The following is an update from Pastor Eric Mwambelo, a WOW strategic partner at Kabwe Home Based Care (KHBC) in Kabwe, Zambia

He will say on that day, “I was naked but you clothed me.”

The situation in Shamabanse and Chibanga villages were very pathetic before WOW, Women for Orphans and Widows, supported the widows in these two communities. For the past few years, honor and dignity has been restored to the widows who were despised and stigmatized before. This is what they say, “Shame has been removed from them and they are no longer widows but ladies just like any other woman in their communities except they have lost their spouses.”

The widows in these two communities have been making quilts to be distributed to the orphans and some HIV and AIDS patients in their areas. The needy that slept on reed mats, carton boxes or on the floor will now have the joy of spending restful nights. WOW, Women for Orphans and Widows, has targeted poor communities where in most cases one blanket is shared by two or three people because they can not afford to buy beddings. Shamabanse is a water logged area and most of the homes do not have proper foundations making the floors dumpy in the rainy season and very cold in winter, so sleeping in these communities is hardship. As a result many people wish night never came.

Rosemary is a widow aged 48 years and a mother of two girls. She says ever since she lost her husband she has failed to buy descent beddings and so her two daughters use chitenge (i.e. wrappers) in the night as beddings and during the day she wears the same. Rosemary will be one of the beneficiaries when the quilts are distributed sometime in October by the WOW short term mission team.

The women involved in the tailoring projects from Shamabanse and Chibanga are appreciating WOW through KHBC for materials which were sent for making of quilts. They said ever since they started tailoring the program has really been a blessing to them and those who benefit from their projects. They added that their skills as been broadened because the materials that WOW sent (quilt patches decorated by donors in North America) needed a lot of skills to make good patterns. The quilts are looking good and people are admiring them and even offering to purchase them. Of course no sales will be made since the quilts were made to be given to orphans and vulnerable children.

 Please read the following comments made by the widows:

We have gained skill and experience – The women have now learned to make their own quilts which can be used to generate income for the group

We have discovered new uses for material – The women have learned that off cuts (pieces of cloth) are not wastes but can be used together in making quilts, bags and much more.

We have learned to work as a team – From the time the women started to work together, they feel attached to one another and meeting them you can sense the family spirit and in a way they are supportive groups as they have a common back ground of having lost their husbands.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Shamabanse and Chibanga and/or has decorated a quilt patch. Because of you these women walk with dignity knowing that their hands have created something beautiful that will also keep a desperate child warm at night. What joy there is in being able to give! Your help has enabled these women to give to the most needy of children in their communities. Thank you!