Teaching Teachers in Zambia

by Office of Marketing | Oct 30, 2014
Tarragnoli in Zambia
Assistant professor Kathleen Terragnoli knew from a very young age that missionary work would be an important part of her life. Over her 35 years at UVF, she focused on supporting and teaching others as they prepared for their own missionary journeys. When the opportunity for her to serve in Africa on a short-term basis first came in 1996, she seized it with tremendous excitement. Since then, Terragnoli has been on 12 missionary journeys to Africa, visiting the country of Zambia on five separate occasions – the last of which took place this summer, from June 19 to July 11.
The first two weeks of her trip were spent in the city of Kabwe, with a team of one South African and 15 American teachers. Together, they trained over 200 Zambian teachers and encouraged faith and spirituality in one another. After observing government, community and private schools, as well as learning about the local culture (something that she encourages all short-term missionaries to practice), the team held over 60 sessions for teachers from all over the country. These sessions helped them develop their natural abilities and approach education with the most effective contemporary techniques.
“It’s not that they’re bad teachers, or that they don’t know what they’re doing,” emphasized Terragnoli. Rather, their access to training is limited, giving them less opportunity to reflect and grow with other educators. She also stressed the importance of supporting Africa’s educational infrastructure, which will give young people a means to think critically about issues, come up with creative solutions and prepare them to become productive and contributing members of society.
The second half of Terragnoli's missionary journey took place 270 miles down the road, in a southern city of Zambia called Choma. There, she served with UVF alumni Dociah ’95 and Kevin ’94 Friedrich, who founded and direct the Children of the Most High (CMH) Orphanage. Over the course of two weeks, Terragnoli participated in weekend services at the organization’s two pioneer churches, offered communication and teaching lessons to CMH leadership and spent time with the 20 children that live in CMH homes.
Terragnoli has been especially touched by the opportunity to see the children of CMH mature in faith. “I have literally watched some of them grow up during my five trips over the past 14 years,” she said.  With that in mind, she wants to convey the gratefulness of the Friedrichs, who are thankful for the financial and prayerful support that has come from the Valley Forge community; she also asks each of us to continue praying for CMH, as they move toward building the Dream Center – a centralized location for the orphanage, which currently operates out of three homes. “Thank you,” she adds, “for your love, support, and most of all — prayers!”