Friday, 1 September 2017

Update September 2017

My last date was some months ago as we have had many challenges to overcome since then.
Thankfully the pre-schools are doing well. The 5 trained teachers, 3 in Chitemo, 2 in Nyhinila are working well together and the children are enjoying their schooling.  2/3rds reached the required level to move onto the government schools at the age of 7.  Those who are a bit slower stay on at the pre-schools until they have improved.  We do have the challenge of continuing to pay the teachers a monthly allowance and supply the schools with teaching materials.  This will continue until the end of 2019 when it is hoped the villages will be able to self-fund.

The bore-hole at Nyhinila continues to have problems maintaining the working of the machinery to pump water.  Yet again the machinery has broken down which means the people have to revert to walking the 7 kilometres to Chitemo to access water which puts a strain on the water supply.  It is hoped that the problems will be overcome.  Water is so precious to the people.  

The 'piglet project' unfortunately has been delayed by a number of months due to swine fever sweeping the area.  All pigs had to be slaughtered.  Thankfully we had not taken delivery of any piglets or paid any funds.  I have recently heard that the swine fever is now clear of the area and we can progress with the project.  During our visit in June we met a young man who is a qualified vet and he has agreed to oversee the project on our behalf which will be a great help. Originally we were going to purchase piglets to start the project but because of the delay we are now going to purchase adult sows.  We will then hasten the process of producing piglets to sell and start accumulating funds over the next two years for when we hand over the project to the villages so that they can become self-supporting and maintain their schools and teachers.  In the meantime until the end of  2019 SEEDS will continue to fund the maintenance of the schools, pay the teachers monthly allowances and of course fund the piglet project.  

Pigsties in Chitemo similar in Nyhinila

Welcome from some of the pre-school children in Chitemo

Time for games

Parachute game is always popular
Inside main classroom at Chitemo
Always sad to say goodbye - Kwaherini!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Support is never ending!!

Some time again I was speaking with a friend, Angela, about the little churches in our villages of Chitemo and Nyhinila and how simple they are in building and interior accessories.  For one thing the altar is but a simple table with a very worn, what was once white, cloth to cover it.  No altar adornment Fontals that we see here in our churches.  Angela asked whether I would like her to make something for the altars.  Of course the answer was yes and I expected her to hem a white sheet that would be large enough to cover the altar table from top to bottom.  On Sunday after our church service Angela handed over her altar Fontals and what a wonderful surprise.  She had made from old curtains two beautifully adorned items for the altar tables in these little churches.  The Pastor,his team and the congregation will be so thrilled when I take them  in June.  Never had they had anything so grand for their churches. There will be much celebration.   It was Angela who also funded the making of baptism fonts for the churches when only a basin was used before.  I am not saying that it is necessary to have these accessories for people to be fulfilled in their worship but we all know that it can be  pleasing to the eye, the heart and lift the spirit. Also a retired priest in our Diocese is now a potter for relaxation and he lead a quite day for lent and used some of his pottery as images.  At the end of the day we took some items home.  I chose a prayer cup and have now been given another cup with two prayer bowls.  These will now go out to the villages churches and can be used for the wine and wafers used in Communion.  I know that the people will really treasure their altar Fontals and the pottery. 

Angela with an altar cloth

A prayer cup and bowl

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Our final project 'Piglet breeding' update

October was our second visit in 2016.  All continues to move forward with regards to the schools and borehole. We now have 5 trained pre-school teachers.

Pigsties have been built in the villages of Chitemo and Nyhinila to specifications set out by the Animal Research Institute where we funded the training of 5 villagers in animal husbandry specifically  pig breeding. We visited the Research Centre during our October visit to organise the purchase of piglets for the villages.  4 sows and one boar for each village.  The numbers being kept small until those maintaining the pigs felt confident.  The piglets were to be delivered in November when they were able to leave the sow.  Unfortunately they died.  This was very disappointing but the good news is that piglets will hopefully be born in March and then delivered to the villages in May.  We shall have to wait until the piglets are 6 months old (July 2017) before they can be serviced and the gestation takes 4 month before piglets are born.   This has put the project back by a few months but we realise that this is a long term project and we need to be patient.  If all goes well we should have our first piglets in November.   In time the sale of piglets will  produce funds that will enable the villages to maintain their schools, pay the teachers and importantly  become independent and self supporting. Until the villages are able to do this SEEDS will continue to maintain the schools and pay the teachers.

We are returning in June and hopefully we shall see piglets homed in the villages and the start of the project.

Pigsties in the process of being built October 2016

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Update September 2016

Our visit in June was most productive and more was achieved than expected.  After a number of meetings with the representatives of various committees from Chitemo and Nyhinila villages it was agreed that the piglet breeding project would provide the best means for the villages to maintain their schools and pay the teachers.  Now that 5 village members had been trained in animal husbandry specifically for the breeding of pigs the next stage would be to build the appropriate pigsties.  A budget for the cost of the pigsties had been produced for SEEDS and funding would be transferred in stages as the building progressed.

The schools were running smoothly with 114 children in Chitemo and 55 in Nyhinila.  These numbers fluctuate on a weekly basis going up rather than down!  The outdoor equipment has proved very popular with the children and grown ups alike!  We had the opportunity of supply both schools with a substantial amount of teaching materials and also metal trunks to use for storage.  Meetings were held with the two teachers and the 5 who are in training at present. I was informed that a new curriculum for pre-schools would be available by September and these would be purchased for both schools during our September visit.  Regular inspections by representatives of the education authorities would be made of the schools to ensure that all is in order. Each school was also to have added a small classroom for the teaching of the youngest children. Benches and chalk boards were to be supplied.

A visit was made to the Tanzanian Livestock Research Institute to discuss the supplying of an appropriate breed of pig for the villages and it was suggested that the Large White was the best breed and would give the most yield of piglets.  These would be purchased during our September visit. The Institute would also pay visits to the villages to ensure that all was going according to plan. The project will take time but in due course funds will build up to maintain the schools and pay the teachers thereby enabling the villages to become independent and self supporting.

As always it was good to have time with the children engaging in various activities including lots of singing.

The return trip in September is to ensure that all is going well with the schools, the bore-hole and most importantly the piglet project.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

4 June off to Tanzania

Another trip is on the horizon.  Four of us will travel the many miles to the district of Mpwapwa.  This trip is specifically to kick start the next SEEDS project.  We now have two pre-schools up and running with a trained teacher in each.  Three more teachers are being trained and will graduate at the end of this year.  Teachers need to be paid and schools maintained. At present SEEDS is supporting the teachers.   We have therefore trained 5 men from the villages in animal husbandry to breed pigs.  They in turn will train other villagers.  Once piglets are produced in time they will be sold at market and the funds will go into the school bank account to pay the teachers salaries and maintain the schools.  Pork is a favourite meat in Tanzania. Of course this will all take time but the aim is to enable the two villages Chitemo and Nyhinila to become self-supporting and independent of our aid.

A number of supporters have sponsored and named a piglet.  If you would like to do so the purchase of a pig is £15.

The story of the 'piglets' will be updated on my return after 20 June. 

Help for orphan children in Kiteto area

Rev Barka Mollel whom I have known for the past 8 years who is a Masai Anglican priest who  ministers to the Masai people in a very poor area of Tanzania.  There are many orphan children who are suffering from poverty.  Little food, clean water, clothes, education.  It was decided to help some of these children and funds were sent to buy the basic necessities and send them to school. Below are a few photographs of some of the children. 

We in the west are so privilege. Despite these years of 'austerity' many of us continue to lead very comfortable lives, buying the latest IT, holidaying around the world, clothes, houses, cars, paying school fees and yet in 2016 there are still so many children around the world who have so very little and barely survive. There is something very wrong in the distribution of resources in our world.
Children receive grain and oil and books for school

Beans, maize, oil

More grain and oil

Grain, oil,school uniform and school book

It takes very little funding to make a big difference in the lives of these children.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Food distribution update

2015 was a very hard year for many people in Tanzania due to the lack of rain 2014/1015.  No rain meant no crops, no crops meant no food.  They were on starvation diets.  We were able to send out funds raised by the Scouts after they  visited our villages in 2014.  I have recently received photograph showing the grain being distributed.   Thankfully the rains came  in  November 2015 to April 2016 which has enabled the people to grow their crops and these will  supply them with food until November 2016 when hopefully the rains will come again.

A big thank you to the Scouts  who through their efforts have helped the people of Chitemo and Nyhinila when they were seriously in need of food.