A Visit to Fountain of Hope

It was on Friday, 2nd January 2009 when I visited Fountain of Hope. This was during an activity organized for the Kucetekela students. Our visit to Fountain of Hope was to share ideas and opportunities. Fountain of Hope is a home for the vulnerable children in society. Some are orphans and others have just run away from homes due to abuse, poverty, and neglect and thus are following parental guidance as a result of this. The children found themselves on the streets. To bring back hope to kids like these, Fountain of Hope was built. It is located in Kamwala Township, a few kilometers away from Lusaka town center. Fountain of Hope was started with the help of the Americans and the European Union. The kids at Fountain of Hope perform different activities. They play sports, do art and maintain their surroundings. Basketball is considered to be a favourite sport because I could see it from the way the children played it and how they were trying to fight for the ball.

During the day at Fountain of Hope, we had various activities ranging from sports to art. The sport that we were supposed to participate in was basketball and soccer but only basketball was played. We also went to the library before playing basketball. Here we learned library rules and also did some games. The idea of these games was to sharpen our minds and to teach us a lesson that you always should be attentive when being told something. The library contains different sections of books that talk about different things. It has got rules that are supposed to be followed. One of the rules is when you get a book, after reading it you do not take it back but instead you put it in a basket. This is to avoid confusion of where you get the book from. The books, which are put in the basket, are later put in order by the librarians who take them back to the shelves.

It was during this time when we were in the library when I met a certain boy called John. He told me a little about his lifetime story. John found himself on streets as a result of lack of support from the family. He later, run away and thought of spending his lifetime on the streets. He told me that life on the street is not easy. You get bullied by the older children. You do not know whether you will eat or not and that it becomes more difficult during the rainy season because their temporary shelters are destroyed or filled with water. Worse more, they do not have anything to cover themselves with except the clothes they wore. He told me that it was a matter of knowing how you are going to survive on that day without knowing what is ahead or what tomorrow may bring. In spite all these hardships, John has changed and knows what he wants to be in life. From his story, I learnt that there is no big difference between him and I because we come from similar backgrounds and we are longing for the same thing and that is becoming a better person in life through what we choose and what we do. From there we went to the art room where saw different types of drawings which were made by the street children. We were also taught how to draw by them. I enjoyed this activity. I had never drawn before in my life and it was fun to be taught how to draw by another child who is almost the same age as you. We then went to play basketball but we lost the game to the children of Fountain of Hope.

We then went for lunch at Arabian Nights at Arcades. It is one of the best restaurants. After lunch we went to watch a movie. This movie was about a king’s son who escaped from Madagascar to Africa. The teaching of the movie was that you can always achieve what you want when you get your hopes up.

The activity I enjoyed best was being in the library because I learnt how to take care of my books and know the things that damage them like water, dirt and the rays from the sun. Not only that I also filled up with courage of knowing that if I believe in myself, I could go to university and make it to where I would like to be in life. I learnt that it could be possible for me to strive hard and achieve my dreams. I also learnt to appreciate myself as well as what other people do to me and also to know the ability that God has put in each one of us so that we can express ourselves and be bold enough to do what is to be done. It also enabled us to know how to associate with people you never met before like the children we found at Fountain of Hope and also knowing their interests. I also developed confidence in myself and also knowing that having confidence does not mean you become self-centered.

Some of the people who were involved in the activities were the three guests who talked to us about university life and also Mr. Vasco and Mr. Lungu.

The purpose of this activity was for us to know our other friends live and know that in spite of our different life stories, our values and morals are the same.

Edna Phiri