Dear Family and Friends,
Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page for the Serenje Orphans Appeal ('SOA'), or also known as Zambian Orphans Appeal ('ZOA') which is a dedicated charity set up to support the Serenje Orphans Children's Home (SOCH) in Serenje, Zambia. Brian and Steph would like to raise funds for two critical projects needed by running the 2019 Rome Marathon! We also would like to extend an invitation to any of you reading this to JOIN US in the marathon in the eternal city, or share the news about this fundraising to other keen runners you know!
Firstly, a bit about the home - there are 25 kids who have lost either both parents, or who still have a parent or guardian, but are unable to take care of the children themselves. They live with Mr Kamandete Chuma, his wife and 2 children in the home, alongside 8 other adults who work at the orphanage. The SOA charity was set up by a former teacher of St. George's British International School in Rome who did volunteer teaching in Zambia. SOA/ZOA relies totally on fundraising efforts from the school. Steph Smyth is a parent of two kids attending St. Georges. Brian and Steph work together for one of the Rome-based UN agencies.
Secondly, some key info about Brian and Steph's fundraising effort. There are 2 critical needs for the kids - namely Solar Power and a Water Furrow. The situation is that although there is some electricity to the house, and hot water geysers are installed, they are too expensive to run and there are often cuts to the power. The kids need hot water to take showers in the morning when it's cold and after games in the afternoon, and hot water to wash dishes and clothes. In addition, the power provided by solar panels would mean they could have more adequate lighting, electricity to keep food fresh in the fridge (precious food is sometimes wasted due to power outages) and the ability to use the power to pump water from the borehole, reducing water bills. Having solar panels would mean permanent, un-billed power to the home. The budget for the Solar Power project is EUR 2,800 / AUD 4,400 / USD 3,195.
The second project is to build a Water Furrow. There is a stream located near SOCH which has been deviated from a river which runs from the local reservoir. This leads to a furrow which then feeds water to the fish pond, orchard and vegetable garden, which used to produce guavas, lemons, avocado, peaches, 'heavenly fruits', mangoes, oranges, green vegies, onions, tomatoes, carrots, beans and corn. Unfortunately, the water furrow has broken down. As a result, the fish pond, orchard and vegie garden have all dried up, which means there is little or no production of food, which means spending money to feed the kids instead of growing it themselves. When the pond and land is productive, the home is able to eat fully from their own garden, with about 20% left over to sell at the market to cover costs. The budget to build the Water Furrow is EUR 1,600 / AUD 2,515 / USD 1,825.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So, it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
And finally, a quick note on the running - it's our very first marathon, and the training is going well. Steph had a little setback in November with her hamstring but is on the mend, and Brian is feeling well even after a simple 20km run on the weekend. Every kilometre we run, we run for SOA and SOCH, and every dollar/euro raised goes directly to the charity. Again, please join us in the marathon if you can, or if not, any donation big or small is appreciated!
So wish us luck and a big THANK YOU! to our friends and family supporting our fundraising effort.
Stephanie Smyth and Brian Frederiksen, Rome ITALY
29 November 2018.