Yule Mwewa’s list of accomplishments could make any Ivy League graduate envious. Valedictorian. Successful entrepreneur and business owner. Certified accountant. Board member of a major nongovernmental organization.
But none of those would have been possible for the 33-year-old Zambian without another distinction: “All this is because I was once a sponsored child,” says Yule.
The spark of sponsorship
The sixth of eight children growing up in Kawimbe, a rural town in northern Zambia, Yule was one of the first children sponsored when World Vision started working in his village. The support was timely, as “survival was extremely hard,” says Yule. “[My parents] could not even afford to provide basic meals for us.”
His sponsor, Kay Mason from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, supported Yule through primary and secondary school with uniforms and school fees. Her sponsorship was the spark he needed to excel.
“World Vision’s sponsorship motivated me to work even harder,” says Yule — and his hard work produced results. Yule graduated from high school at the top of his class, ensuring automatic admittance to the University of Zambia.
But that didn’t mean he could afford tuition. Refusing to give up, he started a small business to earn money for college and instead enrolled in an accounting program at Chingola School of Accountancy in 2002.
Three years later, Yule’s parents desperately needed financial help to send his younger siblings to school. Armed with a new accounting degree, he headed to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city.
“By God’s grace, I got my first job with an audit firm,” he says. Soon he was able to help his family with school expenses. Two years later, Yule became the accountant for World Vision’s Mwinilunga development project.
God’s grace is so sufficient in my life. I believe that I am a channel of blessing to others.—Yule Mwewa
“Sponsorship served as a catalyst for my career,” he says, “and with the experience I got as an auditor from my first job, I felt that I needed to serve at World Vision and contribute to its success.”
Today, Yule’s position as a finance and administration manager in the government’s science and technology ministry enables him to provide for his wife of nine years, Mirriam, and their two children, Emmanuel, 7, and Natasha, 3.
Yule’s other distinctions far outweigh his professional accomplishments. As a husband, father, brother, and son, he sees himself as the cornerstone for his family. He built new houses for his parents and family members, financed his siblings’ educations, and runs several small businesses that generate extra income to help others.
“God’s grace is so sufficient in my life. I believe that I am a channel of blessing to others. What I have received, freely I should give,” says Yule. “I have chosen to share what I have with others, just as my sponsor demonstrated to me through World Vision.”
Though he takes pride in what he has attained, Yule is quick to point to God’s goodness as the source of his accomplishments. And his sponsor, Kay, says she “is pleased that Yule gives most of the credit for his success to God and that he has been active for God throughout [his life].”
Heavily involved in his church’s ministries, Yule is a spiritual leader and serves on the church board. He’s even pursuing a theology degree, not to become a pastor but “to know God more.”
Helping future generations with World Vision
The final merit on a long list of accomplishments is Yule’s role as a board member for World Vision in Zambia.
Serving the organization that served him when he desperately needed help has given Yule a unique perspective on sponsorship.
“The impact is enormous,” he says. “World Vision’s sponsorship program touches children’s lives to the detail. The sponsor out there may not know to what extent, but when you look at the details, children’s lives are changing.”
Without World Vision or Kay, Yule acknowledges he wouldn’t have been able to reach his full potential.
“Sometimes when you give, you do not know to what extent your contribution is going to impact lives. Just imagine for my life if World Vision did not give me the springboard — what would have happened?”
Yule is thankful that he will never know.