Palabana, Chongwe District, Zambia
Children in rural and underdeveloped communities are particularly vulnerable when left orphaned or if a parent becomes too ill to care for them. The Children’s Village in Palabana, Zambia takes these children in, providing a home, loving support and access to education.
The bicycle has made a huge difference for the students in the village. You see, the distance from school to home to the village, it is all very difficult. A bicycle helps make the distance not so bad.” – Barbara Lungu, Housemother, Palabana Children’s Village
Widowed and in her late sixties, Barbara Lungu is a housemother at Children’s Village in Palabana. Successfully raising her family of four children and six grandchildren, Barbara sought employment at Children’s Village after her husband had passed. Barbara finds her work very rewarding and uses her Buffalo Bicycle to visit the market, run errands and help care for the children. Barbara is on the move.
Mary is now full of life!” – Barbara Lungu
Mary Tembo came to Children’s Village in 2004 when she was just seven years old. Mary’s father had passed away and her mother, who is HIV positive, was no longer able to care for her. She had grown up in poverty and arrived malnourished, small, and withdrawn. She was struggling to see her future.
Mary turned 18 this past June, and Barbara is proud of the progress Mary has made since living at Children’s Village. Barbara believes it is essential to educate all girls to ensure they have a chance, just like Mary.
The girl-child is the mother of the nation, Barbara says.
Before receiving a bicycle, Mary would wake before the sun and walk an hour and a half to attend school five miles away. She would arrive tired and unable to concentrate. Attending class from 7:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Mary would often get home after dark and head straight to bed, too exhausted for homework or visiting with friends. Even on weekends, Mary remained tired from the weekly commute and failed to participate in Children’s Village activities.
Identified by her community as a student in need, Mary received a Buffalo Bicycle to help her get to school. With a bicycle, Mary is now vibrant and full of possibility. Mary is on the move.
Since the bicycle we’ve seen Mary’s face brightening, says Barbara. Now, she’s doing well in her school exams. She also likes to participate in activities, especially netball.
In Palabana, people with strong, reliable bicycles create positive change for their community. Your support for World Bicycle Relief provides the tools that empower students and enable whole communities to thrive. Palabana is just the beginning.