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Fall 2008 | The Next Chapter

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Mandy Smith ’09 and Alyssa Casey ’09 with new friends in Zambia.

Out to Africa

By Suzan Odabasi ’09

Alums on Zambian mission see service at work, children in need

Judy ’76
and Jerry Turba ’74 have been involved with St. Norbert’s Zambia Project since its very beginning, when they provided a well that secured the survival of one of the project’s schools – a school that had been without water.

This summer, the Turbas were able to travel to Africa with a student group and project advisor Corday Goddard (Residential Education and Housing), where they saw the impact of their donation.

In 1996, Judy Turba was working in the counseling center at St. Norbert when her friend and colleague Linda Clay joined the college service trip to Cuernavaca, Ecuador, and, subsequently, took a yearlong leave of absence to serve in Zambia. Upon her return, Clay worked with a student service group that established the Zambia Project in 2001. The project helps threatened community schools by providing necessary tools for teachers and students.

“When Linda went to Zambia, I was impressed,” says Judy. “And when my mother died in 2000, I thought there was no better way to remember her than to offer money to those children in need.” Judy’s mother had been a kindergarten teacher her entire career and the small memorial at the school was donated in her name. “Water is life; you have given us life,” says a sign next to the well.  

Jerry Turba, owner of Turba Photography in De Pere, was able to capture images of landscape, people and unforgettable moments while visiting the Zambia Project schools. “It was absolutely wonderful to go in there as a photographer,” he says. “They gave their smiles so willingly. You could see the hope in their eyes, despite common threats like the death toll and HIV/AIDS.”

Turba’s pictures will serve as part of fundraising efforts back in Wisconsin. The group has published a small book called “Zambia Project,” a compilation of images with facts and figures about the trip.

“It is just great to see that American dollars can do so much,” he says. “We witnessed that they are 100 percent used, and so we are very excited to help out with future fundraising.”

The Turbas held a fundraiser at their home in October to seek community donations and share memories from Zambia.

“One of my most memorable moments was at a hill school,” says Judy. “We brought some outerwear for the children there, put the jackets on them, and zipped them up. They wore them all day, although it was almost 80 degrees, because they were so proud.”

The couple will attend future group meetings and wish to return to Zambia at some point. “It is hard to leave our hearts there and not come back,” she says.

Photo Gallery >> View a photo gallery of images from the Zambia trip.

Fall 2008 magazine

Web extras Web exclusives
Look here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current
St. Norbert College Magazine (PDF).

Photo Gallery Panama research experience
Explore images from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Photo Gallery A most excellent celebration
View images from the inauguration of the new president.

Video The Pursuit of Excellence
Watch the inaugural address delivered by Thomas Kunkel.

Photo Gallery Out to Africa
A photographic essay brings a Zambian connection to life.

Text Extra Bodyguard to the Packers
Enjoy recollections of the Ice Bowl, from the new book by Mike Dauplaise ’84.

Video “Communio”
This new video celebrates the college’s long heritage.

Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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