Today, Zambian Sonshine consists of 119 students, 4 teachers, and a handful of mothers who are willing to learn. Our goal is to give the community of Minamba and area the opportunity of good education as the starting point for a developing economy.
We have introduced a feeding program for the students of Sonshine Academy. At this point we are able to give them a nutritional meal, three times a week. Our goal, is to eventually provide a meal for each student every day of the week.
According to UNICEF, about 45% of Zambian children are stunted due to chronic malnourishment and 28% are grossly underweight. It is our hope to see these children grow stronger as they benefit from the feeding program.
Statistics in Zambia show that there is a great need of care for women and those who are under the age of 5 years. Did you know that only 47% of births are attended by a skilled health worker, and that 51% of women do not receive care after giving birth? It is sad to think that for every 100,000 births, there are 591 maternal deaths, and the mortality rate for neonatal and under 5 are at 119 deaths per 1000 live births.
How do we have so many deaths at these young ages? The biggest causes are malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, malnutrition (70% of the population are food insecure), and anemia – all of which could easily be treated if they lived in a first world country.
So how are we doing our part to fix this?
An under-5 clinic is being held once a month for children to be checked and receive immunizations. They are weighed and given any necessary medications. While it is mainly for the under 5 demographic, it will be available for others so they can be tested and treated for malaria when they are sick. This clinic is exciting news for the local people, as they once had to walk for many miles to have this simple medical attention.
The children of Sonshine Academy have developed an evangelical team that goes door to door, sharing the gospel. They have also started a choir that is full of beautiful voices, to which they take every opportunity to use in reaching people with the good news of Christ.
This community, through different aspects, is learning to give back. As a team from Canada came in July of 2017, they lead by example by giving the community clothing and fruit. This community started to pay it forward by giving to other communities.
And now, with the incorporation of football and netball teams, they have used sports to lead by example. It was also in July of 2017, where our Canadian Director, Jamie Greenwood came and dedicated Salvation Field by preaching a message of salvation to four football teams, two netball teams, a crowd of fans, and referees. This ended in a prayer of salvation by Pastor Mordecai, and everyone who was present that day gave their lives to Christ.