Link story: Somerton and Chibondo

"The Chibondo community is really humbled and thankful for the generosity help they have been offered by the Somerton parish of UK may the all mighty God bless all the people of Somerton parish who participated in this generous support to chibondo community." Fr Teddy, Chibondo parish, Luapula Diocese.

Somerton have helped Chibondo with a church refurbishment and helped the community with building a borehole so that they have access to water.

Update from Somerton link co-ordinators, Rowena and Chris

A group from the parish visited Chibondo in 2008, but with daily communication being difficult, regular contact fell away until late in 2019. Rowena Wallace, a stalwart throughout and Chris Burt found a new contact in  Fr Teddy Schinga and with the great asset of Whats App were able to establish regular contact, and discuss potential financial projects using funds already previously collected in Somerton, and lying untapped.

Soon we were involved in a modest project, costing around K12000 (there are around 23 Zambian Kwacha to the £), in a refurbishment plan for the Parish room attached to the church, and this initiative is virtually completed.

In February this year we were fortunate enough to be able to host Father Teddy at St Michaels, Somerton and had an informal session with him being introduced to the parish during a coffee morning, and then he preached at the Sunday morning service.

During this time, we were in discussion regarding an ambitious bore-hole project in Chibondo which would give fresh water to 130,000 people, meaning it was less likely to carry water-borne disease and would change and improve the daily routine of water carrying for many woman.

The project is near completion but held up temporarily because of local Covid-19 restrictions. 

Looking forward we would like to deepen our mutual involvement with the Chibondo community, both with educational and spiritual ideas, and these are being explored. Effective technical communication is probably the single greatest barrier to a broader integration from parish to parish.

Zoom and Teams may be the way forward.