Here is the 2014_3rd_Quarter_Newsletter, reporting on a variety of interesting new projects, successes and challenges facing the centre in 2015.
We have reported before on the need for the secondary school to have a science laboratory for our students, but now we have a further challenge in that the government has required schools to have three separate laboratories for chemistry, physics and biology in order to be fully accredited and offer Grade 12 examinations. Currently our students have to travel to neighbouring schools to sit their exams, incurring considerable expense. The estimated cost of building an additional two laboratories is K281, 000 ($45,400), not including lab equipment.
In the July 2014 meeting between the MEC Executive Committee and the Parents Teachers Association it was resolved that the project starts as soon as possible and assistance is already being offered by the Friends of Makeni in the Netherlands. Local fund-raising is also being undertaken.
Our congratulations to all the graduates and their families, who will have helped support the students through their studies!
Thanks are due to our faithful and hard-working supporters Paul Jongeling and Vera Ootes, for helping to establish irrigation facilities on the centre’s grounds, which will mean that the agricultural department can grow crops year round. For the initial part of the project, maize, cabbage, onions, Chinese cabbage, and local vegetables such as pumpkin leaves and sweet potatoes leaves have been planted.
We also owe thanks to Barclays Bank, who continue to offer support to the orphanage. In June ten Barclays staff not only offered advice on financial issues, supplied lunch, and brought paint supplies, but even rolled up their sleeves and helped to paint the dining hall!
It is so encouraging to have this kind of local support.
Another example of local expertise was seen in a three week course on bee-keeping taught by Mr Goodfellow Mugala, a student in Agricultural Settlement and member of the Bee-keepers Association of Zambia. He volunteered to offer the training knowing the potential that bee-keeping can offer farmers in the settlement villages.
MEC continues to do great work in reproductive health in the settlement villages, and ran a three-day programme in our villages in July and August, with support from the NGOCC. Over 1500 members of the community, including teachers, pupils and village leaders, took part in the event. The campaigns were coordinated by Mrs Catherine Oreta and facilitated by Mrs Getrude Shinkanga, a very experienced youth and gender expert.
Amongst our agriculture graduates in Mwomboshi is Figer Hakwaambwa. He joined us a young teenage father and is now able to look back on his experience. He is also offering advice to teenagers in the village on putting their education first, as well as occasionally volunteer teaching in the community school.
There is more on these stories in the newsletter!