Here’s the story of what happens to the Book Bus over the Christmas period; it’s doesn’t stand still!
Book Bus partnered with Talent Community Club to celebrate Christmas with the visually impaired and their children in the small town of Kitwe, north Zambia. Many blind people have children who are affected by their parent’s disability and have to sit by their parent’s side the whole day directing their every movement so that they can find a better spot to beg for money: there are no social services here. The sad part of it is their children have become part of the street life. About half of the children of blind parents go to school, but are regularly interrupted by their parents or grandparents need for a guide on the streets.
Christmas is about sharing and we decided to share our day, love, smiles, fun, and food with these precious children of Kitwe. To give them a Christmas to remember.
One of the highlights of the day was a visit from Zambia’s first ever Track and Field World champion, Samuel Matete. Having grown up in the small township of Chingola he encouraged the children to polish up their skills and talents to attain greatness just like he did.
After all the fun and games and eating the children took time to talk about the importance of school and knowing how to read and write. It’s during this interaction that I asked the children “do you know what a library is?” one answered “it’s where they park cars” none of the children had the correct answer or even a clue. With that we took a tour of Charlie (The Book Bus) and the children felt extra special to have Charlie come out on a Saturday just for them to have a fun reading day and for those that can’t read they felt encouraged and happy to be part of Book Bus day. Some of the children were extremely proud to have a book for a Christmas gift; one could easily see the smiles on their faces, the excitement to own a brand new book and their visually impaired parents and grandparents were pleasantly surprised. Some of the kids were eager to show off their reading skills. The Christmas lunch and the Miles Kelly Books are probably the only gifts they will get this Christmas.
The Talent Community Club is a local club which we partnered to make this day take place. One of our favourite things to do as individuals is cooking and the Book Bus team and Talent Community Club all got together for a big Christmas lunch cook out.
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Written by Monica in Kitwe, Zambia; volunteer Book Bus leader Christmas 2013.