An Evening with Moses

It’s a Small World

by Katherine Solan

If you’ve been with Dwankhozi Hope on this journey, you’ve probably heard us say that what we are doing together in the community of Dwankhozi is not about charity, it’s about justice and relationship. I recently came across a quote that highlighted this belief yet again.

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time.  But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”  – Lilla Watson

When our Zambian Project Manager, Moses Masala, met with us during his first visit to the U.S., this message became more real.  Many of you were able to gather with us on a cozy fall evening to hear him share, in his own words, a bit of his personal history of what education meant to him and his siblings as they grew up not far from Dwankhozi. He shared with us the progress on the current DH projects, talked about what’s to come, and answered questions about details of life in Dwankhozi as well as the challenges and hopes of the students and teachers. After Moses shared, the energy in our gathering took on shades of deeper excitement as conversations began to percolate between groups of people, sharing thoughts and ideas of what they might be able to bring to the work of Dwankhozi.  Having Moses with us that night was a very special gift and we were honored to spend time with him.  For all of us there, it was another line of connection to add to the extraordinary bridge of partnership that we are all building together, piece by piece, conversation by conversation, idea by idea, child by child, teacher by teacher, heart by heart.


I found myself marveling at the of people gathered that evening, from so many walks of life and from different corners of the country as well as the globe, all coming together and spinning these lines of connection with one another and the mission.  As the world grows ever smaller and more closely drawn together, with virtually immediate accessibility to the corners of the earth, it is arguable that we each have a very real, and growing, responsibility to find ways to work together toward our shared goals of liberation and progress.  Yes, much of the world is broken and unjust but there is yet more possibility, courage, imagination, innovation, and Love to counter this brokenness.  I encourage each of us to take a little time to reflect what this means to you, in your life, in your work, and in your relationship with Dwankhozi.  Thank you to the entire Dwankhozi team of volunteers, donors and other friends, here in the States, Canada, Zambia and elsewhere in the world, for this incredible eye-opening and heart-expanding journey!


A Partnership is Born

The Dwankhozi Community School connection with Queen Anne Elementary (QAE) here in Seattle began as seeds of conversation earlier this year.  The questions we asked were how could we partner with one another to create sister schools across the globe; how could we broaden our worldview, explore our interconnectedness and build a global community of teachers and students?

This week some of the answers to those questions have begun to take shape in more tangible ways than ever.  Moses Masala, the Dwankhozi Hope (DH) Country Project Manager spent this past week in Seattle meeting with many of those who have supported our work.  This was his first trip to the US and it was certainly a memorable one.

Our first stop was Queen Anne Elementary.  We spent the afternoon talking with teachers and students who have been introduced to the community of Dwankhozi through video of the school and students in Zambia.  The students were full of questions as well as excitement about what this partnership might mean for them and their school.

Video:  Conversation with Moses

The 5thgrade class sat with rapt attention around Moses, as he sat in a rocking chair answering questions about Zambia.  Their questions were insightful and their interest was genuine. “What about kids with dyslexia?”  “What type of subjects do they study?”  How long is their school day?”  With their teacher Mr. Bailey-Fogarty leading the discussion, they explored ideas of how they could build relationship and have influence on each other’s experiences of the world.  Ideas came forward enthusiastically; they could meet each other via Skype, teach each other their favorite games, make friendship bracelets.  The excitement in the room was palpable – it gave me chills.


The 4th grade class had already begun a letter-writing program with Dwankhozi; so on this visit Moses was able to deliver the response letters that the students of Dwankhozi had written.  He also brought artwork that the 1st graders in Zambia had drawn for the students here in Seattle.  The students loved receiving their letters – studying each one as they were presented.


The Kindergarten students are studying Zambia as part of their project base-learning curriculum.  In a specific program they called ‘All About Me’ – they will be learning how we are all alike and different.  They were so excited to receive their artwork from their Zambian friends and they all created their own drawings to send back to the DH students with Moses.


We ended our time at the school meeting with the Kindergarten teachers, Ms Cryan-Leary, Ms Marks and Ms Yokoyama, and the Principal, Mr. Dave Elliott.  The meeting was chock-full of ideas – there is so much amazing potential with this connection.  The excitement is infectious and overwhelming.  There are a lot of possibilities on the table right now as far as how best to continue developing this dynamic partnership and we will be sure to continue to share the details as they solidify.  Our hope right now is to organize a trip to Zambia this summer with this extraordinary group of teachers so we may introduce them to our friends at Dwankhozi and continue to explore this journey together.  More to come!


Filming Trip 2012: “In the Can”

 From Aly:

As many of you know, the main purpose of our journey with Dwankhozi Hope to Zambia was to capture footage of the Dwankhozi Community and the school in order to highlight the organization and show the immense need that they are working so hard to address.

Video can take us to places that are so removed from our realities. We hope to visually bring the audience and our supporters to Dwankhozi Community school in order to meet the amazing personalities that we have met; to see the many resources that they lack (which we take for granted every day); to see their hard work in action of striving for a better education and way of life; to feel the hope and inspiration that is infectious here. These are the videos that we have set out to make and we can’t wait to share the finished products with you all!

Kindle Project: A huge obstacle facing these students is the lack of literature.  The Zambian government is only able to provide a VERY limited amount of text books that are shared among the entire school.  Moreover, the transportation of books for all of the reading levels from the US would be almost impossible. Thus, we decided to bring 6 Kindles, each loaded with 50 books- ranging in reading levels, to test the viability of using E-readers to build a library which otherwise could not exist. Kate’s amazing idea to use the Kindles was even more successful than we could have imagined and the video for this project will show just that!

Day-in-the-Life of a Student at Dwankhozi: The life of a young child in the villages of rural Zambia is worlds apart from those of our children in the US. We decided to do a video piece, which encapsulates the hard work that these children put in each day to achieve an education. We followed an 11-year-old student named Martin from Phunga village. His smile will be in my mind forever, I can’t wait for everyone to see this sweet boy’s story.

Scholarship Candidates Video: There are SO many students who have put in the hard work to continue their education but whose families can simply not afford the minimal fees for secondary school. With this piece you will get to meet these dedicated students who are available to be sponsored, learn about their lives, and hear about the dreams they have for their futures.


Masala Family Video: This documentary style piece will tell the inspiring story of the Masala Family (and 10 siblings) and how they have risen from the most difficult of circumstances and how education has changed their lives.

Hope this fills everyone in on what the heck we are doing over here (other than playing with lions). We appreciate the support and love so much! We can’t wait to share these special stories with you all 🙂

Filming Trip 2012: The Village

From Aly:

Being a native of the Emerald City I thought I had seen the greenest greens… until I got to Zambia. Never have I ever seen a more lush, vibrant green landscape. Every time I look out the window on our drives to the school or the family village, I am in awe of the scenery. It looks like something out of a national geographic magazine – another world that must have been dreamed up.

 We have been here four days now and they have been jam packed with beauty, adventure, laughter and heartache. In our four days we have spent a lot of time at the Masala Family village farm. The Masala Family is the reason that Dwankhozi Hope can do what they do. Their family consists of 10 siblings who were all educated at a university level, some with their masters and PhD’s. This fact became so much more incredible when we spent time in the village similar to where they grew up and where most children don’t make it past 9th grade. The challenges of village life are many. Famine, disease and lack of funds to send children to school make it incredibly hard for them to aspire to a life beyond the village. The Masalas have overcome these challenges and with hard work, dedication and incredibly inspiring parents they were able to do the unthinkable. They now serve as a beacon of hope to their community as they work tirelessly with the Dwankhozi School to encourage children to set their sites higher – for a better life for themselves and their families.

 Moses Masala (Uncle Mo) is the Project Director for Dwankhozi Hope in Zambia and one of the 10 siblings I talked about above. He has been our fixer – driving us everywhere and setting everything up for us. He is the sweetest most thoughtful man… and SO incredible smart. I don’t think we have stopped laughing since we arrived. He knows EVERYONE, being a caretaker to the entire village and town we are constantly making abrupt stops along our drives where Uncle Mo hops out of the car to see someone or take care of something.


Bertha Masala (Wa Bertha) is another of the 10 siblings – she is one of the most “bad-ass” chicks I have ever met in my life. Not only does she tell it how it is, but she has no reservation in dishing it out to anyone! She is also hilarious and has a remarkable gift of making you feel so at home and like you can be 100% yourself. We are heading to Lusaka later in the week (where she lives) where she will be taking me to her aerobics class. She says she loves it because she “can wear her short shorts and be very free”. She says Kirk is not allowed to join. This can be added to my list of things I never thought I would do in Africa.


Though the rainy season is one of the most beautiful times in Zambia it is also the hardest for the people here. It is known as the hunger season as the village farmers wait for their crops to grow. As we have learned most children arrive at school having had no breakfast and with no lunch in hand – surviving on one meal a day and mangos when they can find them. The rainy season also brings mosquitoes and more malaria than ever. It was shocking to see how casually people talk about the children at the school with malaria or how many times they have had it themselves.


When we slept at the farm we saw all of these things and it was hard to digest but we also felt the joy and sense of community that you would never see in the US. Sandwiched between Big Mama and Bertha – wearing her “snuggle up” t-shirt – Kate and I in the middle, we all giggled ourselves to sleep under our giant mosquito net. It’s so hard to put into words all the hilarious and surreal details from the farm.  It was definitely an out of body experience but one we will never forget.

Happy New Year!

Hi Friends,

Happy New Year!  We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support of Dwankhozi Hope (DH).   It has been a tremendous year of progress for our partnership with the local school in Zambia as we help empower this community to provide an education for their children and an opportunity for a better life.  Below is a quick recap of all that was accomplished in 2011 and a sneak peak of what is in store for 2012.

As you will see below, it has been a very busy and exciting year.  We thank God for all of our partners and donors who made this possible.  We look forward to the coming year and for the ways that each of us, our partners, and the children of Dwankhozi will be transformed through this work.

Have a Blessed and Happy New Year,

-The Dwankhozi Hope Team

2011 – Look Back


  • Completed Pre-K Building to help the younger children better prepare for school
  • Delivered supplies and equipment to the teachers helping them to provide a quality education to the students
  • Completed the first teacher’s house which will help attract more trained teachers and reducing class size
  • Held the first medical clinic at the school to evaluate the students and learn how we can help the children stay healthy and in school
  • In partnership with Beyond Solar, installed solar power and Internet giving the school electricity for the first time ever.  This allows the teachers to better prepare for school as well as develop an adult literacy program for the parents in the community
  • Delivered laptops and printers which will allow the teachers to develop more effective lesson plans
  • Sponsored our first DH student to continue her education at a secondary boarding school
  • Shipped educational supplies and sporting equipment to the school that will help improve the schools educational and sports programs


  • Thanks to our generous donors we raised an estimated $69,000 this year which was our most productive fundraising year to date
  • Thanks to our generous donors we were able to fund an estimated $55,000 in school programs our most productive year to date

2012 – What’s in Store


  • Complete a second teacher’s house project which will be a shared flat model providing housing for two families.  This will help attract even more trained teachers
  • Perform 2nd medical clinic with a focus on malaria which will address the main health issue in the region and help the children stay healthy and in school
  • Deliver electronic readers (Kindles) which will allow unlimited access to books and educational material for the students as books are currently sparse
  • Sponsor additional students to continue their education at a secondary boarding school
  • Sanitation projects adding additional safe and clean ventilated improved pit latrines
  • Additional solar and technology projects which will provide increased access to education for the community
  • Provide financial support for volunteer teachers to help them attain their teaching certificate which will in turn allow them to earn a salary from the government and focus full-time on teaching, thus improving the quality of education for the students
  • Deliver additional supplies and equipment to the school to help improve the quality of education