Founder of Glimmer of Hope, Francisca Mpike, works with orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia.
Her work is motivated by the belief that it is the sole responsibility of the able to help those that are orphaned, less privileged and vulnerable and unable to take care of themselves.
Glimmer of Hope was established in 2017.Its inception was a result of an interview she had done with an owner of an orphanage when she was 19 years old; and the interview inspired her to start up one. Twenty years later, she realised she was still as passionate about his project.
She says the affection that the orphanage owner showed and the sincerity of his intentions to be the solution for these children moved her to want to do the same. At the time she thought more about what she could do to help organisations such as this and had no clue that the idea would develop into a fully-fledged institution.
With the help of five friends, Francisca reached out to a friend with a farm, who gladly donated food. They took the food to the orphanage and spent time visiting with the children and Glimmer of Hope was born.
Glimmer of Hope fundraises and collaborates with other organisations to send orphaned and vulnerable children to school. The organisation focuses on ensuring access to education and supplies basic needs to these children. It also acts as liaison between overseas-based donors and orphanages in Lusaka.
Francisca believes that every child deserves an opportunity to live a healthy and secure life and has a right to education and opportunities to improve their circumstances; because a child who has access to quality schooling has a better chance in life.
In the past two years since its inception, Glimmer of Hope has sent over 50 children to school. It has also refurbished a classroom block and repainted dormitories at Fountain of Hope school.
Along the way, Francisca has made a lot of personal sacrifices, including investing her personal funds to keep the orphanage running as at times the funds they receive from donors is not enough to fulfil all the needs of their children. She says, the task is enormous and requires a selfless heart and some personal sacrifice, because not everyone is willing to help.
Her plan for the next five years is to grow Glimmer of Hope’s footprint nationally, in Zambia. She also plans to build a community school that will focus mainly on providing quality education to orphaned and vulnerable children. She is planning some projects that will generate an income for the orphanage to sustain the organisation and provide jobs for the children as they get older.
Francisca’s vision is to make sure that Africa pays more attention to its children and makes education a right for every child, because the cost of the impact of a lack of education is not only felt by these children, but is felt not only by the children, also by their families, their communities and their country’s economies.