Three weeks is just not enough time to visit the many projects we have in the four Chiefdom of the Kazungula District! However, I did manage to see a considerable number of them. What impressed me more than ever is the commitment of our team of volunteers on the ground, besides the original members we have recruited some of the orphans who received orphan sponsorship and have now completed school.
On the education front we have almost completed a development, which included the expansion of two classroom blocks, a teacher’s house and latrines at Sinsimuku School, thanks to a donation from Attraction Tickets Direct.
Further improvements are being made at N’gandu School through JOA Community Works Project. Nine volunteers from Jersey helped local builders to construct two 1×3 classroom blocks and latrines. A kitchen for the school feeding programme, plus a water system for both the school and village, are now being added.
A new boarding shelter at Mukuni has been completed. A group of pupils from Arnewood School raised funds for this project, and volunteered in August to help with the construction. This is our third Mukuni boarding facility, enabling rural pupils to attend high school.
Once again we distributed educational materials at River View School on behalf of our partner, School in a Bag. In addition text books were given to this school, and also to N’dele, Chuunga and Napapandi.
Four bore holes have been installed at River View and Kazungula Boarding Schools – Sekute Chiefdom, and Nguba and Mayala Schools – Nyawa Chiefdom. Previously pupils from Mayala had to draw water from a river several kilometres from their school. River View and Mayala were generously funded by a US donor – a donation from Cayman Islands Rotary Club helped towards the bore hole for River View. Solihull Inner Wheel Club funded ones at Kazungula and Nguba as well the installation of electricity form Mambova Clinic.
After six months without rain I came across a great deal of hunger. It saddens me to see children who are receiving only one meal a day, and often that consists of only vegetables. Bags of maize were donated to needy families. We provide schools with seeds and fertiliser to create sustainable feeding programmes, encouraging the use of millet, which is not as rain dependent as maize.
The communities are desperate for rain and have started preparing the land for planting. This season is also the time to get malaria prevention methods in place. After last year’s success with our new malaria prevention initiative we provided further protection in the Mukuni Chiefdom by distributing 330 mosquito nets in areas of high malaria prevalence.
We will again be applying the new products in other areas where high numbers of malaria were recorded this year.
Many widows and the elderly are living in appalling conditions, struggling to feed and educate orphans. Their houses are old and dilapidated – once the rains start water will seep into their homes. Six houses are currently under construction thanks to donations from Motive Real Estate, Texas and private donors.
While in Zambia I spent a great deal of time with our young volunteers. Besides working on the HIV education through peer education programme some of them have been trained in the building of community houses so that they can earn an income.
The three weeks flew by – there is always so much to be done! My niece, Katie, came along to volunteer – having an extra pair of hands was very useful! I cannot thank enough all the volunteers, both locally and internationally, who give up their free time to help our cause. A special thanks to our global donors who continue to support our grass root projects in Zambia.