Vision of Hope
Vision of Hope (VoH) is a shelter for vulnerable girls in Lusaka. It was founded in 2009 by Chitalu Chishimba, after she left her own abusive relationship and decided to passionately dedicate her mission, alongside several other compassionate staff members, to creating a safe haven for and empowering other girls and women in need. Most of VoH’s beneficiaries have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect and/or abandonment in some form. VoH offers girls, aged infant to early twenties, a shelter, education, health care, nutrition, counseling, family reintegration support, and of course, love and acceptance.
To find out more information about VoH and the work they do, you can visit their website visionofhopezambia.org and follow them on Facebook at ‘Vision of Hope, Zambia’.
Nkhani Zanga & Vision of Hope
In October 2017, we officially partnered with Vision of Hope. Every week we met with approximately 15 to 20 girls on site. Participating in the program were four refugees who had just arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had the added challenge of a language barrier, since they speak Swahili and French and only have a limited understanding of the local vernacular spoken in Zambia. Each storytelling session was translated from English to Chi’Nyanja to French to make sure everyone was included in the dialogue. A total of six songs have been recorded with the girls, two artists have featured on the album, poems and prose have been written and several paintings have been created to be added to our final storybook.
Every week, the girls would do a 15 – 30 minute yoga session with co-founder and certified yogi, Gemma. They would also focus on some deep breathing techniques designed to help them cope with stress, focus and increase their engagement and to draw them into the present moment. Yoga helped everyone get on the same level, open up and break the ice. Some of the poses we did together made everyone feel goofy and also vulnerable together. It helped us peel back the layers of ourselves to give birth to the inherent shining gem of creativity hiding inside.
The deep breathing techniques were also incorporated later, during recording sessions in the studio to help the girls calm their nerves, give them confidence and bring in a sense of harmony as we created and shared together.
Group Sharing Sessions
After pealing back some of the layers of our physical selves, we dove deeper to try to encourage everyone to express what is within them. Our group sharing sessions, take place in a circle. Everyone is encouraged to open up and exchange thoughts, ideas, dance moves, and any other creative expression that manifests in the process. We are very open, flexible and experimental in our approach, encouraging the girls to take the lead.
The Zanga Artists we had help and inspiration from during our partnership with Vision of Hope include: Silunjili Chipeta Dick, “Chico”, Jasper Vellem, “J Bus”, Band of Brother members, Calvin and Philip, Mufrika Edward, DQ Entertainment, DJ 800, DJ Kingston, and Simon Mtonga.
You can find more information about our featured artists, including some of their own work, in our ‘Zanga Artists’ section and you can find Vision of Hope’s songs and music videos in ‘Stories from the Youth’.
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If you would like to purchase Vision of Hope’s original Storybook, please contact us or see our ‘Storybook’ section.