Gap Year Program Makes for a Bright Future | An Update from Zambia

Joseph stands outside of the Gap Year Program center.

For many years,

Joseph believed the only person that really loved him was his mom. His father died before he was born. So after his mother passed away when he was just a child, Joseph was devastated.

His grandparents took care of him and encouraged him to work hard, never taking opportunities for granted. But he also suffered abuse while living with his grandparents. In his grief, he grew bitter, angry, and fought often. 

As Joseph wrestled through difficult emotions, Lifesong came alongside him and helped him process the loss of his parents. He received nutritious food, mentorship, and a quality education.  

Now, Joseph has been with Lifesong for 14 years. He recently graduated from secondary school, completing 12th grade.

Joseph shares—

“I learned more about Jesus and how I can live a holy life. I learned how to live with others and about respecting elders. I am humbly grateful to God for Lifesong helping me reach this far.”

Joseph is now enrolled in Lifesong Zambia’s new Gap Year Program and plans to study agricultural science. 

In Zambia, Lifesong’s Gap Year Program meets a critical need during an important transition in a young adult’s life.

Students who complete high school in Zambia must wait one full year before they know if their grades are high enough for them to qualify for university. This means every student in Zambia has one full year between when they graduate high school and when they are able to either begin pursuing a vocation or university education.

The Gap Year Program enables orphaned and vulnerable children to be supported during this time. Students receive continued instruction in various subjects, such as math and language arts, are provided with safe housing where they can live independently while still living close to Lifesong staff, receive nutritious meals, are discipled and continue to learn more about the Gospel, engage in outreach opportunities, participate in job-skills training, and learn habits that will help them prepare for university and life. Because of this program, students are better prepared for their careers.

Students in the Gap Year Program complete an assignment.

Pauline, a student in the Gap Year Program shares—

“The Creator has purpose and plans for His creation. I’m looking forward to God’s purpose being fulfilled in my life. I want to pursue a career in biochemistry or as a medical doctor. It has been on my heart to care for people’s health in our country and in other parts of the world.”

A Gap Year Program student prays with a staff member.

Another important aspect of the Gap Year Program is its focus on missions, discipleship, and studying the Bible.

Regardless of whether the orphaned and vulnerable children we serve want to try their hands at a specific vocation or move on to university, we believe a foundation built on the Bible is the best way to prepare them for the future, to grow the kingdom, and to support God’s work now and through the future.

Matthews stands outside of the Gap Year Program center.

Matthews, who was raised by a single parent with significant health challenges, shares—

[The Gap Year Program] is a blessing God brought to us. We are learning skills that will help us become good citizens that will build the community and the world at large. I want to help others just like Lifesong sponsors are helping many people in the world. And I want my career to help my family fight against poverty.

Matthews plans to study finance and accounting so that he can become a financial planner.

Thanks to your support, the future is bright for students in Zambia who have graduated high school and are contemplating what to pursue next in life. Because they are being poured into through the Gap Year Program at this critical time, they are open to all God has in store for their lives.

Help prepare students in Zambia for the future as they transition into adulthood.