By Anderson Simfukwe, Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Founder & Executive Director of his own pioneering organisation The Aged Care & Service Centre, Nakonde, Zambia and Mary Mutambo, Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Nurse & Midwife at the Nakonde District Hospital, Zambia. Mary also volunteers her nursing experience for the people receiving support from the Aged Care and Service Centre.
Since May 2016, Anderson and Mary have been focused on educating their 25 volunteers supporting 950 older people and their families in 10 villages surrounding Nakonde Spark of Life Philosophy with remarkable results. Some of the villages are based as far away as 70 kilometres and can only be reached by motorcycle.
The Spark of Life Philosophy has enabled Anderson, Mary and the volunteers to connect in new ways with people who have dementia and their supportive partners with heart-warming results.
This is Daviness Namusukuma, she lives in Nakonde district. She is 92 years old and is living with her son John Ng’andu. Daviness had ten children and of all the children only the last born, John is alive today. John is a brick layer with a low income job which falls short of minimum standard of living for an ordinary Zambian.
John is a passionate man as this is evidence in the manner he cares for his mother who can hardly walk. His wife is pregnant and all the care needs of his mother are dependent on him as the only surviving son. The day to day activities of John include carrying his mother Daviness, from the house to sunbathe in the sun and taking her back in the house. His wife is equally an excellent carer to her mother-in-law as she prepares meals for her and takes care of her incontinence and other sanitary needs.
Daviness recounts her old days and recalls very well all the names of her children and their ordeals. Tears roll down her skinny face as she narrates the misfortunes that befell her children.
The light has gone out of her eyes – however when applying the Spark of Life Philosophy through focused attention of unconditional love coupled with more improved health and dietary needs, the spirit in her eyes can be reignited and rekindled.
Aged Care and Service Centre is taking keen interest in looking after both Daviness’ emotional and compassionate needs through regular visits by the Spark of Life trained volunteers from the Centre. The period the Centre has engaged with Daviness, indicates improvement in her appearance and looks as she is now able to look up and there is again life in her eyes as can be seen in the picture. This proves that through the Spark of Life Philosophy and Education, life can be revived in our aged people at a minimal cost of care.
Aged Care and Service Centre is currently running a Spark of Life Program in the community, which has proved an effective and pragmatic approach to reigniting and rekindling the spirit in older people through Spark of Life Philosophy.
Before our Spark of Life Trained volunteers engaged with Daviness, she was unable to speak and look at people. After two weeks of active engagement with the volunteers, Daviness was able to talk and recount some of the past stories in her life. She is much happier and healthier than she was on the volunteers’ first encounter with her, remarks one of the Aged Care and Service Centre volunteers. Another volunteer observed that there was indeed life assurance in the Spark of Life Philosophy and was quick to mention that the philosophy requires unconditional love, compassion, passionate, diligence and commitment.
Daviness’ spirit was re-ignited through the volunteers applying the essence of the Spark of Life Philosophy – the emotional connection of love, kindness and trust.