Ford Group Visit to Twabuka and Ebenezer, Zambia

Children in the Wilderness Zambezi, recently hosted a large group of travellers representing various Ford dealerships around Australia. Part of the group’s visit included spending time giving back to a school/community in Zambia, thus CITW planned two full mornings for the guests with worthwhile and meaningful activities including building, talking and reading to orphans, planting trees at Twabuka Primary School and Ebenezer Children’s home outside Livingstone. Both institutions are part of Children in the Wilderness Zambezi’s environmental programme.

As the group consisted of 80 guests they were divided into two equal groups of men and women to work consecutively at the school and orphanage over the next two days. These groups were divided into a further two groups – men and women, 

The first morning, 22 strong, able-bodied men were dropped off at Twabuka, located 20 kilometres outside Livingstone, while 18 women made their way to Ebenezer Children’s Home, and the new site for the Ebenezer Trust School, just outside Livingstone

At Twabuka, the men, students, and a builder worked tirelessly mixing cement, erecting steel poles and roofing creating shady verandas with benches made from eco-bricks (used plastic drink bottles filled with soft plastic waste) and cement. This project will be hugely beneficial to the students of Twabuka when they work in groups outside, and at break times as the school lacks large trees for shelter from the scorching sun. These shelters are a very welcome addition to the schoolyard.

While the men were hard at work at Twabuka, the women were dropped off at Ebenezer Children’s Home, a colourful oasis providing a loving home for 46 children between the ages of two weeks to fifteen years old.  Half the women worked with the younger children, the focus being on early literacy, so each woman armed with a Wordworks Literacy Pack containing a story, sequence cards, a colouring book, and colouring pencils spent their time reading and colouring with individual children. They then all joined together for games, followed by a guided tour of the orphanage. The other half of the women started at the newly built Ebenezer School where they were greeted by a number of older orphans, who performed a welcome song and poem. Following this, each guest was tasked with planting a tree on the property, assisted by these students. The trees – beautiful Natal Mahogany’s – will one day provide much welcome shade at the school.

The whole morning’s activities were repeated with the second group on the following day, and of course, at Twabuka, the competition was on to create a ‘better-looking’ eco-bench and shade structure than the previous group! Both mornings culminated in an enthusiastic game of soccer between the men and school students.

To demonstrate their gratitude to everyone at Ebenezer for taking the time to incorporate them into their daily lives, the guests presented several bags of much-needed items for the home to the matron, Rebecca. The generosity of this group didn’t stop there, as further donations were made to the home and both schools. These will allow for the purchase of much-needed gardening and building supplies for Twabuka, and kitchen utensils such as knives and chopping boards for Ebenezer Home. Overall, the visits were incredibly successful, and a rewarding experience for all who were involved, and memories were made that will last a lifetime. With two amazing shady verandas, benches, and 40 newly planted trees, Twabuka and Ebenezer were the winners. Thank you to all the Ford Group travellers – we are hugely grateful for all the effort and work that you put into the schools and the children’s home. The eco-benches, shade structures, trees, and donations will have a lasting effect for many children over the coming years.