Students building a better world

Gift that changes everyone's lives

While we understand how much we impact the people of Chibobo, we also recognise the incredible gift we receive through their friendship.
By Mike Lampard, Teacher, Overnewton Anglican Community College

Overnewton Anglican Community College (OACC) has been associated with the Chibobo Orphange in Zambia for over 10 years. In conjunction with St Mary’s in Sunbury, the community has raised funds, sponsored children and completed projects on visits to Zambia every second year.

Chibobo is a community in northern remote Zambia. The Orphanage was set up by the Help Ministries Project and 63 orphans live in the centre. They are cared for by a dedicated group of staff who are aware of the fragility and vulnerability of young people in Africa today. Their vision is to provide not just a stable and healthy lifestyle but one that enriches the minds and hearts of the young people they care for; thus the emphasis on Christian values and education is paramount.

There have been some amazing highlights throughout our association over the last 10 years and one of the most significant achievements was the building of the Chibobo medical centre which services the whole area. Over the last few years OACC has been raising money to facilitate the building of a high school near the Orphanage. Students from prep to 12 and their families are well aware of this connection with the Orphanage.

Students from Senior School, in particular, are given the opportunity to visit Zambia every second year and go with a specific project in mind to complete. Last year seven current students, three ex-students, two parents and three staff went across to help with the painting of all the buildings in the Chibobo compound. Students came back inspired and enthusiastic about making our connection even stronger. They have now initiated the sponsorship of four children, one for each of the Senior School Houses, and look for ways of fundraising for the high school.

While we understand how much we impact the people of Chibobo, we also recognise the incredible gift we receive through their friendship. Here are some reflections of the students who went last year:

Tahni The people in the Chibobo Orphanage share a bond with each other like no other community I have ever seen before; the way they interact with each other, the way they speak to each other and just the way that each individual values their association with the community. Their respect and love of their caregivers, their friends, and also Overnewton Anglican Community College, gives off a great atmosphere and I felt grateful for being able to share this close connection with them. What I admired most was how every little thing was precious, not just what was theirs, but other people’s possessions as well.

Selin The children of Chibobo made the whole group look at life from their eyes, which they believe is a beautiful place. This was such a contrast to here in Australia where I see so many people who look at life and think that it is a burden on them. Meeting different orphans who have no parents and no money made me rethink my own life and it definitely made me appreciate it so much more. Before leaving Australia I thought that what I was doing would make such a big difference in the orphans’ eyes, but what I wasn’t aware of was how much they would change my life.