WHAT began as a poverty awareness pilgrimage to Zambia led to the birth of a promising future.
The Renewed Hope Children’s Home is in its last stage of development and eight Zambian orphans are set to move in.
The Micah Challenge Group, from the Devonport Baptist Church, is the humble creator of this orphanage, making it a reality through extensive fundraising and organisation.
It all began when the group had a collective feeling it was to visit Africa and was to help create a building there.
“It was just a feeling we had, as part of our Christian faith,” member Keren Jago said.
The group embarked on a trip to Zambia where it met up with Mobile Mission Maintenance – an organisation that takes people on poverty awareness tours off the beaten track.
What transpired was a confronting insight into the devastation of poverty.
Of the many horrific scenes witnessed, the one that stood out in the minds of the group was the feeding programs.
These provide underprivileged children with a nutritious meal once a week.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking as you would see them wrap up that meal that is intended for them and take it home to share with their family,” Mrs Jago said.
The defining moment for the group came a short while later when it was introduced to Annie Sheba.
“Annie lives in Zambia and her heart is for the poor of the country and the children,” Mrs Jago said.
Annie took the group to a compound and it was at that point the group knew it had to help.
“That is when we realised what poverty is all about, they live on absolutely nothing,” Mrs Jago said.
The group decided it would build an orphanage.
It was Annie’s dream to build one, so the group gave her the role of orphanage manager.
“We made a commitment to build a house in a children’s village, one of six houses in total,” Mrs Jago said.
“We are hoping that other groups will come forward and finish the other five buildings.”
When the group arrived back in Devonport, it completed extensive fundraising to build the home.
It is now fundraising to build a fence around the home, and the space for the five others, which will allow the home to be self- sufficient.
“They will be able to keep animals and grow their own food,” Mrs Jago said.
“There is no point creating this home for them if they can’t look after themselves.”
The group needs to raise another $6000 in nine weeks before the fence is booked in to be built.
To make a donation to the Renewed Hope Children’s Home contact the Devonport Baptist church on 64243389.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.