CHOP - Congress Hall Overseas Project
Back in October 2014 when the Corps renewed its ‘Give to Grow’ programme we felt we needed to also have an external focus to our overall giving and mention was made of the possibility of an overseas project for the Corps. Soon CHOP was announced [Congress Hall Overseas Project]. So what is the project, the team and the goal?
Where is it? We are supporting a corps in the Zimbabwe Territory. How did The Salvation Army get started in that territory? A pioneer party, led by Major and Mrs Pascoe, set out from Kimberley, South Africa, on 5 May 1891 in a wagon drawn by 18 oxen, arriving in Fort Salisbury on 18 November. The then Rhodesia became a separate territory on 1 May 1931. Work spread to Botswana where The Salvation Army was officially recognised in 1997.
Our project is known as the Kuvaka Project (‘Kuvaka’ means ‘building’ in Shona one of the local Zimbabwean languages). We are going to help build the Quarters (home) for the Corps Officers at the Marondera Corps in the north of Zimbabwe, 50 miles east of Harare. Marondera is a town with a population of 90,000 people – a little larger than our own town of Bedford, but with an unemployment rate over 80%. The Corps is experiencing phenomenal growth, but, because of the economy it does not have the finances to provide their officers with adequate housing. The Corps has to rent accommodation for them, so this is a further strain upon their finance. The Corps at Maraondera have attempted to raise money but have only been able to fund enough to build the foundations for the Quarters. Funds from International Headquarters are also limited, because any grant money from International Headquarters cannot be used for Quarters buildings.
The Goal is to see a new Quarters built for the Corps Officers at Marondera Corps by raising £10,000 by summer 2016. We have almost reached our target and have a last push to get us “over the line”.
How To Participate:
If you would like to participate in this project and would like to make a donation then please either come along on Saturday evening June 25th to our African Praise Celebration or you could send a cheque made out to The Salvation Army and posted to us at: The Salvation Army, Commercial Road, Bedford, MK40 1QS and mark the back of the cheque "For CHOP". THANK YOU!
Julian Marshall has cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for the project and his sponsored ride raised over £900 for the project.
A day of African Praise was held at Bedford Congress Hall to to celebrate the raising of the £10,000 for the project - a report of the event is on our Recent Events page.
Our Project Team is: Chairman: Theo Armstrong; Secretary: Eira Palmer; Members: Helen Loxley, Anya Williams, Aisha Horner, Mike Palmer, Muriel Shemming, Bamus Limted, Peter Hammond and Martin Gregory.
AND NOW FOR AN UPDATE! - HOT OFF THE PRESS AUGUST 10TH
With the money raised and sent to Zimbabwe construction has begun again in earnest and has proceeded with great speed.
The official opening is on the "9th October 2016 in Marondera Zimbabwe.
God willing Bamus and the family we will be heading to Harare on the Monday 24th October returning Monday 31st October.
Thank you so much for all your hard work,you have changed peoples lives and will live to remember and cherish you.
Some new picture have been added to the slideshow below so have a look and see the progress.