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