November 2009 Newsletter


OCT/NOV 2009

(UK Charity Number : 1120416)

We have just returned from our annual visit which happened to be the 10th Anniversary of the founding of the HEAL PROJECT.  Much has been accomplished since our first visit in 1999 when we purchased a sewing machine for a group of ladies, and our next visit when we opened a mud hut classroom with a thatched roof.  Now there are several block built classrooms, office, kitchen, carpentry/sewing workshop etc. to cater for 350 children.  People from the Ngombe compound also use the facilities, and obtain water from the school pump.

350 children attend school taking pupils up to Grade 5.  There are 4 class teachers, plus an art teacher. The school has two football and two netball teams.  A drama group has won prizes in local contests.  The pupils are being taught using the ‘Breakthrough to Learning’ course published by Longmans, and we were able to visit Longmans warehouse and buy new copies of the various textbooks needed.  Also we purchased exercise books, pens, pencils, chalks, etc.

The sewing classes are popular with women and teenage girls using the 15 hand sewing machines sent out from the U.K. 25 women attend Monday to Friday mornings for a 3 month course.  Also 20 girls have lessons in the afternoon. We took dressmaking patterns with us which were gladly received.  They make clothes for themselves and for sale. While we were there they received an order from a local church for 30 choir robes.

We took crochet hooks and cotton.  The group makes various items including mobile phone covers which are popular.  15 women receive tuition on the two knitting machines we have supplied, and they also hand knit jerseys, baby clothes, etc.   We took a large bag of beads and fastenings for the group which makes necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings – all popular items that sell well in their markets.

18 boys are in the carpentry group using tools we had shipped out from U.K. They have a skilled carpenter to assist them twice a week and make stools, tables and other small items of furniture which find a ready market.

Hairdressing: a small thatched hut has been built for plaiting and beading of hair popular with the schoolgirls.  Cookery:  Some of the older girls have started making fritters and basic cakes (cooked in a brick built oven) which they sell.

The school has a large area for growing crops such as tomatoes, aubergines, maize, pumpkins and rape – for use for the school dinners, and any surplus for sale.  We purchased another double burner stove to help with cooking the large quantity of food for school dinners.  They are rearing 100 chickens for food.

Transit House:   A house is being built on land near the school, being paid for by money from various Trusts.  This is for Jeannie Mulenga (the principal of the Heal Project) to live in as she looks after 30 children, mainly orphans, who have health problems.  Older boys are helping with the building work thus gaining experience in bricklaying and other trades.

Thank you to all who have helped in so many ways.  Your prayerful support and donations have been very gratefully received.  The need still is for financial support. We have promised to fund seven teachers, costing £70 per month each, and food and supplies for the school.  We are sending £1,500 per month – a big task, but it means so much to the school and community.  As Jeannie Mulenga said it has changed their lives for ever, giving them confidence and pride in all they are achieving and to many a skill enabling them to earn a living.