Here is some more news from Makeni Centre regarding the challenges of 2020. The full report from Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba, chairman of MEC, can be seen here.
Makeni Centre School, like other schools was closed, which had a significant impact on income from fees. However, examination classes were allowed to attend, and as Makeni Centre School is an exam centre this meant some continued activity.
To help support students who could not attend classes, Friends of Makeni in the Netherlands funded the purchase of a new photocopying machine, so lessons could be reproduced for students to work on at home.
In September 2020 the government allowed schools to reopen, but many parents faced economic challenges due to lost employment, so fee income remains an issue.
The school bus donated by Busy Lizzies of Flanders continues to be in great demand, to the extent that the purchase of a second bus is being considered, however this comes with a significant price tag, for which support is needed.
St Nicholas Orphanage
Life for children in the orphanage was much the same under lockdown, except for their learning. Students received exam results in December 2020 and performed ‘averagely well’.
There are now only 12 children, with four more having completed Grade 12 and looking ahead to tertiary studies. Some who have already completed further studies still struggle to find work. Adam is doing piece work at the centre.
In November 2020, staff members Ms Julian Mumba and Mrs Catherine Oreta attended a two-day workshop run by Alliance for Children Everywhere in Zambia on Trauma and Reintegration.
Four children from St Nicholas Oprhanage also attended a four-day workshop on Adapative Leadership in December 2020, organised by the Ministry of Health, accompanied by matron Julian Mumba, and headteacher Mr Joseph Longwani. The workshop addressed issues around rising HIV rates amongst adolescents. We hope that activities of this sort will encourage leadership qualities in our children.
For three years now the settlement villages have been largely independently run by settlers, who are cultivating large areas of land and receiving agricultural inputs from government to improve their yields. MEC continues to offer support for establishing amenities such as clean water, health posts and good schools.
Recently there has also been a focus, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, on obtaining title deeds for settlers. This requires significant financial input for surveying and mapping. Settlers have been asked to pay upwards of £425 to receive their title deeds, which is beyond their means. Negotiations with government continue to see if these fees can be reduced.
Momboshi Health Post
It is pleasing to report that the construction of Momboshi Health Post is nearly complete. In addition to a clinic and reception, an incinerator has been completed and toilets are being built. A staff house with solar panels has been built, and a water tower established a short distance away.
Due to COVID-19, the full board of MEC has been unable to meet in person since March 2020, complicating planning activities. A proposed fish-farming project has had to wait for further discussion until after the rainy season.
A point-of-sale machine has been acquired to help with revenue collection and accounting.
The administration of Makeni Centre would like to thank all those that have supported us in 2020. Without your support our task would have been very difficult. We thank the Busy Lizzies of Flanders (Belgium), the Friends of Makeni in the Netherlands, African Aids Angels in Canada, Kloosterkerk in the Netherlands, St John the Baptist Church in Piddington, Little St Mary’s Church in Cambridge, Pearl Foundation in the Netherlands, Reinhold Tournicourt of Flanders, Belgium; and Mr Driane of a foundation in the Netherlands, amongst others.
We wish you all God’s blessings as you continue doing this noble work of uplifting the living standards of many needy people of our society by providing financial and material support. We remain grateful to you.
Makeni Ecumenical Centre