People at “Share the Light” – a charity organization created from the projects and links developed by the staff and students of Salesian College Farnborough, Great Britain, with young people in Zambia – know how valuable education is as a tool for changing lives. “We were created after a wonderful teacher recognised a need for sponsorship to keep children in school, and while we continue this work and other projects, we also support the Salesian Sisters' project for women and girls, City of Joy,” the project manager Sophie Astles explains.
This began in response to the impact of Zambia’s AIDS pandemic, which decimated many families, leaving the eldest siblings at their head. Along with abject poverty, this left girls and young women particularly vulnerable and open to abuse.
At the City of Joy, these vulnerable girls are given a loving home and family where they feel safe and cared for again, and where they are encouraged and supported in their education and training. So “Share the Light” helps catering for the medical and nutritional requirements of the girls, as well as providing clothing, school uniforms and other equipment.
“We help provide transport to enable groups from the City of Joy to travel out together safely, and we fund the maintenance of fencing to keep their boundaries secure,” Sophie adds.
Maureen was one of the first girls to live at the City of Joy, and the first to reach Grade 12 and finish school. In 2015, she started nursing college but unfortunately, the local community could not find the funds needed to support her as she did not receive a full bursary from the government. This resulted in Maureen having to leave college. In 2016, she managed to obtain some sponsorship and the local community agreed to make up the remainder. However, it once again proved too great a burden and “Share the Light” received a request for help.
The “Share the Light” advocates, knowing how lucky they are to be able to obtain an education, were dismayed to hear of Maureen’s plight and their fundraising efforts have ensured she can continue her studies. They continue to fundraise to support her until she qualifies as a nurse this year.
Maureen says: “My education is very important to me, because it will make my future bright. I would like to build an orphanage so that I also can help young ones who have no one to help them. I thank you my sponsors for your support and generosity and I am grateful for the money you have sent to me to finish my studies. May God richly bless each one of you. Be assured of my prayers.”
Visit “Share the Light” to find out more about their work and how you can support it at: https://sharethelight.uk/