CRED Trustee Steve Bridgeman, and his wife Jane, talk about their sabattical which they are spending with Chisomo project, in Zambia
‘Hi! We are Jane and Steve Bridgeman, from Littlehampton in England. We have both taken sabbaticals from our work in education in the UK and are spending the year walking alongside Aaron and Josephine and the wonderful team of courageous, generous people at Chisomo.
We have already been moved by the extent of the issue of children living on the streets in Lusaka and impressed by the robust response Chisomo has to this situation. Constantly working with limited (often non-existent) financial resources, this organisation provides emergency help in the areas of health, food and hygiene. But more importantly, they offer a long-term way off the streets for any young person who wants to take it. They work with other NGO’s, local companies, churches, individuals and the Zambian government. They also proactively pursue strategies which tackle the causes of streetism – more of some of that another time.
We have loved getting to know some of the children, whether they are still living on the streets, attending the drop-in centre regularly or forging a new life at the shelter. From the heartbreak of watching a young girl go back to a night on the streets after being at the drop-in centre during the day to the emotion and pride of sharing in the graduation experience of those who have completed their education thanks to Chisomo, we are humbled by, and grateful for, this experience.’