2019 end of year news


Girls’ brigade renews their vows


Studying for exams

The children have written their final exams and on the 6th of December they went home for the Christmas holidays, some to rural areas and others to urban compounds, to reconnect with their home environment.

This was also an occasion for St Nicholas Children to have their first ride in the bus donated by Busy Lizzies of Flanders. Other school children have already been using the bus for some months now, and it appears to be a great success.

Before leaving for the holidays, St Nicholas children planted maize seed. We are praying for good rains, not only for the crops but also because the current drought has impacted on water levels in dams such as Kariba, and this has an effect on the country’s ability to produce enough power. The centre has had only about 6 hours of electricity a day for months now, and that from midnight to 6 am.  It is also therefore very good news that the Friends of Flanders and Archbishop Shane Jentzen in Victoria Canada are sharing the cost of a generator for Makeni Centre.

The school is doing well, with increased enrolment and the new headmaster Mr Longwani managing to instill improved discipline.  Since the school is now an examination centre, other local schools are able to make use of our labs and computer facilities. The computer lab has been repaired by Friends of Makeni after a disastrous fire in the poultry section caused damage to the facilities.


New shoes!

We hear that a second donation of shoes from Pitsford Junior School in Northamptonshire has arrived! Many thanks to Julia Willmott for encouraging the children to do this once again. Anton and Wenda Dil had a nice visit there this year for an assembly to thank the children personally. Also thank you to Operation Sunshine in Folkestone for allowing us to send these items in their container.

The Pearl Foundation are doing great work in supporting vulnerable children, via our home-based care scheme, and in other direct ways, including donations towards birthday presents and weekly fruit for the orpahanage!



Lestina graduates, accompanied by Mrs Oreta

This year’s visitors included Mr Reinhold Tournicourt, unfortunately not accompanied by Mrs Mieke Claus, who had suffered a fall, but who still managed to continue working for MEC from her sick bed.

Sandy Adams from Scotland came to be with us for three months to work in the office, allowing Tina Nkhata some well-earned leave.

Joke Ruiters visited from Holland for five weeks, and spent more time playing with the children and mending and making clothes.

Our thanks go out to all of our supporters, including

  • Klooster Church in the Hague, Holland
  • Little St Mary’s Church, Cambridge UK
  • Iffley Church, Oxford, UK
  • St John the Baptist, Piddington UK
  • Friends of Makeni in Holland and Belgium
  • George and Moonyeen Muller in RSA and
  • Mr and Mrs Naik and friends in Lusaka.

Primary school children

Please see the full 2019 newsletter for more photos and stories!

With best wishes for 2020 from Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba and the staff of Makeni Centre.

Posted in Computing, food production, Home-based care, Primary School, Secondary School, St Nicholas Orphanage, Staff, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment

June 2019 News update

Here are some news updates received in June from Bishop Andrew.  The centre continues to concentrate its efforts on improving Makeni School, and on St Nicholas Orphanage, while remaining work on the settlement projects is continuing.


Science students

Science students

Apart from news of the new bus (see earlier postings), the main news is that the government has introduced continuous assessment procedures that affect science practical examinations. Previously there was one assessed practical exam, but now there are three for Grades 7, 9 and 12.  This means higher expenses for science practical materials.

New text books have been purchased for the primary school section. There are some issues with supply of books and financing of textbooks for the secondary section.

Gift Machaya (right) in the carpentry workshop with Mr Edson N’gandu
Gift Machaya (right) in the carpentry workshop with Mr Edson N’gandu

New school desks are being made by the carpentry workshop.

St Nicholas Orphanage

St Nicholas Orphanage is currently housing 17 children, who are generally doing well academically. Children who are not performing as well, in some cases due to having started school later than others, are being given academic support.

It is pleasing to see the success of two of our older children, Gift Machaya, who now works at the centre in the maintenance department, and Francis Mtonga, who has been on attachment at Lewanika General Hospital in Mongu, where he is doing very well. We are grateful to our supporters for sponsoring these children – the good results are plain to see.

Please see the full newsletter for more details.

Posted in Agriculture, General news, Primary School, Secondary School, Settlement Villages, St Nicholas Orphanage | Leave a comment

New bus launch


On Friday 24th May, 2019, Makeni Ecumenical Centre launched their school bus!  It was a very exciting day for both the pupils and the staff.

For a long time the Centre has been thinking about procuring a school bus to ease the transport problem the pupils face. They will now be able to participate in many inter-school activities in and around Lusaka, even outside Lusaka.

Receiving the scissors to cut theribbonWith the help of our partners in Belgium the dream of having a school bus has come into reality.

Mrs Dil cuts the ribbon

Mrs Dil cuts the ribbon

The bus was bought with the funds from the Busy Lizzies of Flanders who donated Euro 18,000, an amazing donation indeed. It is a good and beautiful bus bought from Japan.

The management and staff are very grateful to the Busy Lizzies and it is our prayer that God Almighty will bless the Busy Lizzies of Flanders and grant them good and long life.

You will see that the bus has already been branded. As this is going on the web, the bus will already have been in use, following school management having put some logistics in place.

The attached pictures show how excited everyone is about their newly acquired property.

Thank you very much Busy Lizzies!

Bishop Andrew

Pupils being addressed by Mrs Dil

Pupils getting ready to get on the busTwo pupils giving a vote of thanks

Two pupils giving a vote of thanks

Teachers enjoying a ride

Teachers enjoying a ride

Pupils singing at the launch

Pupils singing at the launch

Posted in Primary School, Secondary School, Supporters | Leave a comment

A Bus from Belgium!

Bishop Mukuyamba reports on the 21st of May:

We had a very good Easter. I was in Petauke Parish in the Eastern Province of Zambia. It is a district 400 kilometres east of Lusaka from Thursday to Sunday afternoon. I arrived home at 2215 hrs after starting off from there at 1500 hrs.

Bus 002

The bus at the centre, before branding

We have good news to share with you. The school bus for Makeni Centre has finally arrived at Makeni. The purchase of this beautiful bus has been made possible by a donation of 18,000 Euro from the Busy Lizzies group of Belgium. We are very grateful to our partners in Belgium who consistently donate funds to help our operations, especially  to support the vulnerable children of our community. The coming of the bus will help in improving the standard of the Centre and school in particular. In their last visit to Makeni Centre, Mr. Tournicourt, Ms Klaaus, and An Hofkens promised to raise funds for the b023us, and they have done it! We really salute them for this great effort.

We have now completed all the work of registration, licensing and branding the bus. We have written on both sides of the bus and we will be having a test drive on Friday at 1500 hours. We will ask a few pupils and teachers to have a ride on it. We have engaged a driver who has the right Driving Licence and the vehicle is insured comprehensively, since it will be ferrying a big number of people.

We have put the words “donated by Busy Lizzies, Flanders” and the flag as you suggested.


After adding the Makeni Ecumenical Centre name, and ‘donated by Busy Lizzies, Flanders’








Once again thank you for making our work of running the school easier!  The new bus will be a great bonus to the Centre.

Posted in General news, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment