Christmas came early for children at the Makeni Transit Centre thanks to a visit by the Kings University Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church children’s department. The visit was part of a life skills training offered by the church during the school holidays. The vocational bible training serves as an avenue through which values and virtues are instilled to the children with an aim of transforming their world view and moulding them into better members of society.
The programme kicked off with welcoming and introductory remarks from Ms. Deborah Sagonda, AAH Zambia’s Community Services Coordinator She spoke at length about the operations of Makeni Transit Centre including the services it offered to refugees and asylum seekers. She welcomed the kind gesture of the Church especially in bringing the children along for the visit.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Humprey Mwale and Mr. John Kasongo both children patrons at the Church emphasised that this was the genesis of a mutual relationship between the Church and the Centre and should be well nurtured. The two patrons also applauded the children for the effort they put in towards collecting and purchasing the food and non-food donations. In addition, the children were encouraged to freely interact and share experiences with the Centre’s residents more so their fellow children.
Interludes of music by the children, games and interactive sessions by the different age groups formed the main agenda of the day. At the tail end of the programme, the donations including clothes, toys and toiletries were handed over to Ms. Sagonda for distribution.
Also in attendance was Dr. Dominic Minoyi, Local Integration Coordinator Ministry of Local Affairs who donated beddings for a health clinic run by AAH-Zambia within the Centre.
About Makeni Transit Centre
Operations at Makeni Transit Centre began in the early 90s with the aim of accommodating Persons of Concern referred from the Ministry of Home Affairs and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The centre provides accommodation, food and transport to asylum seekers, refugees with protection cases and unaccompanied and separated children who are yet to be provided with a durable solution. The centre has a bed capacity of 60.
The Transit Centre also runs a safe house with a bed capacity of 15 and a community services child friendly corner.
Story complied by: Linda K. Ongwenyi, Communications Assistant-AAH-I