Kondanani Zambia was chosen as the name for the Association by Rev Deacon Jenny and Mr John Preston to represent their commitment to the children who are Disabled, Orphaned and Vulnerable in Zambia, and to honour John’s parents, the late Margery and Norman Preston.
Mrs Harriet Sianjibu Miyato, Program Co-ordinator, of the Zambia Open Community Schools, was selected by the Australian Government for an ADAB scholarship in 1992, and began a Masters Course in Health Education at Deakin University, Burwood Campus, where she graduated in 1994. Settling in to Melbourne, Harriet took herself along to the closest Uniting Church and met Jenny Preston, employed at that time as Community Development Worker.
“Is this church like my United Church of Zambia?”
“I’m sure it is!”
Since then Jenny, John and Harriet have had many shared adventures, as Harriet’s passion for Education for the illiterate children of her land, spilled over onto the Prestons.
John Preston retired in 2009 after 30 years of service with the Uniting Church in Australia – Synod of Victoria and Tasmania in areas of administration, finance and property.
Jenny has just retired after 16 years as Rev Deacon working in disability and ageing in the suburbs of Heidelberg and East Ivanhoe.
In the 70’s and 80’s both Jenny & John were involved in Asylum Seeker and anti-apartheid campaigns, along with Rev Richard Wootton AM, and the Asian Development Foundation and the Australian Human Rights Foundation. When the opportunity came for John to have LSL, they went to South Africa to meet up with Ms Penny Foley, working with the Joint Enrichment Project (JEP) based in Johannesburg and made their first trip to Zambia.
John and Jenny son, Mark Preston, his wife Isabel and their daughter, Iris are also continuing and contributing to the work of Kondanani Zambia.