The Flip-Flop Appeal is SERVE’s National Fundraising campaign.

What’s it all about?

Despite the pandemic, SERVE has been a fully committed partner, but because we have no overseas volunteer programmes, our funds are running low and our partners still need the continued support of SERVE to reach their potential. 

Each week, we will share country-specific stories from recipients of SERVE funding. This will bring your attention to the importance of sustaining our work, and the impact of SERVE’s partnership model approach to development.

The Flip Flop Appeal works on three fronts:

(1) Supporting Fairtrade

(2) Raising awareness of what SERVE funds in our partner communities

(3) Generate funds that make a significant impact and sustainable change in the communities we work in

This appeal has been our flagship fundraising event for years. Flip-flops are the footwear of the poorest people of the world, so this is why it is featured on our logo and this appeal. Historically for this appeal, we went to different places around Ireland (churches, supermarkets, shopping centres) to sell Fairtrade flip flop pins made by the Good Shepard Sister’s projects in Nongkhai, Thailand. They focus on empowering women to be self-sustaining through various livelihood projects. This year, we’re unable to sell our flip-flop pins due to COVID restrictions and have moved our fundraiser online.

What can I do to help?

The Flip-Flop Appeal is a gesture of solidarity, service, and a determination to work together, and even though we have to go virtual this year and cannot go out to sell them in public, we ask you to do one of the following for us:

  1. Financial support is the best way you can help sustain SERVE’s work in solidarity with our partner communities. Become a regular donor today by setting up a Standing Order through your bank account or SERVE donation form.
  2. Take part in the Solidarity Games Flip Flop Appeal Edition! We will host a week-long (May 17th -23rd) challenge-themed event, called the Solidarity Games.  There will be various fun challenges for you to attempt with friends and family over the course of the week. Share your attempts on social media – just for some fun! We have a JustGiving page for this event which you can share to encourage donations for your efforts. There is no fundraising commitment to take part.

What’s the plan for each week in May?

Each week, we will share country-specific stories from recipients of SERVE funding. This will bring your attention to the importance of sustaining our work, and the impact of SERVE’s partnership model approach to development. Click each week below to read about our work. 

SERVE’s work with Assumption Parish Community in Mazabuka, Zambia 

SERVE works in partnership with the Assumption Parish Community situated in Mazabuka, Zambia. In Zambia, around 70% of the young population are unemployed, and those employed are on very low wages. At SERVE we look at the root causes of this high unemployment in the youth of Zambia. We also support like-minded existing or new programmes that help empower the youth and work in solidarity within a marginalised and vulnerable community, like those within the Assumption Parish Community, Mazabuka. 

Signing the funding contract in Luyobolola School

The Assumption Parish Community has worked closely with our Development officer, Darren Hennelly, over the past 15 months. Darren works closely with the Assumption Parish and partners with :  

  • St. Bakhita’s (Good Samaritan) House Youth Centre    
  • Luyobolola Primary school  
  • Flamboyant Special school  
  • St. Patrick’s Secondary school
  • Lukavilla Arts Centre  

Darren helps this community by running workshops and life skills training programmes, through seminars to help the youth population of Mazabuka to aspire to be self-sustainable through determination, education and skills training.

The Community Vegetable Garden Project 

 The garden at the youth centre is a small-scale project that continues to do well and garner. The garden produces all year round and forms part of the plan for the sustainability of the centre into the future. The youth’s that help produce the vegetables can take away what they grow. 

Youths working on the vegetable garden with Darren

Youths tending to the growing vegetables in the garden

SERVE’s work with the Flamboyant Special School – Chicken Project 

Flamboyant Special School in Mazabuka has currently 97 learners with hearing, physical and intellectual impairments, and learners with cerebral palsy.   

In March 2020, SERVE started funding a chicken project for the Flamboyant Special School and funded the project further in January 2021. As a result of this funding, the school now has 300 chickens that are currently laying 100 eggs per day for the school. The school can then sell 10 trays a day in an established market within the community. In its second year, when the project is fully-fledged, and all chickens are laying eggs, it will go a long way for helping the school to become financially sustainable.   

Chickens in their new home in Flamboyant School

In addition to the financial impact of the project for the school, it has also directly benefitted the students themselves through the child feeding programme put in place within the school. The project in particular has helped two older students who have learned invaluable skills on how to look after the chickens. Cledwyn Hamoonga, the school’s principal, and staff decided to employ the two boys for the upkeep of the chickens. This has been an opportunity for the boys to gain skills in budgeting and will help them in their life outside of school.

Flamboyant Special School receives no support from the Zambian government and so is heavily dependent on donors and partners like SERVE. 

Darren receiving the first tray of eggs produced.

SERVE’s work with Luyobolola National School 

In 2020, SERVE helped Luyobolola Primary school to build 3 classrooms and a full ablution/toilet block. 900 pupils attend this school, who up until the ablution was built, were using behind the wall of the school for a toilet. Now with the brand-new ablution block, students can study and work in a conducive working environment. 

Ablution Block (before)

Ablution Block (after)

Classroom Block (before)

Classroom Block (after)

Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have also helped the school with a farm project in the nearby parish farm. Three hectors of sunflower seed and two hectors of maize were sown with the help of SERVE funding. It is hoped that the harvest from this and future harvests will go towards the school’s feeding programme. The school offers a feeding programme in the mornings for students that consists of a maize porridge with ground nuts. Sadly, for the students there, this breakfast could be the only meal they could have all day for some of those children.

Farm crops making good progress

Visiting the farm to check on the crops.

Leadership and Life Skills Workshop in the Assumption Parish Youth Centre 

In March 2021, SERVE funded a three-day leadership and life skills workshop. It had some fantastic speakers on different topics and the feedback from participants, all ranging from 18 to 30 years of age, was very positive. The participants felt rewarded by learning skills they never knew they could learn, for example, self-development skills. 

Leadership & Life-Skills Workshop delivered by Auldridge Chibbwalu

Day 2 workshop delivered by Darren and Auldridge Chibbwalu

We also held an entrepreneurship training workshop that took place in April. By the end of the session, the youth participants felt that they could run their own small business, which they never thought possible before.  

SERVE plans to continue with these workshops in future and to do so more often and involve different types of workshops that focus on different types of skills. This the youths in Mazabuka are empowered to prosper in their lives, which unfortunately they would not have much opportunity without our workshops. In terms of the immediate future, next month, SERVE will be holding further entrepreneur training sessions after the successfully hosted workshops in April.   

SERVES’s work with St. Patrick’s secondary school & the Lukavilla Art Centre 

 We have helped Saint Patrick’s secondary school by sponsoring learning materials and we are continuously supporting Luzyobolo arts and Cultural Centre, with hopeful exciting projects on the horizon.

School supplies funded by SERVE

Why should you support SERVE in Assumption Parish now and into the future? 

SERVE’s work in Mazabuka is still in an early phase, so it’s hard to go forward without the guarantee of funding. There are lots of opportunities for us to help within the local area and our aim at SERVE is to help make our partners more self-sustainable so they can help themselves. By working in solidarity with our partners over the coming years, we can help make these schools more sustainable. By supporting us you can help make sure this happens. 

With your help, we can have sustainable programmes that directly benefit the youth of Mazabuka. Skills such as farming, tailoring, computer training or mechanical training are opportunities that could go forward in Mazabuka with a little more funding. 

We will also be working on projects like the rejuvenation of Luyando Farm, a local farm in the area that has come on hard times and we can also train youth’s there and provide certificates so that they can be guaranteed employment or start up their own farming enterprise. At SERVE we can see many opportunities within the parish to help but unfortunately, without adequate funding, there’s little we can do. Without funding, we have no ability to maintain the progress we have already made and to maintain our momentum. 

COVID 19 has had an undeniable impact on SERVE and the communities. Due to the constraints of the pandemic, we are unable to go out into the public for our Flip Flop Appeal in order to raise funds. 

Our solidarity with Mazabuka reminds us of our responsibility to support them in overcoming the financial and social constraints that they experience in addition to this health crisis.  

Our Flip Flop Appeal to you is to join our vision with a one-off donation or pledge a monthly gift and become a regular donor to support SERVE and continue the work of supporting and empowering the vulnerable members of the Assumption Parish.  

Frank admiring freshly grown vegetables in the community garden

Please donate to our appeal or set up a standing order today

Thank You! 

During Week 2 (May 10th -16th) we will be sharing stories from our partner Young Africa and their work in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zambia… Watch this space!

During Week 3 (May 17th -23rd) we will be hosting the SERVE Solidarity Games Flip Flop Appeal Edition to mark National Volunteer Week… Watch this space!

During Week 4 (May 24th -30th) we will be sharing stories from our partner The Association of People with Disability in Bengaluru, India… Watch this space!