Health and Education

Pilgrim - Salt in Community

This project is designed to help the local community through both education and health.

In 2008, Grace Sholoma (a nurse), Jastin Sholoma (a farmer) and Evans Mubanga (a head teacher) were shocked at the level of poverty, deprivation and malnutrition that they saw in a widely dispersed community in a remote area of Serenje District, Central Province, Zambia. They developed a vision for a “Resource Village” in the area, and formed a local charity called “Pilgrim - Salt in Community” to implement their plans.

The local chief, Chief Kabamba, was very supportive and leased them the land, and they started to create the village from scratch in 2012, after engaging the commitment of the local people, who were, and are, excited to be part of this self help project. The village, Kalilianama, now has:

  • A thriving school plus adult literacy classes
  • A church
  • Cooperative agriculture and horticulture plus training in crop diversity and animal husbandry

The construction of a Health Post has recently been completed to Government specification and Pilgrim is in the process of equipping it with furniture and medicines.

They have cleared a 12 mile navigable track to the village from the main road, drilled a borehole for fresh water and built huts for visitors. They also have an ex Royal Mail red van for transportation, which is lovingly maintained by a qualified engineer who is part of the leadership team.

Everything is done in cooperation with the community. There are regular meetings with the local people to share and discuss plans and to agree priorities. At an early meeting a village head man said: “you are offering us one end of a rope of hope - it is up to us to grab it”.

Plans for next year include building a second classroom at the school (at the moment two classes use one room) and fully equipping the Health Post. In the longer term, when these have been shown to be successful, it is hoped that the Government will assist with funding for teachers and nurses. They also plan to introduce training in practical skills such as woodworking and tailoring and to create a sustainable tree plantation for fruit, nuts etc. and timber.

Funding for the village in UK is raised by the UK charity “Growing Communities - Zambia”.