How it all started
CONTESA's name originates from CONnie Tatum and ESnat Avon. Connie was a missionary in Angola in the early 1950’s and also spent time in Zambia working as a secretary to earn some money for her fare back to England. Despite having to return to the United Kingdom due to ill health she always maintained her love of Africa and hope for its people. Esnat Avon (nee Phiri) was born and raised in Zambia. She now lives in Dorset in the UK with her husband and close to her five children.
Sadly Connie died on 2nd May 2004, and she left part of her estate to her friend Esnat. Esnat then decided to inject some of these funds together with her own into a new charity CONTESA, devoted to an emotional issue very close to her heart, orphans and disadvantaged children in Zambia.
To help alleviate the suffering of orphans and disadvantaged children in Zambia through the provision of small grants for food, education, health, welfare, uniforms, shoes or general well being.
To support grass root organisations in Zambia who are working to support and empower orphans and disadvantaged children with shelter, food, education and their general well being.
To protect children’s rights and to alleviate social injustice and achieve sustainable outcomes.
Background on Zambia and Aids
Orphans, is the emotional issue that is at the heart and mission of the charity CONTESA. CONTESA intends to highlight the plight of orphans and disadvantaged children in one of the sub-Sahara countries most devastated by the AIDS epidemic and poverty, Zambia.
It is a sad fact that these children normally lack any love, education and health/welfare support especially as education and health are not provided free by the Government. These young children who are already traumatised by the loss of their parents are just left to fend for themselves as best as they can and often young teenagers have to care for their even younger siblings or by aged grandparents. Some of these children find themselves on streets and live in very distressing and degrading conditions.
With care and determined effort many of the problems faced by these children can be gradually eliminated and eventually prevented. We in the developed countries need to do more to help. Despite the frustration of inefficient Government and local authorities and services, there are some dedicated organisations and people who are working tirelessly to assist but they are just totally over-run with the scale of the problems. Just a few pounds here and there could make an enormous difference and help to reduce the misery, suffering and deaths of such a vulnerable group. CONTESA continues to be proud of our pledge that 100% of donations do to our programmes and projects (apart from any specifically made for administration), even after 10 years of working and tremendous growth we are still able to keep this pledge.