In life there comes a time when one feels things are coming to a halt and do not foresee any hope of things changing for the better. But many a time when one least expects it, an unseen hand reaches out and the most unanticipated happens. That has been the case of many downtrodden lives who have been touched and salvaged by The Other Side
Some of TOSFs’ beneficiaries share their amazing stories with us.
I often ponder over this. Where would I be today if The Other Side Foundation did not reach out for me?
Life is full of struggles and battles, but the struggle of life without having access to food and education is brutal and inhuman.
As a child, life was not easy for me. Mom and dad separated when I was still a baby. The separation of my parents caused me to start living with my aunt and life was unimaginable living with her. At the age of 8, I was physically abused, being forced to carry big buckets and containers of water and other heavy things. It was a house where mistakes were not tolerated, a simple mistake would land me in big trouble. I was constantly punished, mentally
and emotionally tortured and most of all physically beaten. This made me believe that the life of children who are treated like slaves will always be a battlefield, fighting to survive.
When I turned 10, I escaped to my grandmother’s house which was about 30 km on foot. Despite not knowing my whereabouts, my aunt never looked for me. Life was better living with my grandmother but feeding was a very big problem hence she used to send us in the streets to sell vegetables which we used to grow behind our house. We would eat once a day and sometimes go to sleep on an empty stomach.
It was in 2007 when my grandmother enrolled me in grade 4 at a community school. This community school was sponsored by some foreigners whom I did not know then. I never missed classes because we were provided with a meal (wheat grains) everyday during break time. As a child I was motivated to work hard to make sure that I come out first or second because of the awards which were given to most hardworking learners every term. It never crossed my mind that I would complete school one day but I was just attending classes because of the food and presents I used to get.
Two years later, when I was in grade 6, my class teacher recommended that I attempt the grade 7 examination and parents were requested to contribute k25.00 ( k25,000.00 old currency), which was about US$16 in 2009 . All hopes were gone knowing that my family would not manage to raise the money for my exams. At some point I had even stopped going to school because I had no reason for attending classes knowing that I was not going to sit for my primary school leaving examination. Two weeks later, my teacher came to our house to find out as to why I was not attending classes, I explained my situation to him and to my surprise I was told that my fees are being taken care off. I was very happy after receiving the good news and my teacher made me promise to never disappoint the people who paid my examination fees by making sure that I do my very best in any school related programs.
I scored second in class when grade 7 exam results were announced, I was happy but had no hope of going to grade 8
because of finances but my grandmother told me one thing, “God works in mysterious ways, do not worry He will make a way for you”. A week later we were called for a meeting at the community School, in that meeting the Head teacher announced that there was a couple from Singapore who has been sponsoring orphans and vulnerable children from my community school. Now I understood where my meals and presents at the community school and now the fees for Grade 8, was coming from. In 2008 we had a meeting at Chitanda government primary school with the donor couple Mr. and Mrs Champ. In that meeting I remember Mrs. Champ assuring parents to sponsor children who had qualified to junior secondary (grade 8). It was 100% sponsorship plus uniforms and my family only got me books and some shoes.
The Other Side Foundation which was founded by Mrs Champ and run by the couple, sponsored me right up to grade 12, GCE O levels. In 2009 TOSF had constructed its own school and stopped sponsoring other community schools. I decided to join TOSF School for OVC as a volunteer teacher. I was later employed as a trainee teacher in 2015 after volunteering for six months. Life became a bit easier for me and my family because I began to earn a salary and was able to provide for my grandmother, mother and other family members including my siblings.
In 2016 I decided to upgrade my studies and be qualified to serve the orphans and vulnerable children better. I enrolled
at Malcom Moffat College of Education to study Primary Education . Three years later I graduated with a Merit and now I am a Diploma holder in Primary Education. I am planning to get my Bachelors degree in Management & Education after my wedding in 2 weeks time. Yes July 11th 2020 is my big day.
About a year ago I was gravely ill, going into a coma. Mrs Champ made sure that all my medical bills were paid for and took care of my nutrition and interacted with the doctors to make sure that I got the right and best medical care. Like a mother would for her child.
I’ve worked at TOSF for five years now and having been trained as a value based teacher I have acquired a good moral foundation in life. Once or twice in a month I try and give back by giving our students a hair cut/shave. Almost all of our students cannot afford to go to the barber shop. It makes me feel good seeing a child happy. That has motivated most learners (boys) to report for classes everyday.
All thanks to Mr and Mrs Champ and all the donors for giving me the opportunity to see life from the other side, as the name of the foundation entails and also for giving me hope for a better future through the different ways that TOSF helps the underprivileged. May God richly bless you as you strive to change the lives of orphans and vulnerable children to become a generative force.
My name is Nimon Sikalinda, I Am 18 years old and l am the first born daughter with 5 siblings. I lost my father when I was 5 years old hence I grew up with my mother. Growing up with a single female parent is quite a challenge especially if she is not working or doing a reasonable business. All my mother could afford at that time was money for rentals and food not for our school fees. Being the first born in the family, I knew for sure that accessing education would be impossible looking at how my mother was struggling to just put food on the table. I therefore lost all hopes for education and my dream of becoming a doctor. I will be honest to mention that, before I came to the Other Side Foundation School, my life was hopeless and I couldn’t see the future. Life started unveiling bit by bit the moment TOSF through Mr and Mrs Champ stepped into my life. It was in 2011 when my mother got wind of TOSF and she went to register my name, by the grace of God I qualified and I was picked. Since then, my life has changed drastically.
I was at the Other Side Foundation School from grade 5 until grade 7. It was a wonderful experience being at this
school due to the love, care, food, Christmas party and birthday celebration for Mrs Champ sponsored by herself for us to enjoy. Not forgetting to mention very caring value based teachers at TOSF who impart knowledge with lots of compassion for us. TOSF became my second home, the birthday and Christmas parties brought a lot of joy to us since our parents couldn’t manage to make those parties hence we used to feel very special and loved.
When I wrote my primary school examination and I made it to grade 8 at Kasamba primary school under TOSF sponsorship. I went on further and wrote my grade 9 examination which took me through to grade 10. I did my senior secondary School at New Matero which is a government school.
I am here to thank Mr and Mrs Champ and all the donors for giving me a chance to release my dream through TOSF sponsorship. I am who I am today because of you sir and madam. I am very grateful for laying a foundation in my life. You have transformed me from a low knowledgeable girl to a high knowledgeable girl. My prayer is that, the same way Mr and Mrs Champ came to my help to complete my education, God will also make a way for me to become a medical doctor which has been my dream.
Once again I and my brother( Erick Sikalinda Grade 9) who is also receiving help from TOSF are very grateful and our prayer is that God should richly bless our directors for the good work they are rendering to the underprivileged children of our society.
Dalitso Felix Mumba is my name, I came to the Other Side Foundation School in September, 2009, it was the third term of the Zambian school calendar.
Before then, I was at Desai Basic School where I started my Grade 1 until the fourth grade(4). When TOSF first opened its doors to orphans and vulnerable children like myself, I was one of the first beneficiaries going to Grade 4 although it was already third term. My mother had to provide proof that we hardly could make ends meet and have difficulty paying for books and uniform and other requirements at the Zambian government school. All family and financial background of applicants are thoroughly checked before getting a place in TOSF school which provides free education, food and medical care.
Being at the Other Side Foundation School has really made my life better and it is for this reason that even today l am able to dream big of my future. I would like to confess that coming here was not easy, looking at our African cultural background, as some were saying that the school was for “satanists” because there is no way it can offer a free education and feeding program for free as well. “If you enroll at this school, you will be sacrificed for them to get rich, it is all lie that they are here to help.” These were false stories from our community. I thank God that my mother was not shaken by these stories even though other parents withdrew and here l am today. Well, students whose parents withdrew, are now suffering in the community today due to the misconception that went around the community.
I continued my education at TOSF until grade 7 then I qualified for the TOSF Bursary program which sponsored me to grade 8 at the government school. The Other Side Foundation School continued to sponsor me until grade 12, GCE O levels certificate.
Upon completion of my grade 12, l applied at Professional Career Solutions ( PROCS) to study Accountancy. There I have been given fifty percent scholarship on my tuition fees which I believe the percentage will only be going upwards not downwards as stipulated in the scholarship contract, which I will be starting probably next month, uncertain because of covid 19 restrictions.
Whilst at TOSF, I learned with passion, passion to build my better tomorrow which I believe that I will lead with compassion, compassion to better the lives of the people especially the vulnerable children of my community like I was helped by the TOSF school.
Today, I AM here to thank the Other Side Foundation School through Mr and Mrs Champ for the help they rendered to me. The Foundation and God himself has really made it possible for me to dream again through your Noble call from the almighty God. Without the feeding program at school, my studies were going to be affected and I was not going to be where l am today. All thanks to Mrs Champ and her loving husband that we have been educated, rescued from poverty in our community, for we now have power through knowledge to change the world we live in. As some say, “the sky is the limit” but in my case, I always say, ” as long as you don’t find heaven, there is no limit” and this can only be achieved through learning at a values based school like TOSF. This is so because today we have not only academic education but also good moral values that is taught in the only community school in Lusaka. This has shaped my character as a person and as a citizen.
I also extend my sincere gratitude to all the sponsors and the teachers who are not only friendly but also very equipped with the background knowledge of the homes we come from. Once again, l am very grateful to be one of the recipients who had the privilege to be sponsored by The Other Side Foundation School. Your help has already started yielding results. I AM proud to be one of the first beneficiaries of TOSF.
Am Simon Mbewe, both my parents died when I was less than 5yrs old. I started my Grade 1 in 2005 without any idea how I would be advancing to secondary level due to lack of finances. In 2010,when I was in Grade 6, The Other Side Foundation School was opened. My grandmother and I went to apply and by God’s grace, I was picked and in 2011, I wrote my Grade 7 exams and I made it to Grade 8. TOSF sponsored me to Grade 8.
With much discipline and persistence in my studies, I finished my Grade 12 in 2016 under the sponsorship of TOSF. Due to lack of funds for tertiary education, I started working as an MTN agent in 2017 and in 2019 I went to Chipata College of Nursing And Midwifery to pursue my career. Am now a 2nd year student of Public Health, thanks to TOSF.
Now if I was not given a chance to be a student at TOSF, if I was not given a chance to have a bursary from TOSF then I wouldn’t be where I am today, I wouldn’t have even completed my grade 12 because I would be stuck at grade 8 due to lack of finances. I would still be looking for school fees to advance to grade 8 despite having good results.
Therefore, when I finish my course, I will join the TOSF team in supporting the vulnerable families because I have been there and I know how it is to be in a position where there seems to be no hope. The reason why I will join the TOSF team in their work is just my way of showing gratitude for what they have done to me, how they have helped me to be where I am today. Thanks TOSF and all the donors, may God continue to richly bless you.
My name is Dorothy Mwanza. I am the Deputy Head Teacher at The Other Side Foundation School for Orphans and Vulnerable Children. I want to narrate a story on how I and my family have benefited from TOSF. I have been raised from grass to grace, low self esteem person to a confident person, hopeless person to one who gives hope to the hopeless. These are only a few words I can use to describe my beautiful journey with TOSF.
My father died when I was 13 years old, three years later my mum died too. The death of both my parents brought extreme suffering for me and my three siblings. Being the eldest child, this was a challenge because I had to quit school for a year due to lack of sponsorship and life was very tough for me especially being a girl child. Hence, I resorted to work as a maid.
One fateful day when I was coming back from work as a maid, I met a man who said he was my uncle, he said he knew me because of resemblance with my late mum he saw in me, but I never met him when my parents were alive. He took me with him to the Eastern part of Zambia after I narrated my story to him but unfortunately he died before I was enrolled back in school ( Grade 10). As it is said that “ where there is a will there’s a way” by the grace of God I managed to complete my senior secondary Grade 12 through the help of some church members. And additionally in 2010 was certified in Early Childhood education.
In 2014 January, TOSF came to my rescue. When I started working as an early childhood
teacher, six months later I was promoted to being the first ever senior teacher of the school. Thus, Mrs Champ recommended me for a TOSF sponsorship to pursue my teaching diploma in Primary School Education at Malcom Moffat College of Education in 2015 where I graduated in 2017. Not only did I receive a 80% sponsorship fully paid for by TOSF but
I have also been exposed to different people and activities, exposure to world affairs because I work for a foreign NGO and Mrs Champ shares a lot, advises and mentors us. In fact we communicate with Mrs Champ practically daily through whatsapp. All of which have given me back hope and my self esteem again. In 2015, my life took a 360 degree positive turn after going through a life transforming workshop in Education in Human Values(EHV). These values have helped me to grow and develop, create the purposeful future I have always wanted in my life. These five universal values Truth, Peace, Love, Right Conduct and Non-Violence have given me a solid foundation.
Apart from the Education in Human Values workshops, I have had the privilege of mingling with influential men and women in society through different platforms such as the rotary Club of Maluba, where I was briefly mentored by Mrs Rachel Ward who was the president of the club at that time in 2018. Phonics by Phone (PbP)training with visiting trainer from UK, Miss Sheena Campbell an education consultant of Campbell Education UK. Victor and Victors Master
Class which took us through in how to deal with cyber security. I also had a chance of attending a convention on the Rights of the Child as the world was celebrating 30 years of Children’s Rights which took place last year in November 2019. These are only a few beautiful things I can mention here but a lot has happened that beautified my life.
Today I am 34 years old and I have a daughter aged 10 who is in grade 6 at TOSF school. I am a proud mother because my daughter lives and practices the values she learns from EHV, she is even able to share these values with others. I also extend my gratitude to TOSF for empowering my family members. I am sponsoring my younger sister who is studying nursing with the help of TOSF which gives me interest free loans to pay for her course fees. TOSF takes gender equality issues seriously and believes in empowering girls. If it was not for TOSF where would I and my family be? My life and family are being respected and we live a meaningful life, all thanks to TOSF and its directors and all the kind donors for believing and trusting in me when I could not trust myself. I am deeply thankful for the help and making my life beautiful because this beauty has not ended with me but has been extended to my family and friends too. May the Lord Almighty continue to bless you.