A Cayman contingent is to once more travel to Zambia to help a village in need. It is a relationship that has been established for several years, Greg Wray said.
“It is the fourth year I have gone to the Mufutuli village. We had a drive to collect stuffed animals, children’s clothes, etcetera and were able to fill a 40 foot container with items donated from Cayman and the United States including a tractor, a boat, a four-wheeler.
“That was delivered late in 2011. We are going back this time primarily as we are building an orphanage which will house 24 boys and 24 girls. We have raised enough funds to nearly complete the boys’ side and are raising funds for the girls’ dorm. There will also be a teaching component. We have raised funds to add on to the only government school in the area which is building another two classrooms to enable 90 more kids to go to school,” he said.
Five people from the Cayman Islands are going on this trip, said Mr. Wray, all of whom attend First Baptist Church. He said the venture began seven years ago when he was living in Nashville, Tennessee. Alongside Ron Buck, Mr. Wray spearheaded this and solicited volunteers.
“For the orphanage alone, we have raised probably $25,000,” he said. “For the school, it was $10,000. The container itself was about $20,000 just to ship over. It is an ongoing need and request. They also have a large farm component and are feeding people of the village and surrounding areas. H
“Hunger is also a problem. There is an ongoing cost for that, irrigation, motor and the pump we sent over. We are trying not to just get irrigation for the crops, but get children away from the river. It is their job to go and get water but five children in two years have been eaten by crocodiles. With the pump and motor we can move water to the village so hopefully we can save more lives.”
The trip is from 12 June to 26 June, Mr. Wray said.
“We are doing three days of medical clinics out in the bush villages; an EMT from Nashville is going with us. We did it last year and the line is as far as you can see of people waiting to be treated. Many have malaria in the region. We are taking a lot of medication, it is a very treatable disease. Many are dying from AIDS, which is getting worse, not better in the region,” he said. “Part of it is an educational process; men believe that if they have AIDS and sleep with a virgin they could be cured. If the first virgin doesn’t work they keep going so the virus keeps spreading.”
He said there was also an evangelistic component to the trip. “We will also do vacation bible schools for the children. There are two villages we will be going to which have never even heard the word ‘Jesus’ so we are showing them a Jesus film in their own language. There is no electricity and running water and they will be saying a movie for the first time.”