternoon in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. There we are received by Leonhard and Jolly. Leonhard will drive us, Jolly is our interpreter. We immediately like each other and so we look forward to our time together. After they have brought us to the guest house, we go shopping together. The shopping malls have European standards. In Lusaka, our friends know where to shop cheaply. In this way we can use the money from our foundation's supporters well.

With a shopping list in the supermarket

First of all, we buy large quantities of exercise books for the school. This of course includes pencils, erasers, colored pencils and compasses, in large numbers. We'll also take some new soccer balls with us and of course sweets. We have already brought some things from home for our sponsored child Margret, her family and the villagers. We buy clothes and soap for the family in Lusaka. Larger amounts of cooking oil and rice are also on the shopping list. We are still looking for a nice backpack, flops and something to wear for Margret.

Overnight with small obstacles

It's been dark for a long time now and we're all hungry. We invite Jolly and Leonhard to dinner. They tell us about their life in Africa. They are happy about the positive changes in Zambia. But everything goes very slowly. Then we drive back to the guesthouse. After 24 hours we are pretty tired, it was a long day with a lot of excitement. We look forward to our bed. But Africa is Africa. The key to our room doesn't lock. Luckily Martina finds another member of staff who can open the door for us. Lucky, we sort our finances, euros, dollars, kwascha. Take a shower now, but this door remains locked to us. The head of the house is there quickly, we get another room. We sleep fast and well.

Welcome by the school principal

The next day Lennart and Jolly pick us up at the guesthouse punctually at 8.45 a.m. In Lusaka we buy three live chickens for the village. Then we drive on the Great North via Chisamba, Landless Corner to Chibombo. Shortly before eleven o'clock we see the Plan Zambia advertising sign on the road and know that we have reached our destination. Pretty close to the main street is the school where Margret is also taught. We meet our "old friend" Oskar, who is already waiting for us with his motorcycle. After a happy hello, we are greeted by the headteacher, the director of the school, who knows us from our last visit three years ago. Then we drive to the village. The roads are still not in good condition. But there are also more important things.

Great reunion

The greeting from Margret and Judith, their mother, is very warm. The reluctance of the last visits has given way to a happy expectation. We are immediately surrounded by the children and the villagers. The gifts bought for the village community bring great joy. Whether rice, flour or the hoes brought to make field work easier, everything finds happy buyers. Especially the sweets and lollipops brought for the children, they are also very popular with the adults.

Trust has grown over the years

The village elder welcomes us and is happy to see us again. We talk in detail about the projects that have been carried out with our support so far. Margret was with us the whole time, holding Martina's hand. We also talk about the future projects that we would like to tackle. The mayor of the municipality is convinced that the cooperation with Plan for the Chibombo region will continue to bring steady progress in the future. It is help for self-help that can ensure sustainable development.

House with a corrugated iron roof

We are very interested in seeing the house of our sponsored child. Three years ago only the walls were standing and part of it was covered with corrugated iron. Margret's family invited us to visit their house. The house with three rooms is now completely covered with corrugated iron. There is a large bed in the bedroom. There are no closets. The kitchen fireplace is fired with charcoal. The entrance room is mainly used as a storage room. There is also an old car battery that is used as a power source.

Magnet blond hair

For us it is very nice to see that the pictures that we sent to the family from Germany are hanging in the hut. The satchel that Margret brought with her on the last visit is still in use. Margret tousled Martina's hair. Blonde is very rare in Africa. Martina uses the proximity to stroke through Margret's hair. That triggers friendly laughter from everyone. We just can't refuse the food. It consists of the chickens we brought with us and the maize porridge typical of Zambia. Margret gives Wolfgang an extra large portion of the maize porridge. Oscar is a grateful buyer for half of Wolfgang's portion.

Lessons in shifts

Then we make our way back to school. Margret is very happy that she can ride in the car. At school we have the opportunity to visit Margaret's class during lessons. The class teacher shows us the timetable and explains the shift system to us. There are too few classrooms for the children and too few teachers for the school. To compensate for this deficiency, there is a shift schedule that enables morning and afternoon classes.

Need for additional teachers

The learning materials financed by donations (exercise books, pencils, pens, compasses and paper) are a very welcome gift. The children say thank you with a song. The director then shows us the construction site for further accommodation for the teaching staff. The wages for the teachers are not high. Schools that want more teachers have to provide a good environment. The community is trying to get even more teachers with the construction of apartments. We leave with a promise to come back soon.

Small and big changes

Oscar, Leonard and Jolly take us to the projects that we could only see as construction sites on our last visit. Oscar is not to be envied on his motorcycle. The paths we travel on create a lot of dust. The community house and the sanitary facilities are ready. Three years ago we could only visit the pits necessary for construction. The water pump is also in operation. A woman from the vicinity is fetching water. She is very friendly and we are also allowed to take pictures of her.

At your own pace

All in all, we can see how well things are going on. Not at the speed we are used to as Europeans, but for the benefit of the people and especially the children in Chibombo. For us, this visit is both drive and motivation. The "Christian Cyperek Foundation" wants to continue helping the people in Chibombo. The children's laughter is motivation and incentive, and helping people to help themselves is the right way forward for our foundation.

More information about the Christian Cyperek Foundation

The Plan foundation center organizes several project trips every year for founders, donors and interested parties. As with the sponsored child visit, the participants have the opportunity to gain deep insights into the program work of the partner countries and to get to know and better understand the way Plan works.

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