Current Enrollment: 539
ZACHARIAH MBEWE IS ONE OF THE DEDICATED DISCIPLESHIP LEADERS AT BAULENI LCA.
In this role, he is on the spiritual development staff at the school that is responsible for counseling and mentoring the children.
Bauleni, population 65,000, is burdened with many of the struggles that afflict Lusaka’s slums – lack of jobs, tiny houses who sleep six to a room, a dearth of basic health care, rampant alcohol abuse, and unfettered sexual promiscuity.
That last issue has played a major role in Bauleni’s battle with HIV/AIDS, which has spared no one, including teenagers and children. In 2011, a counselor in Bauleni told an international reporter that he had witnessed an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old test HIV-positive.
The counselor told the journalist that the 11-year-old had been drinking with older kids and then engaging with whomever was available.
This is the world in which Zachariah, a father of three, finds himself. It is a world he knows all too well, and one that he desperately wants to spare his students.
“One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 14:12 that says, ‘There is a way that seems right in the eyes of man, but the end is destruction.’ That one has impacted my life so much. When I was growing up, I was influenced by my friends and became involved with so many of these same things – alcohol and sex. Sadly, many of my friends from growing up have died. Some died of AIDS, and some died from just drinking themselves to death.
THE UNITED NATIONS REPORTS THAT 170,000 ZAMBIAN CHILDREN HAVE HIV, THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES AIDS.
“By the grace of God, I never got in deeper. I tell the children my story. I say, ‘There is drugs, sex, alcohol.’ And I say, ‘When you’re involved with those things, you will enjoy them at that particular moment, but ultimately, it will lead to death.’ If we don’t teach them a new message of life and hope and future, then sadly, they will continue down the same path of destruction that their relatives have traveled before them.”