Help Support Taonga Mpara!

Taonga, 11 years old, grade 6

Taonga, 11 years old, grade 6

Taonga Mpara is a kind, hard-working student from the Matero slums. She grew up with her mom and 4 siblings after her dad abandoned them at a young age. Affording education fees and staying in school was really difficult for the family, but thanks to her sponsors, The Sheppards, Taonga has been able to stay in school and in our program since 2011. Through the years she has grown into an intelligent, driven 18-year-old that goes after what she wants. She desperately desires to further her education at a trade school and get a job to support herself. Taonga needs additional sponsorship and funding to help her achieve this dream of studying culinary and food production and becoming a chef! The remaining cost needed for Taonga to board at school and pay tuition fees for the year is $1,100. Consider joining her team of sponsors by donating today and help cover the remaining cost.

Taonga, 18 years old, 2019

Taonga, 18 years old, 2019

In Lusaka, students finish each school year in December, but don’t receive the final exam results that determine if they pass until weeks later. During this long waiting period, Taonga and a few other girls, have been volunteering with us in our feeding program, tutoring, reading to younger children, and being available to help with other needs, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Taonga has not missed a day and is always on time. We told the girls if they truly wanted to further their schooling, they had to prove it to us, before we went to bat for them to get additional school funding and support. Taonga has truly been working hard to show us she is serious about wanting to go and is ready for the commitment of trade school.

Alissa recently sat down with our guidance counselor in Zambia, Tetheiwe, to discuss the next steps for our students that have graduated, like Taonga. We are honestly still learning how to help kids in our program after grade 12. Trying to help students find higher education and job opportunities in Zambia, where unemployment is so high, can be very difficult. We also understand the risk involved when supporting a scholarship student. It is truly an investment. We each student to understand this is a commitment, and their financial accountability to themselves, their sponsors, and the staff and people supporting them is serious. Each student is carefully chosen and recommended before we ask sponsors to make this investment.

Taonga, 2015

Taonga, 2015

Taonga, 2019

Taonga, 2019

Taonga (right) helping chop vegetables at our feeding program.

Taonga (right) helping chop vegetables at our feeding program.

We can honestly say, we believe in Taonga. When asked to share a few words about Taonga, Tetheiwe had this to share, “I have so much to say about Taonga. She has really shown so much commitment from the time I started working with her last year. She is one very humble and hard working young lady who is so determined to achieve a lot. As long as she remains focused, she is capable of fulfilling her dreams.”

Taonga has proven to us she is ready. She is passionate about food production and is very interested in working for a restaurant one day. There have been some really great restaurants and hotels popping up all over Lusaka, which would provide many opportunities for her. The next great step for Taonga is to attend Lusaka Trade School to study food production starting in May. She would live on campus. which will eliminate the long commute and family distractions. She would also live with another student in our program, Nyari. We are very expectant and excited for the girls to have each other, hold each other accountable, and continue on their journey together. Our guidance counselor will be in constant contact to check in on them and provide encouragement. Taonga would graduate in May 2020 with a food production license. She would have both the experience and training needed to give her an advantage when applying for jobs.

It is so exciting to have students ready for trade schools and working hard for it. Taonga has fully embraced all of our programs, listened to our staff, and has worked so hard. She is a full representation of diligence and believing that God loves her enough to educate her. It is so great to witness!

We see God working in her life and this is only the beginning. We have no doubt she will continue down this path. We believe in Taonga. Would you consider believing and investing in her with us? You will receive updates on her progress and be able to communicate with her as well! Click the button below to support Taonga today!

Alissa Rosebrough