This summer I was able to visit my youngest daughter, Martha Fuechsel, and participate in her work as a special needs educator with Special Hope Network. While volunteering at the center and enjoying touristy activities on the evenings and weekends, I gained a more realistic impression of SHN’s mission and life in Lusaka.   As Martha showed me around, I was startled by the crass contrasts between rich and poor. The sprawling city has miles and miles of crowded communities called compounds....

        So far living in Zambia has been a series of ups and downs. Zambia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, but witnessing that beauty is marred by the bars on the doors and windows. You can travel across town for less than $1, if you don't mind squeezing four to a bench seat. The food here is delicious, but you must always be cautious to avoid getting sick. Just like in any city, Lusaka is...

Hello everyone! To introduce myself, I am Jessica Cramer, and I’m one of the newer additions to the Special Hope Network (SHN) staff. I arrived at the beginning of August and have been here in Lusaka for almost two months, and I love every second of being here! Although life here is much different than I had imagined, I’m finding each day that there are slices of daily life that when meeting people, experiencing the pace of the city, and exchanging friendly...

Hello, my name is Martha Fuechsel and I joined the Special Hope Network team a year ago. Coming in, I was not sure what to expect. We all create a picture from what we hear in the news, learn in school, and from the pictures we see of what a country in Africa could look like, and what a program for kids with disabilities in a developing country would be like. On my first day, I walked into our Community Care...

In 2018, Special Hope Network was chosen by the Women's Ministry at Montgomery Evangelical Free Church as recipients of their amazing sewing talents and sourcing abilities to find things our kids and Moms need to have. It has been an amazing connection, with the end result being the gift of hundreds of cloth diapers and cloth diaper covers, arriving in Lusaka in people's luggage (free delivery!), and in four huge boxes delivered on a container that came on a ship.  One...

Hello all! We are Katie and Kiki, two Resident Pediatricians from the United States, specifically from the University of Virginia. We spent a month in Lusaka, Zambia at Special Hope Network, and now that we have been back in the States, we have had some time to reflect on our time there and wanted to share! After only a short time in Zambia, we noticed immediately how welcoming and kind the people are. However, something that stood out to us very...

Hey there, and welcome to my post on the Special Hope blog.  I am a speech pathologist in my clinical fellowship year - a year of supervised practicing required after earning your master's degree in speech pathology before you can become certified to practice on your own.  I have been in Zambia since August this year, and what a feat it is to put that experience thus far into a single blog post. But I’m going to try my best....

    Hello! My name is Katie Schuelke, and I had the opportunity to serve Special Hope Network in Lusaka the past three months. I am an undergraduate Speech Pathology student at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and have always felt called to serve children and adults with disabilities. Last year, I began to look into various organizations world-wide that served children with disabilities. While there are few to pick from, they generally all have a similar format; serving children who were...

We are very excited to announce that we are one of the winners of the Disability and Inclusion Challenge for organizations doing unique work with children around the world who have disabilities. We found out yesterday after a few months of different rounds of application, where the IDEO folks moved from almost 500 ideas, down to 82 shortlisted ones, to the final decision that we are one of six winning organizations! For the next 18 months Special Hope Network will receive...

  Through your faithful partnership with Special Hope, we labor daily to see transformation in the lives of the children, families, and communities we serve. At times, the progress our children and families make is exhilarating. On other occasions, we are reminded of the overwhelming obstacles children with intellectual disabilities face. Our ministry is marked by both joy and sorrow, and in this blog post, we invite you to share our grief over the death of one of our children, Ephraim. Ephraim...