Northmead Assemblies of God church providing education to street kids,orphaned and vulnerable children
UNHCR Representative to Zambia, Ms Joyce Mends-Cole, last week presented a donation of six computers, mealie-meal and exercise books to the Northmead Assembly of God Church-run Lazarus Community School of Lusaka. Bishop Joshua Banda received the donation on behalf of the Lazarus Christian Community School and thanked the UNHCR for the educational initiatives aimed at getting the pupils acquainted with IT and modern literature in various subjects, catering across grades one to seven.
“The donation is a valuable contribution to the knowledge bank of our school that will help to raise and satisfy our pupils’ thirst for the finest books in their curriculum. As you may agree with me, reading is a major ingredient for educating young energetic intellectuals, whom our country direly needs now.,” Bishop Banda said.
Northmead Assembly of God Church has been involved in the education sector since the early 1970’s when they opened a Nursery School right at the church premises.The school expanded rapidly and was relocated to Katima mulilo road, where it is now operated as Son-shine Primary and Secondary school, with 800 pupils.
Bishop Banda said over the years, Northmead Assemblies of God got further involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and specifically with interventions towards rescuing street kids and other orphaned and vulnerable children.
‘We observed that not every body can afford medium to high fees for school, and therefore noted the need to provide more affordable education to needy children. Hence, the establishment of the Lazarus Christian community school in 2006 at our Lazarus Project Centre on Chipwenupwenu road in Makeni South, where we are now offering education to over 400 vulnerable children from the surrounding high density residential areas,’Bishop joshua Banda stated.
The Bishop also noted that the relationship between the church and refugees was initiated from time immemorial and has been nurtured from generation to generation and the work of the church has been inseparable from refugees in particular and the down trodden and vulnerable persons in general.
‘Our nation, Zambia has been a shining example in hosting refugees, whom we have lived with within our communities as brothers and sisters for many years now. In this connection, as a church, we will play our prophetic role by working with Government and UNHCR to ensure that the welfare of refugees is taken care of, especially in the search for durable solutions.’
‘The Bible tells us that our Lord Jesus Christ himself was a refugee in Egypt at a very critical time of History. He was accommodated in in that land until it was safe for him to return to his birth place.’Bishop Banda said
Bishop Banda said there are have many refugees who have lived in Zambia for over 30 years, especially Angolans. Most of these refugees cannot go back home because they now consider Zambia their home, either because they are married to Zambians or were born here and know no other country as their home.
“This could be an instance where perhaps, Leviticus 19:34 might apply when it says: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you (or an alien/ foreigner) as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself,”Bishop Banda said.
Bishop Banda noted that the Angolans will lose their refugee status at the end of June this year and appealed to Government to allow some of them to remain in Zambia and become residents and as they continue to contribute to our development.
On a wider scale, on behalf of the church and the Lazarus Christian Community school, I would like to highlight that we highly appreciate these educational initiatives of UNHCR aimed at getting our pupils acquainted with IT and modern literature in various subjects, catering across grades one to seven. Therefore, today’s donation is a valuable contribution to the knowledge bank of our school that will help to raise (and satisfy) our pupils’ thirst for the finest books in their curriculum. As you may agree with me, reading is a major ingredient for educating young energetic intellectuals, whom our country direly needs now.
Thank you, once again, again and let me assure you that this donation will be in reliable hands and will be used for the utmost benefit of our school.
Thank you and God bless you all!