Reflections on May and hopes for June

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi all

It is with this view that I sit here on a Thursday evening and reflect on what God has been up to in the last month. The sunsets in Zambia never cease to amaze and capture me. The beauty and range of colours illuminating the dark sky quieten me, still my mind and allow me simply to be, to sit and rest in God’s presence. To be grateful for another day, another moment.

There are many highlights to share for May:

  • We are in our new office!
  • Sharing a platform with the Zambian First Lady to share our vision and heart for keeping children safe
  • Getting to know Myrl and have her stay with us and become part of the Tehila Team
  • The arrival of Jonathan, a social work student from Michigan, US
  • The launch of a new keeping children safe platform in Kalingalinga
Yet, is with some sadness that we say goodbye to Duncan Toogood, our UK Volunteer who has committed the last two years of his time in Zambia to Tehila. His contribution to our work has been outstanding and the commitment he has shown to our vision and the people we serve has been remarkable. He will be sorely missed. He moves on with our full blessing and support as he ventures into pastures new and follows his dreams. Thank you Duncan.
Duncan himself wanted to share some words:
“It is with a mixture of excitement, nervousness and sadness that I write this. I have been with Tehila for 2 1/2 years and during this time, I have been blessed to be a part of this fantastic team.
When I first started at Tehila, there were 5 of us meeting in a small outbuilding at the back of someone’s house. Yesterday, 10 of us gathered together to meet in our brand new office. A staff team consisting of people from the UK and the US as well as, most importantly, a large number of passionate and experienced Zambians who are leading the charge in bringing about change as we advocate for the safety and protection of children in the country.
This team is also supported by a growing number of trained and enthusiastic local volunteers who help facilitate the Tehila programs.
During my time with Tehila, I have helped facilitate our Safe Places training program in Lusaka as well as reaching out to the far North, West and East of the country. We have equipped churches and organisations as well as local and international schools to be safer places for children.
I have also established a 6 month mentoring program to strengthen those churches we have trained, 39 of whom are now part of a city-wide child protection movement, our Samalani Children at Risk (SCAR) Network.
It seems like I’m leaving Tehila just as amazing things are about to happen – Hannah Fairs-Billam (co-founder) recently shared a platform with Zambia’s First Lady as she had the opportunity to share the Tehila vision with representatives from over 40 countries across Africa –  but in doing so, I know there is a team of people here who are more than capable of taking things forward to bigger and better things.
I am nervous because I am leaving Tehila to begin serving full-time at Gospel Central Church in Lusaka.I will be leading an initiative called the Restore Centre which will provide a 7-day a week venue from where we can reach out to people across this city, in this nation and beyond. The Restore Centre will focus on walking alongside others, helping people in our community to recognize and unlock their potential, access work and remain in employment.
I trust that I will take with me into my new role many of the skills I learnt and developed here at Tehila, most notably the importance of building relationships.
Change primarily happens through relationship and over time. People in Zambia already have the skills and talents needed to bring about change in their communities, if only others would recognize these strengths and walk alongside them on this journey.
Tehila has done this through their mentoring and other initiatives and I hope that I can take all that I have learned with them into my next adventure here in Zambia.”
Martin, Sam, Duncan and myself would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported Duncan financially and in so many other ways. Your support has been invaluable.
As we move into June, I feel that we are entering a slightly different season, one of consolidating our monitoring and evaluation. Sam is receiving mentoring from an expert in this area and we are excited to be able to measure the impact of our activities and strengthen our reporting. We also welcome Julie, our new administrator to the team, Chileshe, our accountant, Lauren, our new Project Worker and say goodbye to Winnie, our social worker as she heads off on maternity leave to have her second child.  June is a time of preparation for our Viva Good Treatment Campaign and building the membership of the SCAR Network.
We look forward to reporting back to you in July!
Thanks for your ongoing support and love
Han and the Team xx