For those who have a passion and a heart for mission work, there is a need to serve all over the globe. You can have a calling to your local community to serve and make disciples, but for you reading this post, the headline spoke to you differently. Have you felt a piece of your heart long to serve in Africa? With 54 countries, Africa is a beautiful continent, home to numerous different tribes, tongues, cultures and traditions, but she also has bone-chilling statistics in the area of mortality, healthcare and poverty. Many cannot ignore the need in Africa, but some answer the call that is placed in their hearts. If that is you, here are some ways that you can help if you feel called to Africa.
Being the second-largest country in the world by land mass and population, Africa has a little bit of everything. If you have felt a tug at your heart to donate to a cause in Africa or maybe one day go there, it is beneficial to do some research on the continent and learn about the amazing wonders and diverse people of Africa.
Educating yourself can be the first step in understanding why Africa has a place in your heart, and can expand your love for it. In the media, countries in Africa can get the short end of the stick and are shown collectively as an undeveloped continent lacking in basic supplies and quality of life. That is certainly not true for the continent as a whole, but unfortunately in some areas of the continent it is true.
Identifying where you want to help is another key step to narrowing down how you can help and make a difference in Africa. In some areas, access to food and clean water can be problematic. In other areas, lack of education and poverty can hinder a country from reaching its full potential and providing for its people. The two larger issues typically can go hand in hand in most countries.
Let’s take a closer look at the southern region of Africa, specifically Zambia. Currently, Zambia has one of the world’s youngest countries by median age, being just 17 years old. With over 17 million people, most living in the capital city Lusaka, the population continues to grow at a rate of about 2.8% due to the high fertility rate. If we take a closer look at the city of Lusaka, there are numerous communities that surround the city where the lower income population lives. In these communities, it is normal to see child-run households absent one or both parents, either because of death or constantly working, and children being forced to work to help out their family rather than getting an education. With the lack of education the quality of employment goes down, resulting in a cycle of poverty that is hard to escape.
At Family Legacy, we provide an opportunity for children to be able not only to have access to education but also to alleviate the burden on their families. Family Legacy owns and operates 24 private, Christian schools in 17 communities around Lusaka, Zambia, providing education where it’s needed most. A child attending one of these schools is provided one meal a day when they come to school, as well as being given a food blessing throughout the year to feed their family. Sponsoring a child at Family Legacy allows them to participate in the benefits listed above and so much more.
If you find your mind wanders to Africa (and as you have read this post it focuses on Zambia), and to your participation on how you can start to help, pray about it. It can be as simple as having a conversation with God on why Africa has been placed on your heart and what you can do. If you are involved with a charitable organization like Family Legacy that serves vulnerable and orphaned children in Zambia, pray specifically about events and things you’re involved in. If you attend a Food Packing event, you can pray for the food that will reach a child and nourish their body. A school supply packing event? Pray for the child that will receive the pens and papers, and pray for the teacher that will have them in their classroom. If you sponsor a child, lift them up in prayer specifically by name. God listens to your prayers and hears each one word for word, so you can make a difference by simply praying!