Diane Cusick is based in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, where she is serving with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Synod of Zambia, as their Early Childhood Development Co-ordinator. She arrived in Zambia in May 2016 and is engaged in setting up some Early Childhood Centres to run alongside the church’s existing Community Schools.
Diane previously served in Malawi for 20 years from 1995 to 2015. She served at first in the south of the country, teaching classes in the Women's Ministry Department at Zomba Theological College (ZTC). Further responsibilities soon followed when she became Director of ZTC's Crèche and Playgroup, where she was involved in preparing all the educational material used in the playgroup.
In 2004, Diane undertook a year's study in Johannesburg (South Africa), completing a pre-school teaching course at the College of Modern Montessori, and in 2007 she relocated to Mzuzu in northern Malawi, where, at the invitation of the Education Department of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), she introduced the Montessori teaching method to an already established pre-school in Mzuzu; and organised training programmes for management committees and care-givers in Early Childhood Development. Diane completed her part-time studies for a Masters’ degree in Early Childhood Development (ECD) through Stranmillis University College in 2014.
The education and development of its children and young people has always been a priority of the Church in Malawi and Zambia, and today tens of thousands receive their pre-primary, primary and secondary education in schools run by the churches.
Read her latest Monthly Bulletin which gives up to date news and prayer requests:
Happy New Year to you all! Thank you for all the Christmas cards I received (and am still receiving), and the gifts and messages.
In Zambia, the new year did not turn out the way we expected. In Lusaka we had a bad cholera outbreak which resulted in about 3,300 cases in Lusaka and 70 deaths. Although the outbreak has been contained, there are still cases in some parts of the city. Schools were supposed to open on 15 January, but most were prevented from opening. Some schools were allowed to open on 22 January, while others in the most affected areas are still closed.
This has affected all walks of life with some food shops being closed down after inspection for not meeting hygiene standards, church services cannot meet in the most affected areas, and even all over Lusaka, church services are to be short - so two hours instead of four!
As you enter most shops, you have to sanitise your hands. It is much better than it has been and I am thankful that during this time we have not had heavy rains, giving the city officials time to clean up the city and hopefully stop this outbreak.
The teacher training I had planned was also postponed and I only managed to do two days with the teachers just before the schools opened.
I hope to travel to Livingstone and Monze in February to see how their new Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres are doing.
Don’t forget to check out my blog at www.dianecusick.com and feel free to leave a comment too!
- Pray for the cholera situation, that it would be contained and that it will end soon. Pray for the vendors who have been moved off the streets selling their wares, that they may find enough food to eat while plans are put in place for their shops to be set up elsewhere.
- Pray for the teachers in CCAP schools as they begin the new term, and pray that we will have a good number of children attending our centres. Pray for the two new ECD centres in Livingstone and Monze, for the teachers and the children.
- Pray that the plans we have made for 2018 in the ECD department will come to fruition.
General Prayer Points
- For Diane as she works with CCAP Synod of Zambia to begin an early childhood programme.
- That Diane will build good relationships with her co-workers in CCAP Synod of Zambia.
- That Diane will make new friends as she settles into life in Lusaka.
- That Diane’s spiritual life would be enriched by those she meets and works with.
Diane also writes a blog which you can read here.
To download a printable PDF of this bulletin or for a previous bulletin visit the Mission Reports listing at the top or the Global Mission monthly bulletin archive.