"Mukuyu" is what the Tonga people call the wild fig tree. The gigantic Mukuyu tree which stands close to the river is what gave this little piece of land its name. It is situated on the banks of the lower Zambezi River in Southern Zambia. It consisted wholly of untamed bush until a young man by the name of Johann Myburgh left his comforts in South Africa to tame this piece of bush. Why this place, so far from home and in the middle of nowhere?
A few years earlier Johann came to Zambia, volunteering for various NGO''s. During this time he got to know the Siavonga district, its people and all the needs that they had. Johann identified these needs, plans came together for him to move here, and he ultimately gave up everything to reach out to these afflicted people. The hard work began to clear the dense African bush on the land where he planned to base his project, and while this was going on, friends who came to help were often encouraged by these words: "It''s not about comfort. It''s about vision." During his time at Mukuyu Johann knew loneliness, hardship and discomfort, but this never led him away from the vision he had, to bring hope to those who have nothing else.
In the early hours of the 2nd of August 2005, Johann died at the age of thirty-four. He was attacked by a lone elephant bull while out on an early morning walk. After living at Mukuyu for under three years, his influence in this area proved to be a light of inspiration to the local communities and foreign students and visitors who became involved in this work.Johann now rests under his beloved Mukuyu tree, but the work he started lives on. Mukuyu Outreach is now a registered charity organisation in Zambia, and we have a few projects running to continue to reach out and provide assistance to local communities. As Johann''s youngest brother, I have the great privilege to be a part of this outreach work. You can take part too, whether by volunteering your time and skills or by giving support to help specific projects here at Mukuyu develop to maturity. You can make a difference in these communities wherever you are, right now, by planting a seed of hope.