By Kwilole, Chairperson
It was shortly after my 13th birthday, and I remember it as clear as day. 20 years ago today, on December 31st 2002, my mother Dr Apakombwele van der Boom-Chisuse opened Funsani Home. A home which she started with the aim to provide children orphaned to HIV/AIDS a stable environment where they can play, learn, and grow.
Since 2002, Funsani Home has been a permanent residence for 18 children and young adults. It is a place where those that have lived there over the years consider themselves a family. We are fortunate to have been able to extend our impact in the community by partnering with like-minded organisations, local businesses, and charities, all in support of our mission: to provide a safe, caring environment through Funsani Home and our partnership network to support the well-being and education of vulnerable children impacted by HIV in Zambia.
In the midst of immense suffering, devastation, and hopelessness; we have overcome some tough challenges. No one said it would be easy - but the challenges we've had along the way have taught us to embrace life in a different way. There was for instance the decision a decade ago to care also for children who were seen to be vulnerable, which in more recent years extends to those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have learned a lot over the past two decades, and we are extremely proud that since 2017, Funsani Home has seen its youngsters graduate from university and go on to be a nurse, electrical engineer, teacher, clinical officer and civil engineers.
Our hope is that the children raised and supported by Funsani and our partners go on to make a positive impact on Zambian society and be in a position to help other vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
In our 20th anniversary year, we welcomed three new children in the Home, with hopes to build on this further by welcoming between 5-10 new children throughout 2023.
With the support of all our Friends of Funsani, we will continue to fight against the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV. As our founder and patron said in her opening speech 20 years ago “Let’s talk about HIV/AIDS openly”.
None of our achievements to date would be possible without your continued support dear friends. It is what keeps the kids at Funsani smiling, and for that, WE THANK YOU!
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2023. Here’s to 20 more years of Funsani!