Chingola Orphanage and Aged Center (CORAC)
Name of Partnership: Chingola Orphanage and Aged Center (CORAC)
Type of partnership: Helping the Poor
Project Overview: The purpose of CORAC is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ through the practical care of vulnerable and marginalized people, orphans, widows and those with disabilities and HIV / AIDS.
In 2001 Titus Mambwe attended a conference in Zambia sponsored by Bright Hope World titled, “The Church Cares.” There they grappled with how churches in Africa could engage with the poor, especially those infected with and affected by HIV / AIDS. Titus was deeply challenged and went back to his home city to see what he could do. After a period of time he found himself involved in church leadership and youth work. Leaders from his church and another in the Chiwempala community got together and formed an NGO called Chingola Orphanage and Aged Centre (CORAC) and registered it with the Zambian Government. By early 2008, after a significant amount of research, prayer and planning had been done, the work was launched.
The beneficiaries are numerous but clearly identified:
Children who are at risk without guardians and who are too poor to attend school
Those living with HIV / AIDS and other related illnesses like TB, STIs, etc.
The aged who are often struggling to care for grandchildren
The disabled who have few resources to assist them
Affected youth to encourage them not to become sexually active
A strong team of people from a number of churches has been brought together into a leadership team to head this project. It is holistic in nature in terms of educational, spiritual, and providing opportunities for earning a small wage through agricultural work.
Currently they have registered the 35 most needy children and identified at least 180 others in the community who need help. Many of these children are going to school but are under constant threat of being removed for lack of payment of fees and lack of uniform. One of the main functions of their team is to advocate on behalf of the students for them to be allowed to stay in school.
They are developing farming training and micro-loan programs to empower families. On the 9 hectare farm the organization owns they have been training and then letting out the land so they can oversee and disciple people as they grow the crops. The micro-loan program is for farming inputs as well as small-scale business programs such as solar phone charging.
The farm also grows crops (maize, pumpkin leaves, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and cassava) for use in the feeding programs and produce for sale to help with the programs. A small house has been built on the farm to accommodate people for training and working, as the farm is 12km from town center.
Ethel is 24 years old and is completing grade 12 at school. She is mature beyond her years, struggling with her mother who she says does nothing. She was raised by her sister, who she painfully says has just recently passed away. “I loved my sister very much, she was my mum.” Ethel is now looking after her sister’s children – two sets of twins and a set of triplets – they all call her mum. Ethel looks after the 7 children of her sister and lives with her grandmother and an uncle. There are two other children living in the home as well, 12 in all.
She says she needs to be a good mother, like her sister was to her. To earn money, Ethel goes to Lusaka, four hours away, and buys clothes of the latest fashion, which she then brings back and sells in Chingola.
Grace, one of the twins, is seven years old. She is in grade two and while she says her favorite thing is learning at school, she also says she just wants it to finish so she can go and play! Grace is an active and sociable little girl. She says she likes to pray, and she likes playing football.
Rafiel is the other twin and has just started school. He likes to learn, even though he started school late. He loves football and also likes to play with toys, especially cars. He enjoys going to church.
“If it was not for CORAC I would have no help,” says Ethel. Although they have some land, they had no tools or understanding about how to grow food until the CORAC people helped. She is on the CORAC committee because it has been such a help to the family.
Leader Bio: Barnabus Mwelwa is the secretary of the organization. He helps run all aspects of the programs, and is constantly looking for new ways to help the people of the community. Titus Mambwe has been involved in Christian youth work for a number of years in Chingola.
Annual Budget: $7,200
Sponsoring Organization: Bright Hope World