Sometimes in life, there are exceptional, precious, unique moments that we want to remember forever, but find difficult to express in words. On August 22 of this year, meeting with our students in Livingstone, I experienced such moments.
In February 2020, the Heart for Zambia Foundation opened a students’ residence in Livingstone, accommodating 30 students – 15 boys and 15 girls. The residence, located in downtown Livingstone, is home to disadvantaged, yet talented and successful students, all well on their way to become future teachers, nurses, hospital technicians, radiologists, doctors, and engineers… The two houses, as well as their furnishings and accompanying land, were fully funded by people from Croatia. As a result, the students’ residence is affectionately dubbed the “Croatian Heart for Zambia”. The residence was off to a good start, but the Covid-19 outbreak caused certain problems. A month after opening the residence, we had to temporarily shut it down due to the pandemic. Fortunately, after a few months, the pandemic-related measures were eased and our students came back.
In order for the students to be able to study and have all of the essential resources, we need to provide them with annual scholarships. Scholarships amount to EUR 600.00 per student and include tuition, room and board. Information about our students may be found on our website, under “What we do” https://heartforzambia.com/what-we-do/.
I visited the students’ residence several times during my stay in Livingstone this year, speaking with the students, principal, and members of the Board of Directors… One afternoon, we organized a gathering for the students. The gathering was attended by 26 students, father John – principal of the students’ residence, several members of the Board of Directors, and me. It was lovely, upbeat, but deeply moving. The students organized a short performance and sang a few songs to convey their gratitude to me and all the Croatian people who have helped them in getting their education. Our students are well aware that they would not be able to study without the help of kind people, which is why they are profoundly grateful to everyone who makes it possible for them to do so.
I would also like to express my personal gratitude to everyone who has helped these young, lovely people in their pursuit of education in any way. The students additionally expressed their appreciation by presenting me with a wonderful gift. Following the performance, greetings, and speeches, the socializing resumed with a light snack. The gathering took place in a festive setting, complete with song and dance.