Ebenezer Child Care Trust
The work of Ebenezer began under a tree in 2001 by Mrs. Ranji Chara, who initially started a feeding program for street kids in the town of Livingstone, Zambia. (For more information about the city of Livingstone, please go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livingstone)
Ranji started this feeding program with the help of Kerstin Carlson and some of her faithful friends from Sweden who worked untiringly to get the work of Ebenezer off the ground. Kerstin and her friends are still faithfully helping in the school right up to this day.
These street kids were given a hot meal and taught the right way to live. They began to find a sense of belonging, at last, and today the feeding program has expanded to an Orphanage, School and Farm.
Ebenezer Village (Orphanage)
It is located just on the outskirts of Livingstone, on the way to Botswana, and next to the Mosi-O-Tunya Wild Life Reserve. It is a very modern facility with its own bore hole for fresh water, electricity in each building and a bright and cheerful atmosphere. It is presently home for 51 children who are fed, clothed and taught social skills, family values, Christian values and love.
The orphaned children have been identified by a selective process through the Social Welfare Department and referrals from the Orphanage Community School. The majority of our orphans come from impoverished homes affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.
A Baby Home, a Girls Home and a Boys Home have all been built in a country setting where the children can feel at peace. Each home has House Mothers (some who live with the children full time) to care for the children. Ebenezer Village is also home to a few chickens and ducks which the children love to care for.
The Administration Building is where you can find Mrs. Ranji Chara, The Executive Director, multi-tasking, when she is not attending directly to the children or in one of her many meetings at Ebenezer School. There is also a conference room where Sunday worship is currently being held, and where the children have choir practise and are learning to play the new musical instruments Ebenezer has been able to purchase. This building is also open to the children to work on their school homework in the evenings. A Prayer Room within the building hosts Daily Devotions for the staff members. The Accounting, Office Administrator and Doctor’s Offices complete this building.
The Ebenezer School
The Ebenezer School, which was founded in 2005, is located 4 km East of Ebenezer Village, within the town of Livingstone. The school educates 323 children, including the children from Ebenezer Village, in classes from grade zero to grade seven. They are children who are the most vulnerable in society and who come from the neighbouring Townships. These children are fed, clothed and given a free education. The school is registered with the Ministry of Education in Zambia and all activities follow the Zambian school curriculum. It is the only free facility in the whole district where children bring nothing to the school but receive everything a child needs.
The school has also identified over 25 families who are living in extremely poor conditions. These are grandmothers and grandfathers of children in the school who are not formally employed and who are too old to even have a small business. The school tries to help these families on a monthly basis whenever the budget allows.
Ebenezer Farm is comprised of 40 acres of land which was purchased in 2009. The farm is located 12 km East of Ebenezer Village, in the Libuyu District, where the soil is very fertile. While the farm has been a good source of nutritional food for the children at the orphanage and the school, it is currently only able to utilize one tenth of its potential. With increased funding the farm will have a greater ability to provide even more of a nutritional diet for the impoverished children and adults within the community who depend on Ebenezer for a meal.
The farm is currently growing Maize, Butter Nuts, Egg Plant, Tomatoes & Peppers and has a wonderful orchard of Orange Trees. Sheep and Goats are also raised at the farm. Any extra food that is not required to feed the children in the Orphanage and the School is sold in the neighbouring markets to provide additional funds.
Feint memories of all that dirt and grime, of hunger & love that was not mine A father that no longer stayed with me, a mother so ill, sad and in need.
My mother gone, my heart in shreds, now left alone no one to care Where do I go? Is life still mine? Too small to walk the streets and try.
And then the day that people came and took me from the tears and pain With other children like me before, loneliness left me – Was it Love I saw?
Not only did they care for me, but fed and clothed and cuddled too; Smiles poured sunshine in my heart, at last I felt wanted, of them a part.
Their love, tending & watching over me, set me free from my last life’s agonies Their love, tending & watching over me, set me free from my last life’s agonies I feel as though I mean something now, self-respect in waves rolls to my shore.
I can now live my life as part of them loving others that they bring in; When at last I leave their caring arms, I will pass on their love to those I was!
– Poem By Roy Denbury,
written on 6th Feb. 2012 on the beach of East London, after a visit to Livingstone.