1. What schools are
at Namwianga Mission?
Namwianga Christian Secondary School (NCSS) is a boarding facility for grades 8 – 12. Grades 8 and 9 are similar to junior high, and high school is grades 10 – 12. George Benson Christian College of Education (GBCCE) is a three-year teacher training program. Students receive a diploma and are certified to teach at the secondary level in two of the following subjects: English, math, history, civics, computer studies, or religious education. The one-year Christian Leadership Development Program provides intensive training in Bible and ministry to prepare high school graduates for further studies at GBCCE.
2. How are students selected for sponsorship?
Students apply for sponsorship and are selected by a committee of teachers, administrators, church leaders, and community members. Students who are selected for sponsorship must be academically qualified, financially needy, and show potential for church leadership.
3. HOW LONG AM I EXPECTED TO SPONSOR A STUDENT?
We ask for a minimum of one year’s sponsorship. Most of our sponsors want to sponsor through the student’s completion of high school or college. At Namwianga, most of our secondary students come in grade 10 and stay three years. College is also three years.
4. What is the school year calendar?
The Zambian school year is very different from the US. The school year begins in mid-January and is divided into three terms. Term 1 runs from January until early April (secondary) or mid-April (college). Term 2 begins in May and ends in August. Term 3 runs from September through November, with some levels continuing into early December.
However, the school year for grade 10 students does not begin until the last half of February. This is because students take exams at the end of grade 9, and these exams must be graded and the results published before students can be selected and enrolled for grade 10.
Also, college students do student teaching practice during their second and third years, so they are not on campus from April through August in those years. They still require sponsorship during that time.
5. Where do I send my payments?
Make checks payable to Zambia Mission Fund and mail them to Zambia Mission Fund, Box 3393, Abilene, TX79604. Be sure to note that your check is for student sponsorship. Payments are tax-deductible.
6. What other payment options are available?
You can arrange for automatic bank drafts by contacting Ellie Hamby (see # 16). You can use PayPal, debit card, or a credit card on the donate page.
7. Do I pay only for the months my student is in school?
Our fees are set up on a 12-month calendar, not the school calendar.
8. Can I pay for the entire year at once?
Yes. Many of our sponsors pre-pay for the coming year in December for the tax benefit. If you plan to pay later in the year for a current student, please let us know so that we can plan accordingly.
9. I cannot afford to sponsor a student for the full amount.
Can I still help?
Yes! We accept any amount from $20 per month on up. If a student has less than the needed amount, we combine two or more sponsors to come up with the total needed. One-time donations of any amount are welcome.
10. What happens if I decide to discontinue sponsorship?
We understand that circumstances and obligations change. We do ask that if you plan to discontinue your sponsorship, you let Coordinator Linda Gregersen know in December for the coming school year. If you need to drop your sponsorship during the year, please try to give at least two months’ notice so that we can seek a sponsor to replace you.
11. How often will I hear from my sponsored student?
Students write letters to their sponsors once each term—usually in March, August, and November. College students in their second and third years of study are gone from April – August to do student teaching, so their letters are written in March, September, and November.
12. Am I expected to correspond with my sponsored student?
You are under no obligation to write to your student. However, the students love to receive mail, so you are welcome to write if you want to. You can send an e-mail through the coordinator Linda Gregersen firstname.lastname@example.org. She will make sure it gets to your student. Or, you can mail a letter to your student through Linda (Zambia Mission Fund, Box 3393, Abilene, TX 79604) and she will send it to your student at the Mission.
13. Does my sponsored student need other things like school supplies and uniforms?
Many of our students are extremely poor and come to school with virtually nothing but the clothes on their backs and one or two other items. In that case, we provide uniforms (high school only) and school supplies. The money for these items comes from one-time donations. If you would like to send extra money for this need, you are welcome to do so.
14. Can I send gifts or money directly to my sponsored student?
It is expensive and complicated to mail packages to the students, but sometimes a small package can be sent with someone who is visiting the Mission. Please contact the Coordinator if you feel you really want to send money or gifts.
15. What if I want to sponsor the same student through high school and college?
That is fine! In the Zambian system there is a “gap year” between high school and college while the students wait for the results from the government exams. You might want to sponsor a different student for that one year. Sometimes a student will not score high enough on the exams to proceed to college right away and will have to re-take some of the exams, so it could be even longer than one year between high school and college.
16. How much does a full sponsorship cost?
High school students require $160 per month ($1920 per year) and college students need $170 per month ($2040 per year).