West of Lusaka, Zambia, there is a school/orphanage that is called Mothers Without Borders. The Senior Sister Missionaries were feeling that they should be doing more so they checked with the director and found out what needs could be met in clothing for Christmas. Below are sisters Lyle, Humphreys, and Skidmore wrapping presents to deliver.
After an hour's drive we found the sign and the gate.
While waiting for someone to come and open the gate Kristi passed out some extra items to some women walking along the road. Zambians are always gracious.
Once the gate was unlocked the four couples drove in to the complex.
Waiting for us were over forty kids that were left to spend Christmas with each other. The majority of the kids do have some relatives who will take them to their homes for the holidays. For these forty two kids though, this was it - a break from the usual routine and some old white people who showed up.
Josephine Daka is in our church Branch. She is the social worker there. She had each of the children introduce themselves and tell about their goals for when they are older.
We then had a little tour of the campus.
This is the kitchen. Lunch was being prepared. Boiled cabbage and spinach type greens.
It doesn't seem to matter what Zambians wear, it always seems to fit in.
This was what was left over from breakfast. It is nshima and ground nuts or peanuts crushed and mixed in for protein.
Washing hands is an important part of living here.
That little clothesline is a result of the children washing their own clothes.
Here is one of the helpers doing more wash.
That logo at first looked like a panda bear to me but I soon figured it out to be a circle of family.
All the presents were given by name and were size appropriate.
There was no rush to open and then hurrying to see what was next. There was no "next".
Mangos are very prevalent this time of year so everyone is eating them. You can buy a bucket for about one US dollar.
I would love to be able to paint what I see.
The sleeping quarters were full of bunk beds.
One of the humanitarian projects was to fix the inconsistent power and back it up with solar and batteries.
Kristi was feeling better about Christmas without the grandkids.
Another project the Lyles had worked on here was the building of nice outhouses by the football field.
Another bathroom was built closer to the fields where the crops are grown.
To be honest, I have thought about all the non-government organizations (NGOs) and the work they do in a place such as Zambia. We all know there is a cost of operation and for those in charge the result seems to be that they live at a level far above their charges. Yet, without them I am certain that there would be much more suffering in the world.
Should you have a little spare change, I would suggest you find an area that interests you and give of your time first. When you do, you will know if you feel good to give that spare change.
Of course I still believe that the best buy for giving is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If your donation is marked "Humanitarian" there is a very, very minimal amount that goes for overhead. Most of the administrative costs are borne by couples like the Lyles who donate their time and money to oversee that expenditures are appropriate and wisely used. This all comes under the umbrellas of "LDS Charities" which is very active all over the world. We hear from friends who are now serving in Jordan helping Syrian refugees, the need is endless.