Sunday, July 29, 2012

New Boreholes Open in Malawi!

Mtema borehole:  Mtema is composed of 56 villages.  About 22,000 people live in this community and are subsistence farmers.  There are over 550 orphans and vulnerable children. Prior to this borehole the community fetched their water from a nearby river which is unsafe for drinking, consequently they opened themselves up to many waterborne diseases.  When they pumped their borehole for the first time, the people were amazed and celebrated in song, laughing and dancing.  The hope in the eyes of the women and children, the possibilities of better health, and sanitation was evident as they put their hands in the cool refreshing water for the first time.  It was clear to this humble community that God had provided His living water to them.


Mtema Nkhalapadzuwa borehole: Similar to Mtema, this community’s children were most amazed as the water began to flow.  After generations of spending hours to get water from a river close by it didn’t seem possible that water could flow so easily from this faucet in the center of their community.  With trepidation, they put their hands under the water and smiled. Like the majority of people living in Mtema, this village is home primarily to subsistance farmers.  Because of this borehole, the women will be able to spend more time learning new skills to earn wages for their families.  The children will have more time to learn and become educated, and they will be able to easily bring water to their crops and small gardens so they can sustain feeding their families through the year.  Water is life; a new life, full of possibilities for a bright future.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thomas Nelson Author Blog

Featured Authors

Nice blog from the Thomas Nelson website.  Thanks...

Austin Gutwein

Austin Gutwein was just 9 years old when watched a video that showed children who had lost their parents to AIDS. After watching the video, he realized these kids weren’t any different from him except they were suffering. Austin felt called to do something to help them. He took his love of basketball and decided to shoot free throws. On World AIDS Day, 2004, he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the 2,057 kids who would be orphaned during his day at school. Friends and family sponsored Austin and he was able to raise almost $3,000. That year, the money was used to provide hope to 8 orphan children.
Over the past eight years, Austin’s effort has turned into the largest free throw marathon in the world with an estimated 40,000 people in more than 25 countries participating in Hoops of Hope. Together, Hoops of Hope participants have raised more than $2.5 million. The efforts have led to the construction of the only high school in a rural region in Southern Zambia, four dormitories, two medical clinics, a computer laboratory, multiple water projects as well as the funding of a dormitory at an orphanage in Kenya and a school in India.
Austin has been featured on the 700 Club, Hour of Power, NBC Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CBS NCAA Pregame Show, Time Magazine, Christianity Today and many others.  He has had the opportunity to share his story of hope to more than 500,000 people on four continents.
In 2009, Austin was selected as one of the Top 10 Most Caring Americans by the Caring Institute in Washington, DC.  That same year, Thomas Nelson released his first book, “Take Your Best Shot.” Austin’s second book, “Live to Give,” is scheduled to be released in August 2012.
In February 2012, Austin was recognized as one of ESPN’s 18 under 18, and he graduated from high school. He currently co-chairs Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s Youth Commission and will be attending Anderson University in the fall.
Learn more about Austin and Hoops of Hope at

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Intel Team Visits Computer Lab!

IESC Zambia: classmate PCs increase enrollment at Jonathan Sims

The Intel Education Service Corps (IESC) is a short-term service and career development opportunity for a select group of Intel employees to support the deployment of Intel classmate PCs in developing countries. In this blog, Andris Roze, a product analyst at Intel, recaps his team’s first week working with Hoops of Hope and World Vision in Zambia.

JSims students using Intel classmate PCs
A red dust cloud trails our Land Cruiser as we bounce along this dirt road in rural Zambia leading to Jonathan Sims Chikanta High School. Corn and cotton fields line the road, but no signs can be found. If you aren’t careful, you’ll drive all the way to Zimbabwe.
Luckily for us our journey has been expertly coordinated by Alf and his World Vision Zambia colleagues. World Vision supports Jonathan Sims, a school that changed dramatically in May 2011 when Hoops of Hope provided funding for a solar-powered computer lab with 20 Intel classmate PCs. The first IESC team set up the lab and provided initial training, and this year’s team returned to build on the foundation of PC literacy skills and help the school’s teachers integrate technology into their curriculum.

The team: Jason, Naveen, Merciless (deputy headmaster), Sisley, Mr. Kanjambo (headmaster), Andris, Cristina, Wendy
We hit the ground running, and in our first week we worked with teachers using Open Office Calc, Impress, and other software to teach PC literacy classes to more than 300 students. We demonstrated resources like Khan Academyand the Intel Learning Series classroom management software as well as the eGranary (a hard drive containing Wikipedia and 14 million educational resources). We even helped the deputy headmaster create the school’s first student ID cards.
We also demonstrated WeDo Robotics kits donated by the LEGO Foundation, showing the teachers how to create a program that lifts a robot man using a LEGO crane. The headmaster and teachers were excited about helping the students organize a robotics competition, as they were looking for an engaging, hands-on way of teaching engineering concepts.

Teachers using LEGO WeDo Robotics kits
After a year of having classmate PCs at the school, change is already palpable. Charles, the World Vision regional coordinator, noted that “enrollment is up this year because word is spreading that Jonathan Sims has a computer lab.” This is a significant leap since high school students in Zambia rarely have a chance to interact with computers. In fact, we were told that even university students often don’t get to use computers until their final year of studies.
During the second week, our team would travel to Makonkoto Basic School, but not before enjoying a rousing farewell assembly organized by the school’s headmaster, Mr. Kanjambo. Add a few speeches, a photo session with students, a final lunch with teachers, a few more speeches, and we were starting to feel like Justin Bieber. But it was time to get back out onto that dirt road, tired, but satisfied with what we accomplished.

After long day of training, enjoying a soccer game at dusk