Dora Moono Nyambe: The Young Woman Who Chose the Path of Enriching Young Lives in Mapapa, Zambia


Article by: Mourine Achieng'

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Life comes with twists and turns that sometimes take us completely off the script. These turns are often incidents that shift our perception of life, giving us a new meaning or purpose. Such was the case for Dora Moona Nyambe, a young Zambian woman who, until 2019, was like any other young, ambitious African woman. 

Dora was at the helm of her career growth. As a primary school teacher certified to teach English as a second language, she had secured a teaching opportunity in China. She was only waiting for her visa to start a new chapter in her career.  

Before her trip, Dora accompanied a friend to Mapapa village in Zambia. On the visit, she couldn’t help but notice the high poverty levels in the village. The village had no access to clean potable water, children were not going to school, and many villagers often went hungry.

On her return to the city, the plight of Mapapa village lingered in her mind. She had a conviction to help. She did what many of us will never dare in 1000 years. Dora left everything she held dear and relocated to the rural village of Mapapa to give the children an opportunity to pursue an education.

The Journey to a new beginning in Mapapa Village

Armed with her meagre savings, Dora stepped into the unknown with one goal in mind, start a school for the village kids. Together with her two adopted daughters, she started living in a mud hut and teaching sixty children under a tree. Four months in, she built a mud hut class, which was washed away during the rainy season.

The power of social media

While most people will dismiss TikTok as a platform for the i-generation, it is in this platform that Dora Moona received overwhelming support for the school. Her videos about her mission and the situation of the children in Mapapa attracted attention from across the globe. In no time, people were asking how they could help.

With the help of a fellow missionary abroad, Dora set up a GoFundMe page with the hope of raising $6000. People came through, and in a short time, the contribution was above $80 000. Apart from the contributions, well-wishers sent books, shoes, toys, and clothes for the children.

Dora has managed to build four decent classes for the children and a dining hall. She has bought desks, seats, shoes, and uniforms for the kids. The funds have also gone towards the construction of two water pumps for the villagers.

Since most kids travel for a long distance to school and lack regular meals, Dora is building a dormitory for girls and boys to keep the children in school. 

She has channelled some of the funds to the local dispensary, which caters to more than 4000 people.

The pandemic disrupted the livelihood of many households, and Mapama village was no exception. Therefore, Dora started a feeding program to sustain the families during these hard times.

Defying the norm to make a difference

At the age of 28, Dora Moona Nyambe is the adoptive mother of seven children. She takes care of 106 children in her school. Dora ensures the children are getting an education, eating a balanced diet, and having the best shot at life.

In this less travelled path, she is changing the lives of Mapapa children who would have otherwise never experienced clean water or a decent meal, let alone an education. Dora is part of the women pacesetters who are at the forefront being the change we want to see. We celebrate her selflessness, courage, and passion. #ChooseToChallenge

Also read: Cooper Rust on Using Your Gifts to Empower Others