Lighthouse Christian School
In 2005, Wilbroad and Zicky Chanda established Lighthouse Christian School with the vision to provide a quality Christian education for children growing up in Ndola, Zambia. Lighthouse classrooms would break down social stigmas by providing equal opportunity learning and Christ-centered teaching. Children from the local slum neighborhoods would be able to learn alongside students from middle-class sections of town.
There was a significant obstacle to the Lighthouse vision: fatherless children from the poorer neighborhoods couldn’t afford the tuition fees necessary to keep Lighthouse’s doors open. In 2006, Covenant Mercies partnered with Lighthouse Christian School. Through the Orphan Sponsorship Program, children living in Ndola’s shanty villages now have the opportunity to receive a Lighthouse education.
Growth and Expansion
As the school grew over the years, the need for a well-equipped educational facility became increasingly urgent. Covenant Mercies funded construction of a new and expanded campus, which opened in January 2012. We have since added a kitchen, infirmary, outdoor assembly shelter, and new kindergarten classroom. Today, Lighthouse provides a Christ-centered education for over 280 students in pre-K to 7th Grade. The school is recognized and respected for its excellence in both the community and Zambia’s Ministry of Education.
You can read an interview with the founders of Lighthouse on the Covenant Mercies Blog.
Lighthouse Christian School is a model for the educational opportunities we want to provide in each of our program areas. In the coming years, we also plan to invest in the development of schools in our Uganda programs.
Mapalo Scholarship Fund
In Sub-Saharan Africa, many children do not expect to graduate primary school, let alone secondary school or college. Because of the success of the Covenant Mercies Orphan Sponsorship Program, we have students who are equipped and envisioned for higher education.
In 2016, we created the Mapalo Scholarship Fund for eligible Program Graduates pursuing higher education. Mapalo is a Bemba word that means “blessing.” Mapalo was also the African name given to the late world-renowned photographer, David Sacks. David traveled with Covenant Mercies to Africa five times, capturing treasured “Portraits of Hope” images that now appear in the photography book, True Africa. The Mapalo Scholarship Fund honors David’s legacy, and will bless the lives of thousands of children to come.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, the lives of many children are disrupted or even lost due to preventable, treatable, and curable diseases. Local clinics can be distant, understaffed and ill-equipped. These issues create obstacles to the health and wellness of our children, especially in our rural programs.
Sustainable Farm Project
Since Covenant Mercies’ inception, sustainability has been a goal in all our endeavors. We want to minimize the long-term need for foreign donations, while modeling self-sufficiency and productivity for our children. To that end, we launched a sustainable farm project on our 40+ acre property in Eastern Uganda. Our crops include watermelon, maize, pineapples, ground nuts, tomatoes, rice, and a eucalyptus tree grove. In 2017, we also launched a poultry project with over 200 chickens, which will generate local revenue through the sale of meat and eggs.
Sustainability is much more than being able to fund our programs with local revenue streams. It also reflects a critically important value for our children. We want our children to live out the truth that God has made them to be productive, creative workers, and positive agents of change in their communities as His image-bearers in His world.