Happy New Year!
We have had a fantastic Christmas in the UK. It was so special catching up with friends and family…if any of you have some good photos of our time in the UK, it would be great if you could send them to us!! We want to make some scrap books with the girls.
Since being back we have been acclimatising into life here in Zambia. The heat was a bit tough to get used to after being in cold England. We felt so tired and drousy. But we are now back into the swing of things.
We firstly want to say a huge thank you for everyone who gave at our fundraising event on the Sunday before we left the UK. It was a huge success and we were once again overwhelmed by people’s generosity. Fundraising is an ongoing part of our work as we endeavor to implement the vision God has given us.
And it feels like a big vision this year! We have had an exciting week having various meetings with key people. Yesterday we met with our Zambian Director Rev. Martin Kapenda to chat about our next steps.
Here is just a taster of some of our plans for 2016:-
1. Develop a Church Partnership programme – we have always trained churches but we want to extend this into a longer standing relationship through church partnership. Our church partners will be given resources to help them strengthen community-based child protection systems and structures. And they will also be more accountable as to the action they have taken. It is an exciting move as we endeavor to work more closely with the church.
2. Build a national Tehila Network which all partner churches will belong to. This network will be a strong collective voice in advocating for child protection issues and ensure the church is engaged and part of the solution to child cruelty.
3. We are moving outside Lusaka across Zambia. Our vision is to build church partnerships in all ten provinces. Children in rural areas are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and it is a priority that the churches in these communities are engaged and onboard.
3. After nearly a year of creating, we hope to launch and market our childrens programme Tehila Touch, which enables children to teach other children how to keep themselves safe.
This will be a key component of our church partnership programme.
4. We intend to explore and initiate the creation of an advocacy service for children and their families who are victims of abuse and going through the judicial system process. Children have little voice, expected to stand in court alone in front of their abuser with very little preparation and support. How amazing would it be if each child had an advocate to help them and their family go through what can be a terrifying and long process?
5. We want to recruit the support of a lawyer to advise Tehila on individual cases of child abuse.
We love making plans and daring to fulfil our dreams. It is exciting. By partnering with communities, through the church and other organisations, we believe cruelty towards children could be significantly reduced.
However, we know that it is God who will determine our steps. We can do nothing without Him and we will ultimately follow His plans for Tehila.
Indeed this has been a week of God opening doors!
In yesterdays meeting with Rev Martin Kapenda, this amazingly gifted man has offered to help with the Church Partnership programme and Tehila Network. This will largely involve him organising the trainings in the rural areas. He is incredibly connected across Zambia so is perfectly placed to strategically organise these trainings with the right people and geographical areas. Amazing answer to prayer.
And today we were invited to attend World Vision’s strategic planning meeting. They are keen to partner with Tehila which is so exciting. We will keep you posted!
And now it is Friday. BREATHE. Movie night for us.
We are so chuffed that you are on board and look forward to our adventures together in 2016….!
The Tehila Team xx