We have recently received news from the school at Ngombi and the orphanage which is several miles away in the Chamba Valley area of Lusaka.
The school started the September term with 350 pupils and 5 teachers, with the help of Thea a gap year student from Belgium who is staying at the orphanage for 3 months. This is the final year at the school for the Grade 7 pupils who are busy studying for the Zambian school curriculum end of year exams in November. The cost for the 48 pupils taking the exam amounts to Kw8,160 (approx. £500) which is a substantial amount.
Lessons at the school are taken in a shift pattern with the pupils doing various sports including football, running etc. when not in class. The sewing classes are continuing with women from the surrounding community taking advantage of learning a new skill.
There have been lots of changes at the orphanage where Jeannie is caring for 35 children from the ages of 2 to 19 years. It is very hot at present in Zambia where everyone is experiencing mass load shedding of electricity with at least 10 hours of power cuts each day due to lack of rain resulting in the Kariba dam producing less electricity in the country. However, they do manage to keep going with cooking being done on charcoal burners as shown here by Thea.
In August they received a donation of food and some school books from Barclays Bank (no money unfortunately) as they were among the few projects to be considered for a donation this year. In the same month the orphanage also had a visit from the Miracle Life family church who also donated some food, blankets, etc.
On a site adjoining the orphanage grounds the new school started last year was finished sufficiently for lessons to take place.
Calvin and Louis, two students from Switzerland, had raised money from their school and during their holidays arrived to help with the building work.
Lali, a regular visitor from the UK, works tirelessly to raise funds for the Project and she and her family were able to fund the fitting out of desks, etc. for the three classrooms and payments of the 3 teachers who help in teaching the children. The new school is named Positive Change Day Care and caters for 220 children from the neighbouring area who receive basic education Grades 1 – 3. The day care started with four volunteers from the Dutch charity Orange Babies who visited the Project. They organised different activities with the orphanage children and others from the neighbouring community started coming to play. It was then decided rather than playing all day it would be advantageous for them to receive basic lessons, beginning with the older children from the orphanage doing the teaching.
News also that the garden is doing well. They grew 2,000 cabbages, with a lot being used for home consumption, and the excess for sale. The challenge they are currently facing is water. Lali’s father bought the irrigation pipes but water supply was limited so they opted to use a horse and buckets – which is very tiresome with a vast garden! Due to lack of funds to purchase a new water tank they have resorted to putting up an old and damaged one which is not in perfect condition.
The chicken business managed by the older boys is doing well. The last bunch was sold last month. With the money raised these boys have now left living at the orphanage and are renting a small apartment in a nearby compound. The internet café business is not doing well due to the 10 hour power cuts. It is hoped the issue of electricity will be sorted out soon.
Two of the orphanage students have completed their senior education and have been accepted at the college. Ethel who is 21 is beginning a 3 year diploma course in nursing at the Makeni College of Nursing and Midwifery and is being sponsored by Orange Babies.
Justine is also at the College studying medicine and is being sponsored by a Church. It is good that they are realising their dreams and is an encouragement for other children to dream and keep their hopes alive.
There are many other students who have passed their final school exams and are looking for funding to take them further with their studies.
As you will see the Heal Project has progressed a great deal from its earliest beginnings twenty years ago. We are currently sending £3,000 per month to pay all the expenses at the school in Ngombi, and £250 per month to the orphanage to pay for their food whilst other charities and organisations are assisting Jeannie with all the outgoings of the home and the new school.
We are extremely grateful for all the contributions given by so many people, but, of course, we need to keep the money coming in. Any donations will be gratefully received online at http://www.justgiving.com/healproject/donate