July 23, 2017
One of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls
Last year, V and I, whilst visiting family in Zambia, met up with the good people at CINDI K (Children in Distress Kansenshi), a vital and charitable community school that helps vulnerable children living in the township of Nkwazi, Ndola, on the Copperbelt province of in Zambia.
CINDI K Kids getting a motivational talk from Christopher, the school director
Upon first hearing about CINDI K, I was blown away by its actual existence and in all my younger years whilst growing up in Zambia, I hadn't heard about them or their work. My dad, who had assisted them in the past, asked me if I wanted to visit this local community school, probably because this one time, in my youth, I had displayed some philanthropic tendencies and as soon as I found out more about them, the excitement starting to build. Granted there wasn't much information on the internet but from the bits of information I was given and pieced together, it was clear that CINDI K, from what seemed to appear as defying all the odds, was providing opportunities to kids that would otherwise not have shot at normal life.
CINDI K enables a lot of the kids from the community a chance of a normal life
Unfortunately, due to an outbreak of HIV/AIDS during the early 90s, Zambia experienced an increase in HIV/AIDS related cases which saw an increase in the number of new orphans due to deaths of infected parents. This meant that a large number of orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC's) were left with family relatives to be cared for, many of whom struggled to make ends meet.The unfortunate circumstances these children faced meant that in many cases they dropped out of school or couldn't afford the fees to attend. Some fell victim to life on the streets or were rendered destitute.Enter CINDI K, a community school which was established over 20 years ago, by 4 women who took the initiative to address the need to provide a basic education and psychosocial help to orphans and vulnerable women in the community.
CINDI K Community area, the 2 open huts which were used a classrooms before brick classrooms were provisioned.
Today CINDI K is still helping OVF's whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB and Malnutrition and despite the hurdles they face daily, have over the years produced several success stories which have seen children they took in, go on to become university graduates and normalised members of the community.
It was a humbling experience meeting all the people that run and make CINDI K possible, and I was more impressed at the fact that its Director, a bright and motivated individual by the name of Chris Mwamba was actually one of the success stories that came up through the school. His story as well as so many others I was told of, were awe inspiring.
CINDI K children in the playground
In the brief time we spent together, I remember thinking to myself, 'How do they get by every day?', I had several chats about the constant hurdles they faced, for example, trying to get electricity to one of the newly built hostels which they planned to use as a source of income or problems with the increasing number of orphans requiring their services. I noticed that despite their desperate need for additional assistance and trials and tribulations as a charity, they have managed to get by, with the assistance of kind and open-hearted volunteers. One such group called Ladder of Hope (LOH), is based in the UK and was started by some teachers from my old school in the city of Ndola as well as other generous, once expatriate teachers, who spent time in Zambia.
CINDI K classroom
I decided I wanted to help in some way and whilst there, I came to the realisation that these kids were like any other kids I encountered in my travels around the globe, playful and joyful and despite their uncertain future and very basic living circumstances, I never saw a single child complaining, sad or angry and it was as though our presence there was natural, almost like they saw us as people who were there to help. After spending time together, I felt a force, or you could even say an obligation, to get involved. Having started a brand and as a result, a small and growing platform, I decided that I would put it to good use. I created Kochiba out of a desire to mix entrepreneurialism with social responsibility and this lead me to find and partner up with Womankind Worldwide, a UK based charity that pushes for women's rights and aids them globally. Working with CINDI K naturally felt like the right thing to do and being a vital charity, and now close to my heart, is one that has, over the years enabled hundreds of children to progress in life and without which many of them would fall through the system.
V and I and some of the CINDI K kids on the first day we met
So there you have it, in a nutshell that’s how Kochiba got involved with CINDI K. There are many facets to CINDI K and so in the coming months, I want to bring you more stories including the success stories, like that of Chris the Director, some on the trials they face as well as bring some more highlights from our trip there which included an amazing day of cooking and feeding the community.
On the K BLOG, I also hope to bring you more content outside of CINDI K, Like K Journeys which will focus on our travels and journeys exploring different cultures not only in Scotland but from around the world. I hope that you, as the reader, are able to share our experiences and gain some inspiration to use your time to be the best version of yourself, and open your mind to new horizons.
Until next time Citizens, here's wishing you the best version of you.
August 05, 2017
Thanks for taking the time Tich. So glad we found CINDI K, be sure to check us out soon, there so much more in store.
Nice peice NJ & V, what an awesome story. In the time I lived in Ndola I didn’t know Cindi existed. Thank you for shining the light. Stay blessed. T
July 24, 2017
Thanks a lot Mansi for the love and support.
Superb work NJ n V… Love u guys… Keep up the good work…
July 23, 2017
Thanks so much Nirali. Truly appreciate the love and support.
Amazing!!! All The Best!!! God Bless You!!
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