We are now back in Zambia following a 7 month visit to the uk. I have undergone two surgery’s. One on the foot and the other my shoulder. Both are healing and I am well on the way to full recovery. We want to thank all of you for making our time in the uk so special. It was amazing to create such special memories with friends and family. We are currently working through our photos and feeling so blessed and nostalgic! It feels a little strange to be back but we are slowly reconnecting with our life here and am sure we will settle back into the swing of things soon.
Today I am back in the office with the Tehila team, catching up on all their news. Sam and I are so impressed and proud of the work they have been doing and the commitment they have shown to our vision to protect children in Zambia.
Today I was reminded of why Tehila exists and why the work we do and our vision is so critical in Zambia. Yesterday an eight year old girl was raped and murdered in an area we regularly visit called Kapiri Mposhi. This is shocking and devastating. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this family. The perpetrator was known to the family, he was drunk when he came to her house, it was late in the evening, in front of her family he offered the girl sweets and took her with him. He then assaulted her. The injuries she sustained caused her death.
Could this hideous crime have been avoided?
Duncan and Engiwe are responsible for our Safe Places mentoring programme that we are launching this year. Churches we have previously trained are being invited to be mentored as they implement their child protection policies and procedures to keep children safe. So far the response has been really encouraging. The following 5 churches signed up last week and there are planned meetings with another 7 churches this week.
- Great Commission Bible Church Chilanga
- Garden North Baptist Church
- Christ Amazing Power Bible Church
- Great Commission Bible Church Garden
- Effective World Ministries
Obet has been busy preparing to facilitate Touch Talk throughout our church partners. Touch talk is a resource teaching children about sexual abuse and how to keep safe. Here are some photos of him facilitating recently with Mwana Ministries.
Through these different activities with individuals, churches, organisations and children, we envision safer places for children. Safer homes, safer neighbourhoods, safer schools, safer churches, safer health posts and safer child-care organisations. Places where parents and others adults know how to keep them safe, know the potential risks and take the necessary precautions. Where children can find the self confidence to speak out when they feel uncomfortable, can say “no” if they feel unsafe, can seek help if they are hurt. A place where children are taken seriously and listened to.
Perhaps in this safe place, the rape and murder of an eight year old could have been avoided.
Tehila is moving, determined to make a difference to the lives of children in 2017. Thank you for joining us on this mission.
The Tehila Team X