Another LifeNets Orphan Project

Chilemo Orphans Club, Mufumbwe, Zambia    

Posted February 10. 2013

Would you like to help out the Chilemo Orphans Club? You will be guaranteed that all your support goes to help these Zambian/Angolan refugees. Organize a special event, fundraiser or drive to help us help them. Write to us at orphans@lifenets.org

LifeNets has adopted yet another worthy orphan project. What we consider "worthy" is this: The project needs to be already in progress and must show commitment of its organizers and supporters. It must show tangible positive results in helping its beneficiaries by being focused on service, sacrifice and love. When LifeNets sees an activity of this type with reliable organizers and managers who will communicate with us, we are desirous to help as we can now leverage a struggling activity that can be much more successful with our help. We have been evaluating the work of Joseph Kaputula in Mufumbwe, Zambia...in the western part of the country out towards Angola. We have found him to be the kind of person we want to work through because he has done an amazing job with the orphaned Zambian children in his area. Joseph Kapatula is a member of the United Church of God in Mufumbwe who unselfishly and with VERY LITTLE has been able to provide relief to orphaned chilren. Please read his own inspiring story at the bottom of this page.

I came across his work through our elder Derrick Pringle who lives with his wife Cherry in Kitwe, Zambia. They themselves have taken out supplies and food to the orphaned children on various occasions. Every time I visit the Pringles, they have more wonderful and inspiring stories to tell about Joseph Kaptula and his work. I asked Derrick to write a summary of his working with Joseph at the Chilemo Orphans Club in Mufumbwe:

Chilemo Orphans Club was registered with the Zambian government in 2012.

Mufumbwe

Red dot is the area of Mufumbwe

The Club is managed by a full administrative board consisting of chairperson, vice-chairperson, treasurer, secretary and members. The area where the Club operates is in Mufumbwe, located in the remote North/Western part of Zambia, some 200 kms from the Angola border.

The beginnings of the Club is an interesting and inspiring story. It originated  with the compassion of one man, Joseph Kaputula, in 1974.  He was distressed with the plight of the orphans and the aged in his area.  Although being a poor rural farmer, he established cassava (the roots are finely ground and  then cooked), and vegetable fields to feed, not only orphans but the aged as well. Joseph states, “I started experiencing a lot of challenges because most of the people were being directed to me for help." With more people coming for aid he increased the size of his fields to grow maize and collected money to not only feed but to market the produce to assist in clothes and school fees.  Joseph initially would house the orphans but as the numbers grew he started placing them under the care of other families in the district, still being responsible for their needs.  This was good strategy, as now the children could grow up in a homely atmosphere getting individual attention.

Joseph and sonJoseph Kapatula (left) and son

I first met Joseph in 2011 when he took me on a tour of the villages where orphans and the aged were placed.  I have lived all my life in Africa where poverty is so prevalent that one develops a sense of apathy.  I could not but be overwhelmed by the state of young and old alike.  Small children only clothed in torn, dirty shirts, an old blind lady covered with a thin, worn out blanket living in a hut with holes in the roof and just a general state of despair all round.  I noticed how the children loved Joseph and how he responded with kind words and a tender touch.

I contacted Mr Victor Kubik, Director of LifeNets, who took an immediate interest and donated $500.  My wife and I scrounged more cash and purchased blankets, soap, sugar, cooking oil, toothbrushes and paste, salt, exercise books and had some money over for school fees for some of the older children.  We could also pay for someone to repair the old lady’s roof!

These donations were well received and letters of appreciation came from the Committee and the Government District Aids department.  There is still much we can do and I look forward to be working closely with Joseph and the Committee in bringing some comfort and constructive aid to a people in dire need.

- Derrick Pringle


Derrick Pringle visited the area in May 2012 to deliver the following goods from himself and LifeNet valued at nearly $4000.

For farmers:

  • Seed
  • Farm chemicals
  • Ferilizer
  • Cash

May 2012 delivery of goods. Derrick Pringle, center shaking hands with Joseph. Simon on right.

For the orphanage:

  • Blankets
  • Groceries
  • Oil
  • Cash

On July 19, 2012 Derrick Pringle reported on his most recent visit to Mufumbwe:

SimeonSimeon

Whilst in Mufumbwe, I saw the gardens of Joseph and Simeon and was most impressed. The plant lines were neat and straight. Plants in were a type of Egg Plant, Cabbage, Rape, Onion and Tomato. Simeon is having difficulty in getting the water out of his well and I said that I would look into the cost of acquiring a hand pump. They actually need three but I think we can only manage the finance for one. I could not get to the other gardens which were too far away. I will try to send you photos.

My son Mack was impressed with the general attitude and work ethics of the Mufumbwe people that he has donated generously towards any operation that Manuel might have to undergo. On the 5th August everyone is going to Manuel to dig a new pit and put up a roof for his toilet.members paid tithe.

We discussed the orphanage with Joseph which appears to be well managed. He and the committee have registered the orphanage with the government called “Chilemo Orphans Club”. They used part of the money we gave them to buy grain bags, sold them making a good profit. The balance has been arranged in tabulated form on goods that are required for the children. I also have a very nice letter from a government body thanking us for our donations. I will also try to scan these from here if our server can manage it.

As always it has been a pleasure in being and working with these lovely people.


Joseph Kaputula, in His Own Words...

My name is Kaputula Joseph Chindumba, born 1953 in Kabompo District, Village Kashota, Chief Sikufele. Both parents are Lucazi by tribe. 
I grew up in a village in Kabompo District, always at peace with other local boys. From childhood I received much love and care from my parents. I also because sympathetic with my poor friends and the aged, always giving a helping hand especially to the very aged in the village at a tender age of ten. I helped my friends in so many ways and I shared with them the little that I had for those who were lacking clothes I gave them and for the old I used to fetch fire wood, water and at times sweeping their surroundings.

During those days I enjoyed accompanying my parents and obeyed whatever they asked me to do, hence I was considered to be honest besides that, my father gave me the responsibility of looking after cattle at the age of 14 years that is from 1967 to 1970. As stated above, I like children and also the aged because of their stories and experience, which make me feel happy and enjoy their company.

For the love I have for other people, in 1974 I thought of cultivating a cassava field just to help those in need in 1974. I bought nets to catch fish with the aim of selling them to help people. My ambition is always to help people. In 1975 I decided to put up a big garden of vegetables, tomatoes and maize etc. to sell and help the needy. I started experiencing  of lot of challenges because most of the people being directed to me for help. Therefore in 1971 I grew a lot of maize to sell and some were meant for the poor people, orphans and supplying to funeral places.

As time went on I became known by most of the people and was appointed a chairperson of beekeeper farmers and collected honey to sell and give to the poor. That was in 1978. Through hard work and help from other people, I started a business of selling groceries. My interest in helping others grew. Here is some of what I have done:

From 1980 to 1987 I looked after a man by the name of Kennedy Muwela until his death in 1987. I stayed with him for seven years and it cost me about 400,000 kwachas per year. (About 5000 kwachas to the US dollar)

During the same year, I helped a man by the name of Kafwa, when his son passed away.

In 1987 I helping a boy by the name of Kanyange who failed grade 7 twice. I discussed with him the importance of school and encouraged him to repeat and I assured him with sponsorship when he did so he was selected to go to Kabompo High School. I bought him everything that was required and paid boarding fees for two year, but failed his grade nine examination.

In 2000 I helped Mr. Lodisia Fredrick by buying him clothing, bedding. In 2002 I helped a man by the name of John who suffered a lot I gave him food and clothes.

Besides this information stated above, I helped Angolan and Burundi refugees. These people suffered a lot by moving on foot from Maheba to their countries. I offered my home as a place for them to rest.

I helped Angolan refugees from 1990 to 2003 with transport money, food and clothes. For the refugees from Burundi I built a house for them because they used to spending their nights at my home of which I could not even now who was directing them. I helped them in material form like food, clothes bedding and cash at times.

From this group those I helped greatly were two. One was a pupil I supported from grade 10-12 From grade 8 to 9 was being sponsored by the United Nations when they stopped helping him. I started helping him until he completed school.  He is a medical officer as of now in Lusaka. What I did for him cost me about 1,300,000 kwachas for his school.  The other one is a business man I helped with capital to start business amounting to 150,000 kwachas.

I n 1998 I started keeping two boys whose names ware Lufunda Zuji and Kayeye Zuji.  Their father died at an early age and I gave them full support of education, clothes, bedding and food. The total amount for these years is 3,700,000 kwachas to date.  For their education Kayeye started school earlier than the other. He was in grade one (G1) in 1999 and started paying the Parent Teacher Association. His expense of food and school fees is 3,748,000.

Lufunda Zuji started with pre-school in 2000 and he did it for one year. The combination total for both school expenses and food stuffs from the day he came in my house to date is 3,862,000 kwachas.

The following year in 1999 another girl child joined who came from Kabombo by the name of Ruth with both her parents dead. I started looking after her since her arrival. With other expenditures that are accountable like clothes and beddings the combination total amount for food stuff is 2,200,000 to date.

I am a God-fearing man since 1986.  Now I am a baptized member in the United Church of God, an International Association.

- Joseph Kaputula

5,999