It is important to know that we were put on this Earth to serve something greater than our self – narrow interest. Therefore, when our focus becomes self-centered instead of God-centered then we are sure of losing our greatest source of power. The reason being that, our talents and gifts are meant to benefit others as a result impacting positively the lives of others.
The Other Side Foundation has taken this notion very seriously. The community it serves has come out to testify on how their lives have been impacted with the help TOSF has rendered, since inception.
From a large number of beneficiaries, we have just picked a few to sincerely allude on how TOSF has impacted their lives. During the interviews, comments from the beneficiaries in Nyanja has been translated into English
A single mother who has and is still benefiting from TOSF in a number of ways. Rainah had this to say,” I am a single mother with five (5) children who has received numerous help from this organization. This organization has seen three of my children into school for which I am very grateful. On my own I wouldn’t have managed because accessing quality education is very expensive in Zambia especially as a single mother, but TOSF did that for me. The Other Side Foundation saw it clearly that, in as much as they feed the children at school through their daily feeding program, the children will still need food once they are home after school. For me to put food on the table for my children, I was given a Seed Fund to start a small business which is running smoothly up to now. Through this business, I can proudly mention that we are able to have at least two meals a day and pay our rentals.
As if not enough it (TOSF) went on and gave my children a mattress because they were sleeping on a cold cemented floor in winter. Indeed this organization has changed lives of many vulnerable families into meaningful lives here in George Compound (Zambia). Had it not been for their help, where will I and my children be? Beggars going round to meet our daily needs? TOSF I am grateful because I now look forward to a bright future for my children and myself, especially with the training I am now doing in advanced tailoring and design which was so kindly sponsored by Spiritual Director Swami Devapriyanandaji of Ramakrishna Mission Vedanta Center, Lusaka. All I can say is ” mulungu adalise nchito zamanja yanu ndipo akuonjezereni masiku pa umoyo wanu onse”. Zikomo.( Nyanja).
Translation, may God bless the works of your hands and add many more years to your lives.
Is a grandmother of about 12 grandchildren who are all orphans. She has single handedly raised these children but God came in the form of TOSF and eased her burden. She therefore narrates her journey with TOSF as follows.
“Being a widow is not an easy thing and later ending up being a guardian to a big number of grandchildren who are orphans makes it even harder, narrates grandma Yusuf with tears in her eyes. It has not been easy but we thank God for TOSF. When I was enrolling my grandchildren TOSF school, I prayed to God that my grandchildren’s dreams come to pass. The Other Side Foundation has greatly helped me and I don’t have words to describe my gratitude, all I can say is mwami leza a baleleke bana ba leza aba alugwasho ndo ba tupa. (Tonga). ( May God bless these people of God for their endless support they render to us).
Eight (8)of my grandchildren have been sponsored in their education by TOSF, a mattress was given to them since I couldn’t afford one for them but the most touching thing on how they have helped me is to raise my grandson X, (name withheld for confidentiality purposes) who has been on (ART) Antiretroviral Theraphy since he was a child. He was born HIV positive. This boy would have died if it wasn’t for TOSF. Boy X did his primary education at TOSF school and later on put on a their busary program until he completed his senior level of education. Noo Bantu ba leza kamundigwazya kulumba ba angelo aba a milimo yabo isetekene. (Tonga another Zambian dialect). (People of God help me thank these angels in form of humans for their great work). The Other Side Foundation fed me when I was hungry with my grandchildren in the time of COVID-19 . How woukd I have survived in my old age with such a big number of grandchildren? Ndalumba kapati( thank you very much).
“Who said angels do not exist in the form of humans”. These were words from this old woman trying to thank TOSF for it’s support.
I lost all my 12 children to AIDS. Each one left children and all my grandchildren were left under my care. I cried day and night, not for my late children but for the challenge they left me with. Life was hard for me looking after these children until that time when TOSF came to my rescue. Ndona nimuntu ngako, elo futi mulungu azimudalisa masiku onse. ( Chewa). ( The lady in question is a very good person, may God richly bless her). TOSF has given me hope to live because they have taken my burdens and made them theirs. What help have I not received from them? If there is any then I will be lying. As the saying goes, “when you give, you are not just changing one life, you are changing generations”. The Other Side Foundation has changed generations, our grandchildren will live an improved life than the one I had to pass through with them. Challenges may be there but not the way they used to be before TOSF came into our lives. My life is filled with joy and I am very grateful for the education my grandchildren are receiving from TOSF school, the start-up capital I was given to start a business, the matress my grandchildren received, clothes and food ration just to mention a few. Zuba ikomiwalikilani masiku onse ndipo nikufunilani mafuno abwino. ( Let the sun shine upon you always (blessings) and I wish you well).
“Being the only surviving son in the family of 12 makes you feel like asking the ground to open up and swallow you”, these were words coming from Mr Mwaka, the uncle to Namatama who is a student at our school. Mr Mwaka who decided to come to Lusaka in search for greener pastures has this to say.
I came to Lusaka from the western province of Zambia in 2015, after too much hardship in the village. Being a father of 5 children and 3 other dependants, with no formal job had made life very hard for me especially here in Lusaka. It hasn’t been easy but by God’s grace, we are surviving. I stayed jobless for almost 4 years until this year when I was offered a job of a care-taker of an unfinished warehouse by a Chinese businessman. Since we could not rent a house due to limited resources, my employer offered one of the offices which is not yet operational as our house. We have been living there but still having difficulties with education for my children. I took some children to government schools and the other one to TOSF . The one at your school has made our life easier in that she feeds at school, her education is free and as a family we have benefited from the food rations we got from TOSF. All I can say is mulimu aisize musebenzi mwa makuwa boo, litumezi ahulu. (Lozi another Zambian dialect).
(God has really done mighty works through the directors of the school, the” bazungu”, thank you so much). Bazungu means white people.
Indeed, success is not measured by the amount of money one makes but the amount of lives you impact. Together we can change the lives of the underprivileged. The Bible says, “He who gives to the poor lends to God”. Shape your society by giving to the most vulnerable member of the community and God will bless you.
*ZAMBIA has 72 dialects and 7 official vernacular languages: Nyanja, Lozi, Tonga, Bemba. Luvale. Lunda and Kaonde.
Compiled, translated and written by teacher Sylvia Mweene