We had an incredible board visit in September! A few of our board members even extended their trip to stay with us longer, which was a huge encouragement to our staff. During the visit, SHN board members toured all 5 Community Care Centers (CCCs), the Resource Center, and the Therapy Center. They participated in Circle Time, and observed the therapy and educational sessions that the CCC staff led. Ben Menenberg, SHN Board Chair, remarked, “I was very pleased to see the active level of engagement from the children and parents in our CCC programs. It was clear that each CCC provides a supportive community where caregivers are encouraged in their journey of caring for their child.“
The board members were able to meet the CCC managers, social workers, and educational specialists, and were impressed by their professionalism, skill, and positive attitudes as they taught parents how to work with their children. Each board member was encouraged to see the level of detailed monitoring that goes into tracking the children’s progress compared with their set goals. Overall, the board members enjoyed meeting many of the children and families who regularly attend our centers.
“I was able to spend three weeks visiting and collaborating with the staff, parents, and students. I saw tremendous growth since my visit in January 2019. The numbers of children and families continues to increase, the skill level of the teachers becomes more defined, and the students are communicating, walking, and demonstrating more advanced academic skills. The teachers and staff are extremely dedicated to the students and their families; it was evident through their words and actions. SHN is such a tremendous blessing to Lusaka; I feel honored to be a part of such an incredible movement!” Rebecca Fry, SHN Board Member
During one of the CCC visits, the board members participated in a kids festival hosted by an organization called Butterfly Kid’s Festival. The Butterfly team came to our N’gombe CCC and painted faces, passed out balloon shapes, brought music, and played games. Check out the pictures below to see our board members embracing the celebration! Paul Matherne really enjoyed getting to see the many ways that God is working through Special Hope Network to support and celebrate the families and children in our CCCs.
On one special night of the board visit, the Special Hope U.S. and Zambia Boards gathered together for dinner. They each shared their desire behind serving as a board member for Special Hope Network, and what they’ve enjoyed most about being on the SHN team. Ben led a discussion on the unique role that the board plays in governance, strategy, and advocacy. It was a night of introductions, encouragement, unity, and great food!
The Special Hope U.S. Board also held their annual meeting while they were in Zambia, and the executive leadership team was included. It was a perfect time for the teams to cast vision, strategize, problem-solve, and share ideas. Special Hope Network is truly blessed to have such talented, committed, generous, and enjoyable individuals on the board!
To learn more about our talented and compassionate board members, click here!