Think how wonderful it would be for your family to have a child in Africa. You can write to them and get letters back. You can learn what their life is like, but more importantly – you can make their life possible. Without sponsors the Mutende Children’s Village would not exist.
Every penny you give goes directly to the Village – there are no UK administration costs. You can give monthly, as much or as little as you would like to.
The normal running costs of the Children’s Village all come from Sponsorship. Sponsors can donate all or part of the money it costs to keep a child at Mutende. The total running costs for the village divided by the number of children means that it costs £75 a month per child to feed, shelter, clothe, care for and educate the children. Some children have more than one sponsor because of this.
Children can come to us at any age and must leave at 18 years old as they are then considered to be adults. We continue to pay for their education until they achieve Grade 12 or the grade that is the limit of their ability. Some may not achieve Grade 12, so we look for other training that will enable them to support themselves in adult life. Usually children have had no education before they come to us, so they start their education late and do not achieve Grade 12 by the time they are 18. This means that sponsors can continue to support their children’s education after they leave Mutende.
If you would like to sponsor a child or just find out more about sponsorship, or make a regular donation – go to the Contact Us page and email us to tell us what you would like to do.
If you would like to make a one off donation, please us the Donate button below.
The Mutende Project from Red Café on Vimeo.
A film illustrating the work at the Mutende Project, Zambia, for schools.
A Rough Guide to Mutende
or how to find peace! Mutende is the Bemba word for peace.
Its really helpful when planning your trip to contact the Project Co-ordinators c/o the Resound Church office in Bristol to make sure its a covenient time and the Village will be able to make full use of your skills and abilities.
Contact the Mutende Project Co-ordinator by Email: Project Co-ordinator
Contact Tel No. +44(0)1173050969
Contact Address: Resound Church, Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield, Bristol BS16 9BP
Giving: If you think you would like to give into the situation please consider contacting the UK based Project Co-ordinator as there are very often specific projects requiring input of different kinds, including, but not necessarily exclusively, financial help.
Marian Uttley writes with a personal view (Updated 2015)
Decide when to go. The wet season is between November and March so the rest of the year is almost completely dry. It is hottest in January and coolest in July.
As soon as you have decided on your dates, book your flight, it is cheaper the earlier you book it. Research the internet for the cheapest tickets.
You will be looking for a flight to Lusaka – the capitol of Zambia – and a reasonable price for a return direct flight cost us £740 with British Airways. The same ticket could cost well over £1000 if bought up to 6 weeks later. It is possible to get cheaper tickets at different times of the year (we went in August) and by different routes so do your research early and then buy your ticket as soon as you find a good flight. Flights can be as low as about £480. The flight time is about 10 hours and Zambia is 1 hour ahead of the UK. You could also consider flying into Johannesburg and then getting a connecting flight to Lusaka or Ndola. Ndola is 2 hours by road from Chingola and Lusaka is 6 hours.
Anyone who has been to Zambia would highly recommend that you build in a couple of days to go to the amazing Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls are 300 miles south of Lusaka – 6 hours by road – at Livingstone.
Mutende – the orphanage is 3 miles from Chingola in a suburb called Lulamba. Chingola is 250 miles north of Lusaka in the copper-belt region. There is good coach from Lusaka which takes 8 hours and costs about £5. A 12 hour taxi for 4 from Chingola to Victoria Falls costs about £180 to enable a one day journey in 2003.
You will need a visa which can be bought on arrival into Zambia at the airport. It costs 50 US$ and needs to be paid in cash. If you intend visiting other countries other visa conditions will apply for that country and you should satisfy yourself on what these are before leaving the UK.
You also need to pay 20 US$ to leave by a Zambian airport.
Get a copy of the Resound Health and Safety policy and complete the travelling abroad form and send it with a photocopy of your passport and travel insurance to the Resound Church office.
Talk to your doctor about vaccinations as early as you can. Some doctors have long waiting lists and if you have to pay for injections it can cost up to £320. Your doctor may waive the charges on some of these if you explain that you are doing charity work.
For this trip you will need:-
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningitis A + C
- Yellow Fever and
- Malaria tablets (your doctor will advise you on the choice available and they will cost between £22 – £57 + prescription charges).
The vaccinations take about 3-4 weeks in weekly doses.
The currency of Zambia is Kwacha and in 2012 the exchange rate was 8,000 to the british pound. We tried all ways of changing money and a bankers card into a cash point was the easiest way, with a maximum per day of about £90. So change about £100 maximum until you find a cash machine. There are cash machines in all big towns – Chingola has one in the main street. The Banks in Chingola charge up to 20$ to change a maximum of $200 into Kwacha. If you have to use them the Standard Chartered is the better bet.
A fast food meal will cost about £2. A hot pie 50p. Bottled drinks 50p. Supermarket food is very western. The meat and chicken is very good. Vegetables cost pennies and fruit is rare. More expensive items are chocolate, coffee, sliced bread but they are still cheaper than they are here.
Banks are open 10 – 2 but closed both Saturday and Sunday. Supermarkets are open 8 – 8 closed Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Heavy showers from November to March. Pleasantly hot in April to Aug with cooler nights in June and July and then very hot in October. We went in August and the sun shone all the time. It rose at 6am and set at 6pm. The mornings were clear and warm rising to hot between 12 and 4. I never needed a cardigan in the evenings but the nights were cool enough for sleeping. I am told it was the same in April but you need a cardigan for evenings in May to July. We did not get sunburnt, despite not wearing sun lotion after the first few days, but then we were not sunbathing and were in the shade for the hottest part of the day. Take factor 20 upwards if you have a sensitive skin.
…carry Malaria – a killer in this area so take good precautions. Take your malaria tablets as directed. Take strong mosquito spray and use it mornings and evenings. Sleep under a mosquito net – you can get them in Zambia cheaply. A ‘plug in’ is also a wise precaution – Boots do a liquid plug in for about £7 which we put on every night in the bedroom and it lasted us over 3 weeks.
Take a smart well covering outfit for church where everyone wears their best clothes. Men usually wear a jacket & tie for Sunday meetings. The rest of the time we wore shorts and tee-shirts with something longer for Lusaka and visiting. Even vest tops were OK for working at Mutende where they are used to western dress.
You will need a thin waterproof for visiting the Victoria Falls if only to protect cameras. You can hire waterproof containers for valuables at the Falls, or even waterproofs for yourself, but that is missing out on the experience! Even with waterproofs it is likely though that if you walk the main path you will get very wet.
Houses range from bungalows to circular reed roofed huts. Mostly people live in small bungalows with small rooms and large extended families. Consequently it is very hard for the locals to accommodate us even though they would want to.
There are a few guest houses in Chingola – a good one is Rosewood- B+B $40 – 45 a night. Contact them or others through the local and very helpful Travel agent – Voyagers – contact Kerry Macfarlane at email@example.com Tel 0026 311642 / 312195 / 311722. Address Voyagers, PO Box 10107, Chingola, Zambia. The only hotel in Chingola is very western with a restaurant and swimming pool. The Protea Hotel costs $90 – 110 for B+B per room. Special rates are available at some times during the year so check their website.
To get to the orphanage there are buses (under a £1) and taxis – 10,000 kwacha (£1.20). The last 2 miles of the road to Lulamba is made of grit and potholed so some taxi’s don’t like going down it – so check first. Any trips you want to do can be arranged when you get there at Voyagers and you will generally pay local rates for them, which are much cheaper than tourist rates. Victoria Falls is a must and safaris are very good. A good website to help you consider what you might want to do is www.zambiatourism.com.
Take with you:-
- Clothes – for church meetings, some clothes that you would be happy to leave, nothing you would not be happy to wash in brownish water.
- Clorin – water purification tablets, or use boiled water.
- Insect repellent
- One roll of toilet paper – you can buy it in supermarkets there.
- Sunscreen, sunglasses and hat.
- Hand cleansing gel from Boots, for when you can’t wash your hands.
- Wet wipes.
- Rehydration tablets
- A syringe pack
- Simple first aid supplies
- All prescription medication you need.
- Money pouch
- Camera, film and batteries.
- Travel diary, pens
- Buy gifts for the children and others in Zambia, they are cheaper and the money goes into the Zambian economy.
If you are planning to do some work out there then take the tools you think you will need out with you, as tools are very poor quality. Laptops and electric drills will work as their electrical supply is the same 240V as ours. Ask the person who went out most recently what needs to be done, so that you can prepare.
In 2015 the orphanage has 4 buildings. 3 are occupied by children; Biete House, ABC House and Rachel James House. There is also the Fellowship House which is not occupied by children and may be available for you to stay in. Use the Contact details to find out more about this. There are also offices for the Manager and Deputy Manager on site.
There are between 24 and 30 children between the ages of 6 and 18.
They speak a mixture of Bemba, the local language, and English. They speak Bemba at the Orphanage and English at school and in church. They are a family and grow stronger and more confident by the day. They are very loving and accept you easily. Be loving in return and be aware to treat all as equally as possible to stop jealousy.
The people are extremely friendly and we did not feel at all threatened whilst we were there. Don’t let that stop you from taking sensible precautions though – it is dark in the evenings and white visitors cause a great deal of interest and are known to be far wealthier than they are, so don’t walk alone or openly carry large amounts of money. We had nothing stolen from us, but take sensible precautions.
Most Zambians speak English and are very keen to talk to us. The women are quieter and our confident, open young woman can be seen as forward and are of great interest to their young men. Be respectful so that our western openness is not seen as disrespectful or flirty.
The Christian community is very religious. They are very dependant on God in every aspect of their daily lives and have a lot of fellowship and worship in their social lives. Christian songs are played everywhere.
Zambians discuss their feelings much more than we do. They also see us as being fabulously wealthy, which in comparison to them, we are. Many have a strong desire to study and break out of their poverty and you may well be asked openly to help with this and other areas of financial need in their lives. You will find it hard not to agree when asked by those in such need – but remember that if you send money when you return you will be able to gift aid it and therefore it will be more valuable. You will also get time to think about and discuss with others how best to support them.
Get used to ‘Zambian time’. People will meet you anything up to an hour or more after they said they would. You realise how dependant on our watches and being in control we have become and you need to drop this and the need to ‘get things done’. Life runs at a slower pace and time is not as important as it is here. “You have watches, we have time”
Zambians follow a 24 hour clock saying “15 hours” for 3 o clock in the afternoon.
Aids and Poverty
There are many funerals. People die from Aids, Malaria and poverty. The generation between 17 and 30 is dying, leaving children for their extended families to support orphans and street children. We didn’t take any special precautions at the orphanage despite the fact that we don’t know which children, if any are HIV positive. Just be aware of blood and open wounds. Local syringes and sex are the real dangers.
In Chingola the copper mines are closing and there is very little other employment. People are trying to start farming – the land is fertile and there are streams. Irrigation and fertilizers and buying seed are the challenges.
The church is part of the Fire Baptised Church. There is a building on the northern side of Chingola at Nchanga and one in Lulamba. Bishop Johnny is the leader of these churches. Church is joyful, emotional, deeply devoted to God. The preaching is long but very easy to follow, given in English and Bemba. There is a collection – how much you give will depend on how long you are staying and your personal situation. Do it prayerfully – 20 – 50 Kwacha (about £2 – £5) is a good offering.
A thick porridge of maize flour called Nshima is the staple diet. It is virtually tasteless and looks like mashed potatoes. It is served with most meals with the addition of a few vegetables (mostly cabbage) and some meat or fish – called relish, which is usually very tasty. Food is eaten with the fingers, taking some Nshima, working it into a ball and dipping it into the relish before putting whole into the mouth. A thinner version of Nshima is eaten for breakfast with the addition of more water and a little milk and sugar.
You will also be offered Kapenta (a very small whole fried fish), sweet potatoes and potatoes (called Irish potatoes), rice, onions and tomato, chicken and chips.
There is the inevitable coke, squash and coffee to drink in addition to water. Alcohol is available, frowned on by the church for obvious reasons and expensive.
There are fast food and local restaurants. Supermarkets sell a very good range of western and local food, and there are markets and street sellers. Take your lunch with you when you go to the orphanage – there will be no spare food.
A fast food meal will cost the equivalent in Kwacha of about £2. A hot pie about 50 pence. Bottled drinks also about 50p. Supermarket food is very western. The meat and particularly chicken is good. Vegetables cost just pennies but fruit is rare. More expensive items are chocolate, coffee and sliced bread but are still cheaper than in the UK.
Buying bottled water is a must.
Taxi’s and coaches are cheap. Cars can be hired at Lusaka airport – but at this point I have no idea of cost. You will need to check whether this is the case at other airports. Most main roads are good. Petrol costs are similar to ours. There are regular police checks on all main routes – they tend to wave westerners on, but always slow down and wait to be waved through.