Impact Zambia was established in 2012 with a vision of working in partnership with indigenous leaders to help some of the poorest communities in rural areas of southwestern Zambia. Its primary ministries are operated through New Life Tabernacle (founded in 1994 and headquartered in Itezhi-tezhi, Zambia) and its 20+ branch churches.
Impact Zambia’s first project was to build a facility that doubled up as an office and school on the site of the Itezhi-tezhi church, and to build new church buildings in Mumbwa and Namwala. Through partnerships with Canadian and South African churches, Rotary International, and International Teams Canada, they have since expanded their programs to include community development initiatives designed to break the cycle of poverty through education and vocational training.
The life-changing vocational training centre in Itezhi-tezhi grew up out of a simple sewing club, which has provided sewing and business training to 110 women in partnership with Rotary International. The dire need for skills and leadership development identified during this project has resulted in the construction of a multi-purpose training centre, which will offer classes in employable skills like sewing, agriculture, woodworking, building dams, and mechanical repair. It will also offer leadership training programs.
African Leadership Conference
The Pan-African Leadership Conference is hosted by PACE Ministries, a partner of International Teams Canada’s Impact Kenya program, and focuses on building relationships, capacity, and networks amongst African leaders, regardless of past differences. It is exciting to see what good has come from this conference. Daniel and Florence Mayapi, indigenous leaders with Impact Zambia, were paired up at the conference with other African leaders, whose work in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp they have since supported. Zambian leaders hope to continue participating in the conference and will be hosting a future conference in the new training centre.
One of the defining aspects of poverty is isolation – isolation from markets, ideas, and technology. This is certainly the case with the Itezhi-tezhi district, which is only accessible by bad roads and is not on the way to any place that would bring high volumes of traffic. Electricity is just starting to be available to the community and the supply of it is still intermittent. The closest public
library is a six-hour bus ride away.
We plan to establish an internet cafe on the premises of
Itezhi-tezhi church to provide an affordable place for the whole community to connect with the world outside the district. This will help local business owners, teachers, church leaders, and other members of the community to break the cycle of poverty through education, training, and opportunities to earn income.