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Religious Youth Service

RYS Builds Schools and Education Environment for Orphans in Zambia

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Ndola, Zambia—This project was started with the support of the Zambian chapter of the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF), an RYS partner and with other international support. In 2000, a foundation was laid for a community school serving vulnerable children, mainly orphans in the Mackenzie community in Ndola, located in the northern part of Zambia. The main focus of this RYS project was to have the participants from the different nations and religions cooperate to further build the school, providing a reasonable learning environment for the orphans.

In the morning on August 10, 2005, the Mackenzie community and students prepared a welcoming program for the RYS. In the afternoon, participants of the service project began an orientation program, which included a walk throughout the community to understand the local situation better. During the following days the youth demonstrated high standards of cooperation as they worked diligently to finish building two classrooms of the school. The work involved plastering walls, installing windows, and painting the school building. A fence was also built around the school grounds. On Sundays, the RYS volunteers visited to local churches, HIV/AIDS homes and other orphanages in Zambia.

Participants built strong relationships with the community by visiting the residents’ homes and organizing various games for and with the children. They concluded their community activities with a sports and games competition, during which one hundred students were awarded prizes. One of these competitions was a drawing competition. Students were awarded notebooks, toys, clothes, and other school necessities. The Slovakian volunteers collected donations and purchased the prizes for the students. On the final day, the participants went sightseeing and in the evening shared in fellowship during an international culture night.

The project was especially successful in that the RYS participants were able to build good relationships with the people of the Mackenzie community of Zambia and they could see how wonderful the community school looked as a result of their labors. Plans are being made to continue with this project.

Participants: 40
Religions Represented: 4
Nations Represented: 9

Duration: August 10-17, 2005

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