My wife and I took two trips to Zambia this year to look for community schools that serve only AID orphans and vulnerable children. We visited many schools and were greeted with such friendly welcomes and respect everywhere we went. At the end of the summer when our self-funded service volunteers and board members returned, we selected two schools with which we will build relationships. They each have over 300 students. All the students are AIDS orphans or vulnerable and a few are handicapped. We plan to work with the community to increase the quality of the education the children receive eventually making these schools models for other schools in Zambia.
In June 2016 I traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, on a two-week service trip arranged by CWB to assist some community schools that teach children who would otherwise not be in school. The travelers in our group took on various projects according to our own interests. Since I am a retired librarian I volunteered to collect and prepare appropriate books for basic reading in English to set up a starter library for one of the schools which had requested this help. We travelers took over 250 books in our suitcases. The staff, teachers, and students were prepared, and together with us they constructed shelving, organized the books and began reading activities daily in a temporary space. It was a joy to see their enthusiasm and spend time in the school.
This past summer I went on the most amazing trip of my life! All thanks to CWB I was able to connect with children in Africa. The opportunity to travel to a place so different from my own, and give a helping hand Is amazing. The organization itself impacts a sum of children in Zambia from oprhpans to those who cannot afford to go to school. However, annual trip makes a strong personal experience, and certainly helped me understand parts of the world and parts of myself better.
New to the organization, this summer I took a first trip to Zambia to see how CWB was doing there. Like the 15 other travelers in our group, I paid my own way and engaged in two weeks of intense activity to promote the welfare of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. Perhaps the moment I most came to appreciate the value of CWB's efforts was when I met four thirteen-year olds who explained to me that without the help of CWB their education would have ended in 7th grade. Edna, Sampson, David and Royce all come from difficult family situations and live in Lusaka's shanty towns. At age 13, the could have been be on their own without outside help. Instead they are now thinking of becoming teachers, journalists, army officers, and lawyers. Yet they are only four of 264 students CWB is helping, students whose individual lives I could see are changing for the better because of the contribution of CWB's dedicated supporters.
I had heard heart warming stories of the impact of CWB for many years but this summer, I was really excited to go and experience this amazing opportunity. Seeing the smiling faces, the eager children and friendly people everywhere was beautiful. We brought glasses and ran vision screenings in conjunction with the CWB health screenings. We introduced 'Days for Girls', a washable sanitary napkin system wrapped up in pretty colorful cloth bags. The goal is for a sustainable sewing business to market them; and to avoid lost days for the girls.
It was great to see the improvements and changes the schools and communities had made with support of CWB. We were treated to special celebrations of songs and dances and felt very welcomed and appreciated. Dr Dick Bail and CWB has developed true working relationships with several communities and continues to look for appropriate opportunities to strengthen the education and health opportunities focusing on the children.
February, 2016 we visited the two community school partners. We met someone who grew up in our hometown in Massachusetts. We told him about the amazing work Communities Without Borders was doing. He connected us with the head of a university in Zambia. We met with this man and he agreed to provide full scholarships for girls in our program who graduate with excellent records and said he wanted to donate 50 desks to one of our schools.
Communities without Borders enables children to get educated under the most dire circumstances. They are typically aids orphans, living in compounds in sub-Saharan Africa, largely Zambia, who have no stable family or access to needed resources. CWB helps with health, nutrition, etc. as well as the obvious items like school fees and uniforms that are essential to get educated. Sponsored children have achieved better exam results as CWB and its partners have become more experienced.
I went to Zambia in 2012 with my 16-year old son. What touched me most was the warmth and kindness of all the people there. The children are wonderful and excited to see us. They just crawl into your hearts.
I have been connected to Communities Without Borders for the past seven years. I initially went on a summer trip back in 2009 as a way to get to Africa, which had always been a dream of mine. After my first trip, I was forever moved by my experiences. I was so impressed with the children, caregivers, and teachers and the obstacles that they overcome on a regular basis. It is amazing to see the improvements and contributions that CWB has been able to provide to assist with education, health, and psycho-social supports which are extremely important to being successful. I'm so proud to be a part of such a great nonprofit.
I had the pleasure of traveling with Communities Without Borders to Zambia in 2005 to conduct needs assessments, provide educational assistance and build infrastructures for new latrines and homes in several villages (e.g. Choma, Mendevu, Garden, Linda, Chwama). As a rising senior in High School, the opportunities I had to meet with rural tribal leaders, the children in these villages, and educational leaders working on HIV/AIDS prevention was incredibly inspiring. My experience with many families who were malnourished and afflicted with AIDS was so powerful that it formed my motivation to pursue an MPH degree and attend medical school 6 years later. Dr. Bail is a true humanitarian leader, compassionate, kind and a role model for all. I highly recommend Communities Without Borders and becoming involved with this nonprofit at any level possible.
Going on a trip to Zambia with our family was one of the best decisions I have ever made for a family vacation amongst the 20 years of my planning family vacations! We worked together every night planning with our CWB volunteer group the lessons for the following day in the Zambian community school supported by CWB, taught in the classrooms, built blackboards, bookshelves and latrines, and played, danced and sang together with the children in the schoolyard. I saw our daughter learn first hand about real poverty, lack of access to education, healthcare and nutrition and it changed her and all of our lives in immeasurable ways! Among other things, I joined the CWB Board, our daughter majored in public policy in college and my husband began selling donuts at church to raise money for CWB! The experience has most certainly deepened our relationships as well, made us closer as a family and given us fresh new perspectives on the difference we can make as helpers in this world, calls to action we can take to make difference for the less fortunate and created memories we will forever cherish!