Prosper 6 year Medical degree university degree at Mulungushi University thanks to our wonderful sponsors back in Oz
Yvonne full time contract and trainee massage therapist at The Bush Spa thanks to Natalie
Shadreck full time contract at Artnera Building company as builder thanks Rafael
Alick 2 year automotive mechanic apprenticeship at Chikowa thanks to Rodger and Fiona Buckley for their sponsorship
Richard 2 year agriculture apprenticeship at Chikowa thanks to Rodger and Fiona Buckley for their sponsorship
Ariston our gem of a jeweller who has a full time contract and trainee at Mulberry Mongoose Jewellery thanks to Kate
Ackson full time contract and traineeship as graphic designer at Neon Sign Lusaka thanks Allan
It all started back in August 2016 when I decided the best way for me to contribute to the community of Mfuwe was to help the year 12 students at Mfuwe Day Secondary School on “how to get a job” after completing their final year 12 exams.
A good number of these students are sponsored via international guests through local NGO’s to complete year 8 through to year 12 though I thought it would be beneficial to their generous sponsors and to the students to help them into the workforce.
So off I went to the school and had a meeting with the Principle, Deputy and Career Advisor Godfrey where we all sat in this tiny office with the temperature over 40c sweating asking if I could have their year 12 students for 1.5 hours week in class time, and no I am not a teacher though I have managed staff for over 30 years and brought up 2 kids fairly well. They were thrilled with the idea and so it was arranged for me to commence my classes 11am – 1230pm each Thursday being my day off from work.
Year 12A, 12B and 12C on average each class had 75 students and into 2017 after they had completed their final exams and waiting on their results attendance numbers dwindled down to about 20 – 30 keen students a week.
The topics that we covered from August 2016 through to July 2017:
What is a CV and purpose?
What job would you like, it has to be achievable?
Write an 800 word essay on what is the job, where is the training, how much does it cost, how long is the course and what school results do you need to qualify.
Role played job interviewing
Researched where the courses were and employment opportunities
Malama our Flatdogs Safari Manager gave an honest and inspiring presentation to the class on his personal experiences of how he was an ex student of Mfuwe Day, unemployed for years and in summary “it’s all luck and don’t give up trying”
Job interviews came along through my contacts
Sponsors were confirmed through our loving family and friends back home including Jamie and I.
Students commenced apprenticeships at Chikowa 15 January 2017
Employment was confirmed with contracts
Prosper commenced at University Sept 3, 2017
Work experience was commenced at various companies and the Kukumbi Clinic
As in life you have the committed and reliable people and these students were truly my stars that gave it 110%.
The day is nearing (Jan 17)for Jamie and I to move back to Australia and I wanted to bring them all together to celebrate their achievements, say a personal goodbye and build their friendship and contacts so they would support each other into the future on those good and bad days we all have in life while I am not in the country.
I arranged a safari vehicle and Jonathan as our guide thanks to Ade at Flatdogs, a massive chocolate cake and bottles of Sprite (Mfuwe kids love sugar) and co-ordinated these students some who work and live over 11 hours away to have time off work via their boss and travel to Mfuwe to join the surprise event in the park.
Some of their feedback from the day
Artison “it proved you can have a dream and it can come true”
Ackson “That was so great and a day to remember in life… Thanks Wendy for the effort and support….we are who we are now all because of you and Jamie. Thanks a lot. We miss you more”
Alick That was so impressive day indeed, happy day to all of us as a group at large including madam wendy, sir jammy and mr mbao.
That is so thank full for upgrading our lives to another level that we never thought of it all”
Ackson “I never thought it was a farewell party that I could get in my life, you deserve a present. You brought us together yu have changed our lives to an extent we couldn’t expect. May God bless you and Jamie so that we meet again in the future and that you can help others we may be in need. It was an amazing and awesome meeting you in Mfuwe. I thank you so very much”
Prosper “I remember when we met you and I was in school uniform. I am so grateful for all your support and help.You have changed my life forever thank you Madam Wendy”
I imagine attending Prosper’s graduation ceremony at Mulungushi University in 2023 wow I will be old by then and I will continue to support and mentor all these wonderful young people via Facebook, messenger and Whats App.
A special thank you to:
Anna and her team at Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre (NGO) who mentored and supported me throughout my new “how to get a job” program including the use of their classroom, storage of lap tops and books and general guidance. Her best advise to me “make it achievable”.
Dave at Project Luangwa (NGO) for his support to Prosper and co-ordination of him starting at University and guiding me through the myriad of rules and requirements for Prosper to commence university including “was he a worthy candidate”.
Without these generous, fun and supportive teams I would not have made it through the past 18 months with such great results.