Saturday, February 06, 2010

The People at My Door - Mpande

Mpande Syakabonze called from his village two weeks after the college term started. “I am desperate. I have no money to pay for school fees. My parents are telling me to give up. Can you help me?”

I knew Mpande well, because he has been at GBCC for two years. He is an excellent student with a winsome personality, spiritual depth, and a determination to get an education. I told Mpande to come, and I heard his full story when he arrived that afternoon. His parents are peasant farmers with seven children of their own and two orphans to raise. They cannot provide any help for Mpande. He managed to pay for his first two years of college by running a small business. In between school terms, he bought chickens in the villages and took them to town to sell at a profit. He would then use that money to buy goods in Lusaka and bring them back to sell in the villages.

He struggled along until last December. That’s when he took on a partner who agreed to sell his goods for him. The partner disappeared, leaving Mpande with no profits and nothing to sell. Still, he didn’t give up. He planted a maize field in hopes that it will produce a crop that he can sell for cash, but the harvest won’t be for another two months, and the money will not be enough. Mpande has only one more year to go to finish his education. I told him I would find him a sponsor. Zambia needs teachers like this guy.


Rackley Family Adventures said...

Hi Linda. Just wondering how much it is to sponsor a student or do you need one time donations to help as well?

David and Linda Gregersen said...

We can always use sponsors! It costs $140 per month for a first year college student, $130 for a grade 10 high schooler. Then second and third year college students need $125 per month and grade 11 and 12s need $115. And one-time donations are always welcome. Also, if anyone wants to do a partial sponsorship of $25 per month or more, I just assign two sponsors per student to come up with the full amount. Thanks for asking!