2024 Updates - Family Legacy Missions International

2024 Updates

2024 is a year steeped in prayers and petitions to God from everyone at Family Legacy. He continues to call us to serve the vulnerable children of Lusaka, Zambia, and His word commands us to do so with wisdom, faithfulness, and obedience. While we have an immense responsibility to care for these children well, we have a great God who is sovereign over them. By His word and Spirit, we are faithfully walking through big things this year. Some may feel new, but they all represent our unwavering mission to advance God’s kingdom by empowering the vulnerable children of Zambia.

Literacy Initiative

Literacy is absolutely essential to our students’ education and ability to succeed beyond school. If you came to Camp Life in 2023, you got to hear about our deep commitment to implementing a robust literacy program in our schools. Thanks to generous donations and commitments from ambassadors, we have been able to proceed with this initiative and see very encouraging results so far. Now that every Legacy Academy has a fully-stocked and organized library, we are working to expand our literacy staff to intervene with our most struggling students and help them work up to reading at their grade level.

Piloting Trades Curriculum

The Zambian Ministry of Education recently announced a curriculum change that will see a larger emphasis on learning trades in all Zambian schools. While this is a significant, positive change for the nation, Family Legacy has been ahead of the game. Our Academics department has already planned and begun a 2024 pilot program for trades curriculum at our Bauleni, Chainda, and Tree of Life Legacy Academies. Statistically, more of our students benefit long-term from skill-oriented trades learning, so we believe this program will give more of them a direct pathway to graduation by offering more subjects on the Zambian National Exams that play to their strengths. 

Another benefit that we hope to see from this pilot program is a shift in the mindset of our students and their families around the value of trades. Many students believe that the only worthy marker of success is graduating from a four-year university, and we hope to steer this mentality toward a healthy and dignified view of skilled trade work. Similar to the United States, trades jobs are in high demand in Zambia, so our students will not only be set up to complete their schooling on time, but also to be better equipped to enter the workforce when they leave Family Legacy.

Excel Beyond Foundation Year

For students whose sponsor can continue supporting after graduation, we have honed the Foundation Year into the ideal launchpad for our students into either higher education or the workforce. Starting in 2024, every student in the Foundation Year program will have the opportunity to earn a TEVETA Level 1 trade certificate and an Advanced Certificate in Business Management from Kopaline University. These improvements come in addition to our regularly scheduled professional skill seminars, ongoing discipleship, peer-led mentor groups, and access to Family Legacy’s counseling services. This effectively combines the benefits of the Foundation Year with our One Year Trades program, and will help our students receive employable trades training in less time, with an overall reduced cost to sponsors. Like with our trades pilot programs, we are eager to open doors for more career opportunities for our students.

Check out our Excel Beyond page to learn more about post-high school education at Family Legacy.

New Kalikiliki Campus

This year, we launched our new Legacy Academy in Kalikiliki. This campus of primarily temporary modular buildings (for now) will serve the students formerly attending our Ibex Hill and Secondary East locations. The three Family Legacy students who were tragically killed by a drunk driver in the fall of 2023 traveled by foot from these communities to their school, but the new Kalikiliki location offers a safer and generally more convenient walking route to school, avoiding major roads and vehicle traffic. This is a huge win and answer to prayer as we look to better serve our students while optimizing our facilities and infrastructure. 

Social Services Team & Tree of Life Restructuring

We are optimizing the structure of our social services team to enhance its efficiency and maximize the impact for our students. While this involves restructuring of key positions, this strategic decision is rooted in our dedication to be effective stewards of our resources while maintaining and even increasing the positive influence we have on the children’s lives. Our leadership invested a lot of time and prayerful consideration in this change, and we rest in knowing that, ultimately, the care for our students rests in the hands of our good and sovereign God. 

At the Tree of Life Children’s Village, our goal is to see kids live safe and healthy lives in their communities. While we have a serious responsibility to make sure this happens on the right terms, students’ safe and prompt return home is proven to benefit them most in the long term. 

In 2024, we will increase our focus on proactively reintegrating students whose homes have been evaluated and determined to be secure for the child to return to. Long-term stay in the Tree of Life can invite kids to form an unhealthy dependence on institutionalized care and disconnect them from their communities. However, rest assured that reintegration only happens after meeting stringent care and safety standards set by both Family Legacy and the Zambian Ministry of Social Welfare. If a home is not deemed safe by those standards, we will not return a child to it. 

Likewise, this will also mean that in the near-term, the total number of students residing at the Tree of Life will be lower than historical numbers, letting us consolidate which houses are actively used while freeing up others to be repurposed down the line. Our heart is to keep the Tree of Life as a temporary refuge, not a replacement for children’s God-given families and communities.

Camp Life Continuing to Rebuild

This summer, we will host our largest Camp Life group since 2019. Since the forced COVID hiatus and losing three of the villas used to house participants in 2022, our Short Term Missions team has worked tirelessly and creatively to run a smaller (yet still fun and meaningful) Camp Life. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for this summer, including seeing many of you back in Zambia.

One of the three villas that burned down in 2022 is nearly rebuilt and on track to host participants this summer. Though the reconstruction process can be intensive, the anticipation has only built up our excitement and eagerness to return to Lusaka. In addition, we will host our first Tree of Life week during week 6 of Camp Life 2024. This week will be a fun and enriching time for our Tree of Life students to play, worship, and be poured into by participants and staff. 

If you are interested in filling any of the final remaining spots in Camp Life 2024, click here to apply.

Community and Church Engagement 

Since the very first Camp Life in 2003, Family Legacy has counted on our annual mission trip experience as the mechanism to find sponsors for our students. In 2020 and 2021, when we could not host Camp Life, we felt it was still our duty to welcome vulnerable children into our program with the faith that God would help us find their sponsors. While Camp Life remains an integral part of our mission, we know there are other opportunities to invite other like-minded believers into our ministry. Many of them even live in our communities or go to our churches. This inspired a new focus for child advocacy in the form of Community Engagement. 

For the past year, our team has been engaging churches, faith groups, and Christian conferences around the country by inviting their participants to join in the journey of sponsorship. In the same way many of you have advocated for our children as ambassadors, our team is advocating for our unsponsored students, and the ministry as a whole, to invite others to join the support team of a child in need. 

If you have a church or group that you would like to connect with our Community Engagement team, you can do so at this link.

None of these efforts come from us alone, but through humble attention to the Spirit of God and the resources He entrusts to all of us to serve His children. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!