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Home of Hope Foundation

Newsletter 1-2022

Dear Friends

Welcome to Home of Hope’s first ever newsletter! This is an experiment – so let us know what you like, what you don’t, and what else you’d like to hear about.

As many of you know, Home of Hope gives traumatized and abused children in Zambia a path off the streets. We offer each child a safe home, loving care, and therapeutic intervention in the short term, together with the chance to re-integrate with their families and continue their education over the longer term. 

There is no way to begin this inaugural newsletter, other than by saying “thank you” to each individual, family, church, and organization that supports Home of Hope’s work. More often than we would like to admit, we are not sure from one day to the next how we will meet our kids’ basic needs. Your gifts, large and small, mean we can continue to feed and clothe, educate and encourage the children in our care every day.

No matter where you live, we consider you part of the extended Home of Hope family. Like any family, this one experiences a mix of joy and heartache. We want to share some of those family stories with you here, starting with some heartache, and moving on to joy. 


From our many years of spending nights on the street of Lusaka, we know the streets are no place for a child. Multiple nights each week, members of our staff go to the street corners and parking lots where children gather and sleep. We know many of the children by name, and many of them know us and greet us with a hug or a fist bump.

Most of them hold a small plastic bottle containing a mixture of leaded gasoline and industrial glue in one hand. They lift the bottles to their mouths every minute or two, breathing in the fumes. This is the elixir so many street children in Zambia rely on to take away their hunger, keep them warm at night, and dull their fear. The high gives them a glassy, vacant look, affects their speech and depth perception. It kills brain cells and chips away at their sense of what is possible in life.


It is painful to see children in this state, and we rejoice when they agree to come with us to Home of Hope and make a fresh start. But from time to time, one of the Home of Hope kids will feel the tug of their old life, leave our care, and return to the streets, with its freedoms and promise of quick cash, despite its abundant perils.

Our chief heartache this year to date is that four of our boys could not resist that pull and returned to the streets – together, on the same day. These were boys we have come to know and love over the course of last few years. It is painful every time, and a test of our faith – even more so when they are boys who have been a part of our community for so long. 


As we turn to sharing our joy, Mathew's story feels like a good one to tell, as it will give you a sense of how Home of Hope is different from an orphanage.

Most of the boys in our care are not orphans – they have parents and/or en extended family. We go to extraordinary lengths to find and reunite those families when we can because we believe growing up in a family is better for a boy than growing up in even the most loving and best-run of institutions.

Mathew left home for the streets of Lusaka when he was 12. His parents often abused alcohol, and sometimes abused one another. He had two younger sisters with sickle cell anemia, which created additional emotional and financial stress for the family. Distracted by their own problems, Mathew's parents did not notice the impact all this chaos was having on their son, and were dismayed and angry when he ran away.

Mathew was initially dazzled by the freedom and easy money he found on the streets, but struggled with the realities of sleeping on pavement and gnawing hunger. He welcomed the chance to come to Home of Hope and go to school. But he was terrified by the prospect of facing his parents again, and lied to us about where he came from as almost all do.

Over time, as we gained his trust, Mathew became more open to the possibility of reconciliation with his family. Eventually he told us the truth about where he lived and helped us search for his parents, even as he continued to struggle with worry and depression about the prospect of facing them.

The timeline for family reunification is different for each child. With Mathew, we took it slow, moving at a pace he could tolerate. The first meeting with his parents was all of ten minutes, and Mathew didn’t say a word.


Over the course of many visits over weeks and months and years, as we got to know Mathew's parents, we helped them see their child with new eyes – not as a runaway and a bad kid, but as a wounded child who had been traumatized and needed their rescue. We helped Mathew to see his parents with new eyes as well – not as terrible people, but as regular people whose troubles sometimes overwhelmed them.

Rebuilding their relationship took time – in the end it was twenty visits over 5 years. Initially, the family visits were short and Home of Hope staff were present every moment. As time went on, Mathew became comfortable on his own with his family, first for an hour or two, then for days and whole weekends.

Ultimately, Mathew announced to us he was ready to rejoin his family – knowing that Home of Hope staff would remain in his corner and continue to cover the cost of his school fees and uniform.

Today, Mathew is in Grade 12. He has lived at home for three years now. Like most families, his is far from perfect. But now, they have practice facing their struggles and misunderstandings together.

Mathew is thriving, and at the very top of his class academically. He stays in touch with us over WhatsApp. We hear from his head teacher that he is a diligent student and reliable friend who was chosen by his teachers and classmates as the top prefect in the school.

Mathew is one of hundreds of children who could have been lost to a life of crime and addiction on the streets, but through Home of Hope has been reconciled to his family and has a bright future ahead of him. 


On the back of our gate at Home of Hope, we’ve painted a quote from Theodore Roosevelt that serves as a helpful reminder to all of us.


Home of Hope cannot save every child from the streets. At times, we face discouragement that is hard to bear.

But each of us continues to do what we can, in this place where God has put us. And the children God puts in our path continue to be a gift to us all.

Without you, it could not happen.

We continue to have a list of needs too long to recount here. A vehicle we rely on to search for and visit our boys’ families in every corner of Zambia has broken down, and fuel costs have roughly doubled since last year. Our 22 children now in boarding school need school fees. We are short on blankets and warm clothes, and the cold season is upon us.

We invite you to do what you can, with whatever you have, where you are, to help us meet these needs. We are grateful that you are a part of this sprawling extended family, and we hope you will keep in touch and visit! 

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God Bless You - Mulungu Akudalitseni.



Plot 19145/917, Manganese Road 7, Kamwala South, Lusaka, ZAMBIA

Registered Charity: ORS/102/35/6010, TPIN: 2240613450



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