Our Rainbow House is an Australian and Zambian Registered Charity with focus on a community near Lusaka, Zambia. Based in Emerald, Central Queensland, with friends throughout Australia and beyond, the Charity provides the opportunity for 51 children to attend school and gives them improved life chances.
The Charity came about after the Founder, Alison Ray had the pleasure of volunteering at the School of St. Jude’s, Tanzania. After this experience, Alison went to Zambia to visit her son’s sponsored child.
This journey took Alison to an impoverished compound of 55,600 people on 5 hectares. 7,800 of which are orphans and vulnerable – it is not for the faint-hearted. When Alison arrived at the compound in Zambia, she had an epiphany, that this was where God meant for her to do some work. This feeling was strong, overwhelming and could not be denied. She knew that she had to come back, when the time was right. She did so!
Alison then progressed to form a Committee of a small group of friends in Emerald. In 2012, with foundational funds, they opened the school for 51 orphans and vulnerable children! They employed teachers, guards and cooks. The school has progressed very well and systems and processes have been enacted to ensure the viability of the Charity and create the preferred futures for Our Rainbow House.
The school has the same problems as any other school – nothing is perfect. It is hugely rewarding to see the students, who, through sadness, loss, hunger, extreme poverty or sickness, still come in the school gates, smiling and thankful to have an education!
The challenges of fund-raising in Australia, for action in Zambia has been a journey. Our school Board Members are stringent to adhere to the guidelines of Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) which strictly accredits the charity and it’s actions.
In 2016, to our delight, our first class of grade seven students all passed their national high school entrance exam! Considering the students had completed seven years of education in only four years, is a tremendous achievement! One student had the great fortune to gain a scholarship to attend a prestigious boarding school in Lusaka. He says: I would be on the streets except for Our Rainbow House – now look at me, in a blazer, tie, long trousers and I am not being a concern for my family.
A little of what a sponsored child enjoys at Our Rainbow House includes breakfast, lunch, school uniforms, books, health and pastoral care, all which are kindly provide through the love and generous sponsors of Our Rainbow House. The Charity employs a Project Co-ordinator, teachers, a cook and guards to enable their operations in Zambia. Regular volunteers to the school enable invaluable support to the Charity and ensure the accountability that every cent raised is directly spent to support the children.
The recent Interschool sporting competition was a stark reminder of the lack of educational facilities for the children of this village. Literally hundreds of children, many with younger siblings on their backs, came along to watch the event.
Dedication and hard work by many volunteers over the years, has seen our Rainbow House reach its potential. We are proud of the achievements and invite you to become involved, so that we can indeed, offer education to many more children in the area.