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Visiting Shiloh Hands of Hope

May 31, 2022

Shiloh Hands of Hope work in over ten communities around the eastern Zambia town of Lundazi. Sam Walker, our Africa Region Coordinator, was finally able to visit Directors, Lackson and Fainess Chipeta, and their committed team again, the first time in-person since the pandemic began. During the last few years Links has embraced the online route for training, with Shiloh's Community Healthcare teams having both multiplied to new communities and grown in their knowledge of basic preventative healthcare topics. Encouragingly, Shiloh also did not let the lack of in-person connections with Links discourage them from continuing their MED loan schemes, inclusion awareness programme and relief work for vulnerable households.

Sam was able to review the online Community Healthcare training with a few communities, as well as offer some additional training in how the CHC teams can effectively use a resource aptly named, Where There is No Doctor. This book offers CHC teams a breadth of access to knowledge on common health conditions, practical steps for preventing disease and empowerment in their volunteer roles to point community members to the right healthcare services when they are needed.

The online CHC trainings have been a great success, Sam spoke to many community members who were able to demonstrate how to spot mild to severe respiratory disease in young children and what steps they can take to reduce the opportunities for pneumonia and Covid19 to spread within households and communities.

Shiloh's MED schemes continue to provide a hand-up out of poverty for many in and surrounding Lundazi. Fanny, pictured with Sam, has seen her business develop through the MED scheme from a surviving roadside grocery seller to now having a fixed shop location on a main junction that caters daily to school kids and workmen. She is comfortably able to send all her children to school and feed them two to three meals a day. Fanny is one of many MED borrowers changing their households' lives.

Another aspect of Sam's visit was to scope out Shiloh's capacity to set up a larger Income Generating Activity that will help the organisation become more self-reliant over the next few years. They explored different farming and seed processing ideas together, as the region is an agricultural hotspot for the nation. Shiloh is also very keen to include people with albinism in their larger IGA to be an example to others that vulnerable groups are able to work effectively and contribute to their society.

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