Dear Fellow Rotarian’s
We have been honored by The Rotarian Magazine and are
naturally very proud they have featured us in the magazine under “World
Round up” as the attached article shows.
Our project is also on the Rotary Web Site as a
Project link our link number is WO5885 and we were featured earlier this
This project is on going as the need is so very
great. While Mwandi is a very loving and welcoming Village located in
Western Province Zambia, there is great poverty here, the need for
housing for the AIDS orphans being taken care of by their elderly
relatives is overwhelming and dire. We have hundreds of families waiting
for housing and our only resources are from volunteers who come to help
build and private donors. The need is so much greater then the funds
available to us to build.
Two Rotary clubs from Canada, Ottawa and Ontario have
funded huts. We have completed the Ottawa clubs hut and will be working
on the Ontario clubs hut in July. Both clubs have indicated they will be
happy to have me give their emails out to any Rotary club interested in
Although I am classed as a Missionary and technically
work for the United Church of Zambia we receive no funds from them or
any other foreign based Church. We are what is called “Self funding
Missionaries”. And the “Funding” part is the hard part, so if there is
any clubs out there interested in helping please contact me at
We also have a very unique volunteer program that
includes a 4 night 5 day safari to neighboring Botswana as well as three
nights in Zambia’s tourist capital, Livingstone. If any one has ever
wanted to visit Africa, see the abundant game in Botswana, go on a
safari, see one of the seven wonders of the world “Victoria Falls” as
well as have an experience of a lifetime with us here in Mwandi please
do contact me and I will send along all the information on the
volunteering program. I am also on face book under Paula Van Zyl in
Livingstone and will add anyone who requests a friend hook up; there are
many photos of Mwandi the safari and Livingstone (ok you don’t have to
look at my family photos).
We have 2 web sites one is
the other is
I am Secretary of the Livingstone Zambia Rotary club,
last year as well as the upcoming Rotary year and serve on the Board and
am in very good standing. I am originally from Los Angeles Calif. but
have lived in Zambia since 2003.
If any club is interested I can send along our
Project proposal as well as any additional information needed. Our
Province was hit very hard with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and about one in
three is affected leaving behind hundreds of children with no homes, so
help is greatly needed.
Thank you for taking the time to read this short
letter and the attached article.
YIRS Paula Van Zyl
Paula And Dan Van Zyl
United Church of Zambia Mission Partners
P.O. Box 61259
My name is Lynda Biglin.
I am from Australia and have currently been living in Mwandi for the
last 5 months. I am a return volunteer, having originally visited
Mwandi in October last year for the 26 day tour which I booked
through i-to-i. I fell in love with Mwandi at this time, the
villagers being such beautiful people with such simple lifestyles,
the children who are made happy just by giving them a wave, Paula
and Dan and their amazing project and their staff who do anything
required of them to make the project a success. At the end of my
organised tour I could not bring myself to leave, so rearranged the
rest of my time in Africa to spend another two weeks continuing to
contribute to the project.
Back at home and work, I couldn’t get Mwandi and the project out of
my head, so I resigned from my job, collected some donations towards
building some houses from family and friends, and came back. My
intent was to do a 6 month stint this time before heading home
again. Once again, as my 6 months nears its end, the pull is too
great to deny, and I have extended my time here until at least March
Although I haven’t been exposed to many African volunteer projects,
the reasons around why I find this one so special and in need are
around the size of the project, the day to day struggle to get funds
to continue to build houses, the amount of need in this one
particular village and the targeted assistance to orphan children
and the elderly specifically.
A project that has been created by
a couple who have simply seen a need here, with no large
organisations for support, who are pouring their hearts and souls
into helping other people. I do feel that it is a drop in the
ocean compared to all the people in the world who need help, but
there is an element of self-satisfaction that goes with it for me to
think that at least we are helping a few of these.
I understand that you might be interested in supporting this project
both financially and in assisting to find volunteers. I think the
need for financial support is obvious, and would of course be
greatly appreciated. From a volunteer perspective, not only does
this contribute financially, but it also provides the person-power
to get the houses built more quickly. It is also an amazingly
rewarding experience, having first hand taken away so much more than
I feel I have contributed. I have learnt so much from these people,
what in life is really important, how you can be happy with very
little. I think any volunteer who works on this project will
certainly go away a better person after this life changing
experience, having learnt a lot about themselves.
I hope my story has helped to give you more of an insight into this
project. If you would like any further information from me please
don’t hesitate to contact me by return email and I will respond as
soon as I am able.
Thanks and regards,
TO SUPPORT PAUL'S KIDS .. CLICK HERE
Paula Cares for
HOW TO SUPPORT
PAUL'S KIDS .. CLICK HERE
I am not only a Rotarian in Livingstone Club but we are a
non profit organization located in a small village in Mwandi Western
Province below is our project proposal we are needing help with the
project as we work for United Church of Zambia but receive no funding or
help from them for our work here and are in desperate need of help in
order to continue to serve the people of Mwandi. Please let me know if
you know any one or any other Rotary club who might be interested in
helping us. I am also from the US (California) but have been here for 6
years. We also have a web site
Program Name: UCZ (United Church of Zambia) Mission Partners Mwandi
Contact Person: Paula Van Zyl
Areas to impact..
Housing - To provide safe and secure housing for the vulnerable
populations (orphans, seniors, people in poverty) of Mwandi.
Safe drinking water - Drill bore holes to provide safe accessible water
to communities in and around Mwandi.
Education - Providing volunteers to assist in various educational
programs in the community.
Providing support to children who do not qualify for scholarships
through programs for orphans. A number of children in the community come
for families who live in poverty. These children do not qualify for
programs that have been established for orphans, however are in need of
support to help them continue their education.
Seniors - Providing shelter and attending to basic needs of seniors who
do not have families to care for them.
Food Collection and Distribution - Provide food for needy people in the
community and assist with the provision of food for families
experiencing crisis, such as a death in the family.
Camp development - Through the volunteer program, volunteers bring
expertise and experience to the Village to support the programs of the
community and to increase international awareness of the issues in this
community. Volunteers have provided physical labor, financial
assistance, and professional expertise to this community. The UCZ
Mission Partners Mwandi camp strive to provide a comfortable, safe and
secure base for the volunteers to work from. Since 2007 a number of
improvements have been made for this purpose, with many more
developments planned as resources become available (e.g. bore hole,
electricity, plumbing, permanent structure to house volunteers).
Supporting the delivery of health care - Health care professionals who
come as volunteers have provided their expertise in the delivery of
various aspects of health care delivery in the community. The Mission
Partners receive and distribute medical supplies to various programs.
Name of Project: Housing Project
The majority of people in the village live in mud huts with grass roofs.
During the rainy season (October to March) the weight of the grass roof
puts pressure on the walls. The roofs also leak which causes
deterioration of the walls. The houses collapse. There are limited
resources in the community to help families repair or rebuild their
homes. Most people in Mwandi live on less than $1.00 per day and do not
have the financial resources to address the issue. A number of the
families on the list include people with disabilities, grandparents
caring for their orphaned grandchildren, or those who are abandoned or
neglected by their extended families. All able bodied family members are
expected to contribute their time to the construction of their house. As
of the end of June 2009 23 houses have been completed, with 48 on the
waiting list. There is a growing need for houses and the Kuta, (which is
the local court/government), continue to request the assistance of the
Mission Partners to provide housing for the needy people of the village.
The size of the house build for the family is determined by the size of
the family requesting the home. There are three basic sizes of house
being constructed. At this time all the houses are traditional mud
houses with metal sheet roofing. The project would like to be able to
further develop to provide brick houses and prefab concrete houses.
Brick and concrete houses are stronger and last longer (up to fifty
years). The mud houses last approximately 10 years.
With adequate resources, (funding and volunteers), the Mission Partners
would like to be able to build 24 houses a year.