Kalangu Basic School sign before and after SEPO project in 2010.
While SEPO has numerous on-going projects (such as sponsoring students in school, supporting diverse livelihoods, and infrastructure developments), we also completed several large-scale, directed projects while we were on-the-ground in 2010 and 2013.
Kalangu School Renovations
In 2010, SEPO partnered with CNOS and a local PTO group in Mabumbu to make significant renovations to Kalangu Basica School. Kalangu Basic is one of only two primary schools in the area. The school serves over 500 local children in Grades 1 – 9. Kalangu does all of this with only 4 classrooms and 12 teachers.
When we were home for Mushe’s mother’s funeral in Feb. 2010, we realized that Mushe’s boyhood school (he went to Kalangu until he was 15) was in need of attention. After speaking with the Kalangu PTO, we identified some specific needs and returned to the U.S. to raise any available funds.
CNOS hosted several fundraising events for our Kalangu project, as well as provided many (many, many) CNOS t-shirts and gear (which we distributed to our PTO volunteers on the ground). Mushe and Ang also presented info about Kalangu to a few elementary schools in northwest Iowa and received numerous school supply donations (which we distributed to Kalangu students).
Using the resources we had (money from CNOS’ employees and volunteers from Kalangu PTO), we were able to facilitate the renovation of 2 classrooms, painting of the exterior buildings, maintenance of the water pump, and distribution of school supplies.
Ear and Eye Surgeries
In 2010, SEPO raised funds to cover the costs of two ear surgeries for two young boys from Mayukwayukwa Refugee Camp in western Zambia. We brought the boys (Luka and George) to Lusaka where they underwent surgery in a private hospital. The boys have fully recovered, gaining back most of their hearing.
In 2013, SEPO began funding the health care needs of Mbweti Mtesi, a fourteen-year-old boy from Mwayukwayukwa Refugee Camp. Mbweti was experiencing serious eye infections, causing severe headaches, pain, and loss of sight. SEPO took Mbweti to see Dr. David Kasongole at Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu. Dr. Kasongole is the only eye specialist in western Zambia and worked diligently with/for Mbweti for three years, performing three surgeries to manage his infections and save his eye. Dr. Kasongole provided a critical referral for Mbweti to see Dr. Yoo, an American ophthalmologist working at the Lusaka Eye Hospital. Dr. Yoo also performed two surgeries on Mbweti’s eye. SEPO funded all of Mbweti’s surgeries. In 2017, Mbweti lost his battle to save his eye and Dr. Yoo removed the eye and continues to follow-up with Mbweti. SEPO is committed to assisting Mbweti as he adjusts. We hope that Mbweti’s health will improve and that he will return to school soon (he has been out of school since 2013 trying to manage this illness – if anyone would like to help SEPO sponsor school for Mbweit, please let us know).
SEPO continues to fund approximately 10 students on various scholarships. Most of those sponsorships have been to Kalangu, but some have also been for secondary education (at Kaoma Boarding School, Holy Cross Secondary School, and Chipepa Secondary School).