Supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® from United States Pay a Visit to the Kabwata Orphanage, and More!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® from United States Pay a Visit to the Kabwata Orphanage, and More!

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

On the morning of Thursday, July 6, the children of the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre located in the heart of the capital of Zambia, Lusaka, who attend the nearby Eugene School were patiently waiting for “special guests” from halfway around the world.

The preschool, elementary and middle school aged children were prepared to greet visitors from the United States, including long time Bread and Water for Africa® supporters, Michael and Delane Salkeld and their teenage daughter (Roslyn), and Chris LaRue and his teenage daughter(Haylee). Also, in the contingent of visitors was Bread and Water for Africa® CEO Bryan Krizek, his wife, Rita, and their son Cameron, along with Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Beth Tessema, a regular visitor to Kabwata for the past many years and Steve Hunt (the writer of this blog)

Upon arrival, the school children, aged from about 4 years to 12 years old, were seated in the outside assembly area at the Eugene School (named in honor of Bread and Water for Africa® founder Eugene Krizek – Bryan’s father) as the group visited with “Teacher Aggie,” a 24-year-old woman who herself grew up at the Kabwata orphanage after being abandoned as an infant, and toured the classrooms.

Then it was the big moment the children had been preparing for, beginning with joyful greetings and recitations of The Lord’s Prayer, first in English, then in their local tribal language (Nyanja). Following the prayers, several of the children performed a spoken-word oratory “I Am An African Child!” followed by a hymn, “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart,” and others.

The morning culminated with the visitors joining in with the students in joyous song and dancing, and then it was time for the students to return to their normal school routine.

A typical school day begins at 8:30 a.m. with devotions which includes song and prayer with classes beginning at 9 a.m. to 10:30 when they get a 30-minute free-time when they play traditional games, explained Aggie, who has been teaching at the Eugene School since it opened nearly four years ago. A noontime lunch includes Zambian staples including beans and vegetables with nshima (a very thick porridge made from finely ground corn meal), chicken or beef and rice, and even macaroni.

Throughout day the students are busy learning a variety of subjects, including how to read and write in English, the country’s official language used in in business and education, math, science and the environment, social studies and history, Bible study and “expressive arts” when they are allocated time to be creative through painting and drawing.

On Mondays through Thursdays, the children arrive back home to Kabwata at 3:30 p.m. (the older ones attending secondary school arrive at 4 p.m.) where the change out of their school uniforms and play games such as “Duck, Duck, Goose,” where the player who is “it” walks around all the other children sitting in a circle walking slowly until he or she who is “it” taps a seated child on the head and the chase begins.

On the last day of the trip to Kabwata, the guests from America were entertained as the children played Duck, Duck, Goose, along with what they called “Do As I Do” (sort of similar to “Simon Says”) and another named “Fire on the Mountain,” and several of whom where eventually persuaded to join in the fun.

The evening culminated with a rare treat for supper that the Kabwata kids will never forget – a fried chicken dinner from the ubiquitous “Hungry Lion” restaurant chain which are as common in Lusaka as Popeye’s restaurants are in the U.S. – and topped off with ice cream.

But before saying “final goodbyes” the children could not resist one last celebration of singing and dancing in the Kabwata family room, with of course their guests from America who are helping to enable them all to live their best lives – for today, and tomorrow.

watch the Kabwaba kids reciting the poem “I Am an African Child”

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