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Jo in appeal to help Zambian trainee nurse

Date: 04 June 2021 to 31 December 2098

An NHS therapy assistant is trying to raise £450 to help a young African woman complete her nurse training in her native Zambia, a large country in the continent’s South. 

Jo Kambalami (pictured left), who works for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust at Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital, hopes people will help support her by donating whatever they can so her friend, Jane Kasoka (pictured right), can finish her third and final year at university in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. 

With one unit of the country’s currency, the Kwacha, worth only three British pence, Jo is keen to stress that any cash people can spare will go a long way to covering the student’s last term and exam fees. 

“I’ll be very happy with loose change,” said Jo, 43, who works for SCFT’s Inpatient Therapy Team (West) and lives in Bognor Regis. “For quite a small amount of money a massive impact can be made – and every little bit will help.” 

Jo met Jane while taking a three-year career break in Lusaka with her Zambian husband, David, 46, and their two children. 

Jane had previously completed primary school in her village before moving to the capital to cook and clean for another family so she could attend secondary school. 

The teenager had woken early each day to complete her household chores before class, returning home to cook in the evenings and then complete her homework. 

Jo and David knew that job opportunities for young Zambian girls from poor families were limited, even for those like Jane who had finished secondary school. 

They were also aware that there was an acute shortage of nurses in the country and that Jane’s dream was to become a nurse. 

Moved by her story and impressed by her determination, the couple initially employed Jane when she was 19 to look after their daughter. 

They then tried to secure another job for Jane and also attempted to find a charity willing to sponsor her – but their efforts proved in vain. 

When Jane eventually gained a place on a nurse training course, Jo and David helped at first with the fees but had to stop when their circumstances changed. 

Jo has since returned to the UK with her family and done her best to help, raising £140 by cutting off her hair to pay for Jane’s clinical placement. 

If you would like to donate to help the student complete her training, please click here.