Responding to COVID-19

Namwianga’s preventive measures aim to prevent outbreak

Cases of COVID-19 in Zambia are climbing steadily. Most of the outbreaks are concentrated in the capital city of Lusaka and areas in the northern part of the country. Kalomo District where Namwianga is located has been spared so far. No one associated with Namwianga has contracted the disease, and Namwianga leaders are doing everything possible to avoid any cases. Hand washing stations are set up outside each office and building. Mission staff members are prohibited from traveling to large cities. Masks are available, and social distancing is encouraged.

Namwianga Mission Hospital set up an outdoor triage area to screen all incoming patients. Hospital staff members have been trained extensively in COVID-19 response protocols. Dr. Stephen Chanda and a team from the hospital are disseminating information throughout the schools, college and community through meetings and media. Namwianga Christian Radio offers regular updates and informational programs about COVID-19 and prevention.

One of the Namwianga community’s first responses to the coronavirus threat was fervent prayer, reported Education Secretary John Simuuba. “Before the government required churches to stop meeting, churches gathered to pray for protection from COVID-19. Now the prayers continue as families and small groups meet privately in homes for worship and Bible study,” he said. Namwianga Christian Radio broadcasts sermons on Sunday, and listeners have responded with enthusiasm.

COVID-19 Affects School and College

The Ministry of Education in Zambia closed all schools and colleges on March 20, three weeks ahead of a scheduled four-week break between terms. Secondary school and college students at Namwianga Mission were provided assignments and resources to complete their Term 1 coursework at home.

Administrators and teachers at the secondary school and college immediately began making contingency plans for students to continue their educations. Zambian schools are not expected to reopen for all students in the near future, but the government has directed that some grades and some college years should begin on-site learning. Grades 9 and 12 returned to campus for Term 2 on June 1. Namwianga Secondary followed government guidelines in preparing for the opening to ensure the health and safety of all students. The college plans to open for students in their graduating year later in June and is making all appropriate preparations.

The secondary school and college are moving forward to continue educating the other grade levels and other college students by distance learning. Classes will be available in online formats. Coursework is printed out for students who live in remote rural areas without Internet access. The Mission has established set locations where students can pick up and drop off their coursework.

Some secondary students in remote areas have had a special kind of lesson delivery. Rajiv Siamweela, Assistant Sponsorship Coordinator at Namwianga Mission, used a motorbike to deliver Term 2 coursework, textbooks and World Bible School lessons to sponsored secondary students who live in remote rural areas without internet access. He met individually with each student to explain the requirements and to arrange for picking up the completed lessons.

Community Garden

As part of Zambia Mission Fund’s food relief efforts, a community garden was constructed at Zyangale Church of Christ in Zyangale village. Sixty raised beds are now ready to provide fresh vegetables to the entire community. Namwianga Mission Farm Manager Thomas Simubali led the Survival Garden Workshop at the village February 17-22, training and supervising representatives from 55 households. The participants learned how to construct raised beds and how to use manure “tea” as a top dressing organic fertilizer. They also learned the importance of crop rotation to maximize soil fertility and organic methods to reduce pests and disease.

The workshop involved participants in “learning by doing,” so everyone pitched in to prepare the garden. A bucket drip irrigation system is now installed so that even in times of limited rainfall the garden can thrive on water provided by a nearby borehole (well).

A second workshop at nearby Zyangale Christian Basic School trained the school’s pupils and teachers as they constructed a garden that will be used to feed students, teachers, and their families.

Mana comes to Zambia

Nutritional Supplements Aid in Food Relief Efforts

Namwianga Mission recently received a welcome boost to local food relief efforts. MANA, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending malnutrition, sent an entire shipment of nutritional supplements. The shipping container arrived on March 22, and workers unloaded 900 cases of Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF), a product designed to help children ages 6 months to 5 years who are malnourished.

Distribution of the 135,000 packets/meals will begin soon under the direction of Namwianga’s Food Relief Coordinator Wilson Siazilo. “We are so thankful the MANA container arrived,” said Ellie Hamby, Zambia Mission Fund board member. “It came at a good time because there are areas all around Namwianga that did not receive enough rain this season. There is going to be hunger for many more months."

MANA learned about the need in Zambia through student and faculty fundraising efforts at Harding Universitya. MANA offered to give supplements equal to twice the dollar amount of donations given, and they then provided free shipping.

Thank you, MANA, for helping to feed the hungry in Zambia! Find out more about MANA at

Hunger is Real in Zambia

A report on current food relief efforts

Zambia Mission Fund Board member Ellie Hamby is at Namwianga this week with the Harding University Physical Therapy group. She and the Harding students are witnessing the hunger crisis firsthand. Here is her report.

Hunger is real in Zambia. One day last week there were over 120 villagers who came to the Mission for food, and they were all hungry. They gather in the open area behind my house. More are coming every day.

The Harding University Physical Therapy group is here treating patients, but they saw the tremendous need of the people, so they took up a collection of over $2000. They were able to purchase 100 bags of mealie meal (ground corn.) They have been giving it out to the people, and the suffering they see is sometimes tough to take.

Please look at the pictures of people who came. You see, hunger does have a face, a name, and a story. Some of their stories are heartbreaking. Please pray for them and their families because when this mealie meal runs out, they will have no food.

Three to four days a week we continue loading the big truck with mealie meal and going to remote areas for distribution to the starving. We cannot feed everyone, but we can feed one person at a time.

Please pray for rain.

A Report from Drought-stricken Southern Zambia:

“The truth is that Zambia is starving.”


Food Relief Coordinator Wilson Siazilo sent this report of conditions in the Gwembe Valley in Zambia’s Southern Province:

Last weekend four of us went to Nyanga for the gospel meeting. We knew this is one place known for severe hunger. I was broken within myself to meet people living in such harsh conditions yet still holding on to Christ. Amen! Thirty-nine congregations assembled at Nyanga. About 1,100 people were in attendance.

During our time there, we visited with a number of people who spoke one thing: that they were starving to death. Their gardens were all dried up due to lack of water. I took several pictures of dead streams. No sign of water anywhere. We saw few cattle around. This is a bad sign because cattle are one source of income. Some women brought chicken for sale. Those chickens were paper-weight I mean just few bones bound together with threads of muscles.

Most of the streams that normally around September would still have pools of water are so dried that you cannot think they ever had water in them. In spite of failure by our government to declare Zambia as hunger-stricken country for the world to come to our aid, the truth is that Zambia is starving.

God is good and gracious. In the middle of such tribulations 41 people heard the word and were pierced in their hearts and accepted Christ as their personal savior through baptism. Seventy-five were restored back into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. Great work is really going on there.

On our way back to Kalomo, we found people selling wild fruits. We stopped by to buy some of those fruits, not that we cherish them but that we help out a little. I wish my voice would be heard to the world to help out the situation because what I saw is just in a matter of time, lives will be lost to starvation.

Find out more about food relief HERE and water wells HERE.