In January it will be ten years since I first stepped foot on Zambian soil. Little did I know that the country and its people would play such an important role in my life, that I would gain first hand and often heartbreaking insights into how people in remote areas cope with extreme poverty. This has enabled me to convey to you what is really happening on the ground and to continue our vital work to help these vulnerable people.
We have made tremendous progress in many areas, most especially by adding bore holes to schools, most recently to Siachabuki and Simuka. With the prolonged drought, which has caused considerable food shortages through the Southern Province, bore holes are essential, not only to provide safe drinking water, but also to enable irrigation for school gardens. This year thanks to a generous donation from Jane Keil and her family in Australia, fourteen schools are to receive seeds and fertilizers to develop sustainable feeding programmes.
During my visit we hosted a wonderful group of donors from Attraction Tickets Direct. Their substantial donations have provided funds to expand Nampuyani, Singawamba and Kauwe Schools. The group brought with them vast amounts of school supplies and equipment.
One of the highlights of my trip was to distribute almost 500 football shirts, generously donated by Manchester United and organised by one of JOAC’s volunteers. Every pupil at N’gandu School received a shirt along with other items donated by JOAC. The school development at N’gandu is almost complete with the addition of a 1×3 classroom block, two teachers’ houses and latrines. This was funded by a grant from JOAC Community Works Projects.
Other schools that recently received funding are River View, who were given desks and text books. This school was also chosen as a beneficiary for a new project with our partners ‘School in a Bag’. 100 pupils received school bags containing all their educational needs. Kasiya School has new latrines, a teacher’s house has been restored at Kamwi and a new 1×2 classroom block at N’dele funded by BFSS. We are reaching out to 29 schools in four Chiefdoms.
So much development has taken place these past few months that I am going to write a separate post on our health projects. In the meantime to raise further funds for the projects, we are once again selling charity calendars. The cost is £5 per calendar, plus postage. In addition Manchester United has donated David de Gea’s kit from the pre-season tour, which we are currently auctioning. If you would like to place a bid or buy a calendar please contact firstname.lastname@example.org