Mashebe’s eldest sister, Regina. Mashebe’s dad died when Mashebe was 4 years old, leaving Mashebe’s mom alone with nine young kids. In order to help her mom, Regina (the eldest child) dropped out of school to work and ensure that all the other siblings had a chance to get an education – while sacrificing her own. The entire Subulwa family owes our deepest gratitude to Regina as her sacrifices opened up opportunities for Mashebe that many others in the village could not access. SEPO would not exist if it were not for what Regina gave up in order to give. SEPO works to secure school sponsorships to ensure that kids in situations don’t have to make the choice that Regina made.

The idea of SEPO Zambia came about from thinking what our contribution should be to people/places that are so important in our own lives. The African spirit of ubuntu (I am because we are) has drawn us to give back to the communities that have had such an impact on our lives.

The seeds of SEPO Zambia were planted in 2006 by providing funds to a local women’s CBO (community-based organization) to address various problems facing communities in western Zambia. For example, the CBO prioritized the care of children orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS-related deaths of their parents.

In February 2010, we traveled to Zambia to collaborate with our local partners and check on some of the children. While we were encouraged by the progress being made, we realized that the area needed more sustainable projects, focused not on single-issues or sectors, but rather on progressive change and placed-based development. Together with our community partners in Zambia, we identified numerous projects connected to education, health, infrastructure, and livelihoods.  We also realized the need to link our two worlds (here and there) in recognition of our oneness, our shared humanity, or ubuntu-ness.  Our mission/vision for SEPO Zambia was clarified during this trip. We came back to the states energized and focused on renovating Mashebe’s childhood primary school (Kalangu). We were able to return in June 2010 and make substantial progress.

We have been & continue to do everything we can as individuals, but along the way we have also realized our own family and friends are also interested in doing things (big and small) that can transform lives and communities. We welcome you to Join Us!

Mashebe & Ang Subulwa

Mushe & Ang in Mozambique (2006)
Ang (far left) and Mushe (center), surrounding by friends and family at Mushe’s mom’s funeral in 2010.
Ang & Mushe at Mwayukwayukwa Refugee Camp in 2013.