Help Me Keep the Mwale Kids in School

Help Me Keep the Mwale Kids in School

Please read this story about why I want to raise funds to sponsor the education of two children in Zambia. I spent over a year overseas in Zambia, from October 2017 to November 2018 while working for the U.S. government on foreign aid, and for this time period I managed without a car. This means I had to find people I could count on to support me in getting to and from work, to social activities, and when I moved from one residence to another. Finding reliable, trustworthy employees -- drivers for me -- is extremely challenging in Zambia. I had drivers not show up numerous times, keep me waiting without any notice, and cancel at 10 pm the night before I needed to get to work. 

Mr. Sokosi Mwale was different. He and I were introduced in June 2018. He was kind, reliable, and trustworthy for me from the very beginning. I had a good feeling about him from the moment I met him so I decided to give him a try as a regular driver to get me to and from work. He did not disappoint. 

As the months went by, I learned more about Mwale. He is from the Chewa tribe, a devout Jehovah's Witness, and married to Maureen, his wife of 21 years. They have five children -- Sarah, Judith, Kelvin, Collins, and Linzie. 

Sending your child to school in Zambia is a challenge because even government schools have fees attached -- tuition, uniforms, books, exam entrance fees, and transport to get the children to and from school. There are no school buses and meals are not provided. Mwale was not able to complete his own education due to lack of sponsorship, but everyday he listens to the news to try to educate himself and stay aware of what’s going on in the world. He has worked as a “businessman,” helping in his family’s roadside shop; a bricklayer for seven years; and a driver for 13 years now. The car he drives is not even his; he pays to rent it to earn income and his wife braids hair to earn extra money. In 2018, he moved his family from Mtundere East Compound to Obama Compound. (A compound is like a ghetto within a city.) 

Once, I asked Mwale why education is important. His response, “for the future.” I want to support his children’s future. Will you please help me sponsor his children’s education? 

Sarah recently finished grade 12, the first in the family to do so, but Mr. Mwale is having a hard time getting enough work, due to COVID-19, so Judith and Collins have missed school. He assures me he is trying, but things are hard. The challenges they face often keep me up at night. 

There are no social safety net programs in Zambia, like unemployment and food banks are a rarity. Scholarships are hard to come by. I have tried and failed at connecting the family with charity there and there are thousands, if not millions of Zambian families struggling there. 

1 USD = 20 Kwacha OR 1 Zambian Kwacha equals .055 American cents.

So any American dollars to help me support them would truly go a long way. Please, if you can, help with this GoFundMe. You’re also welcome to send me money in other methods, such as Paypal, Venmo, Zelle or a check in the mail. 

Collins: 1,800 Kwacha per term, need to cover 2 terms, 450 Kwacha for his uniform

Collins was born January 23, 2014, will be 7 in January 2021, and is missing school at Lord Builds Community School. He loves animals so twice I have paid to send the family to visit Kalimba Reptile Park. 

Judith: 600 Kwacha per year, 180 Kwacha for books

Judith was born May 16, 2004, is now 16, and is missing grade 9 at Nkulandi School. 

If you have questions about Mwale, Maureen, or their children, please let me know. If it’s something I do not know then I’ll text Mwale to ask him or have my husband call and speak to him in the local language. This is a father and family invested in bettering themselves and I’d love for us to be a part of this. If you choose to invest, along with me, in their future, I will ensure that you get regular updates, photos, and report cards for these children. 

Most Sincerely,

Lindsay K. Saunders

An American who believes in the future of all global citizens and Zambians, especially the Mwale family. 

In the photo clockwise from Top Left: Mr. Mwale one Sunday in 2018 when he came to pick me up all dressed up, Sarah and Judith, a family photo (Maureen, Mr. Mwale, Collins, Kelvin and Judith), Collins, Collins' school Lord Builds Community School, and Nkalandi School (Judith school). Center left is Linzie (almost 2 years old) and center right is Judith.

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