2015 2nd Quarter News

Dear Friends,

Here is another update of news from Makeni Centre. The full 2nd quarter 2015 newsletter can be read here.

image002Good progress is being made in completing the school laboratories now required of us by the Ministry of Education.

This has been made possible with the financial help of the Friends of Makeni, Netherlands.  Some fundraising is also taking place through parents and pupils of the school. There is further money yet to be raised, and MEC is still seeking further assistance with this. In addition, the labs will need equipment when completed.

image003Our settlement villages are now becoming almost full, and while development continues, and farmers show increasing levels of financial independence, roads to the communities remain problematic. Most of the roads are dirt, and not well maintained, leading to high transport costs and delays in getting goods to market or obtaining essential supplies.

Not only do the settlement villages serve to help establish prosperous farming communities, but MEC also is involved in education, health services, and advocacy in the areas in which it operates. A case in point is advocacy against child marriage.

image006It is important in these matters to have the support of local leaders, and Chief Chamuka in Mwomboshi has been supporting this message. It is reported that these efforts are having a real impact.

Back in Lusaka, St Nicholas Orphanage Village continues to support children into adulthood. We have reports of visits by Barclays Bank and Radio Phoenix, and donations in kind from both. In addition, we have a report from Gift Machaya, who is being supported in his studies of automotive maintenance.


image005Both Barclays Bank and Radio Phoenix have been supporting the children for many years now.

We always appreciate visitors who help to instill in our children a sense of purpose and self motivation, so it was really good to also have a group of women from the Roads Development Agency visit, and help deliver the message that senior jobs are not only for men!

image007Finally, we have had support from an organisation called IT Without Borders, headed by Chrys Thorsen, who delivered ICT training at the centre in June. We aim to keep our staff IT literate, and to prepare our children and students for an increasingly digital world, so this kind of assistance is greatly appreciated.

There is more on these stories in the full newsletter!

Posted in Agriculture, Computing, Secondary School, Settlement Villages, Supporters | Leave a comment

2015 1st Quarter News

Dear Friends of Makeni, here is the 2015_1st_Quarter_Newsletter.

We are pleased to report that progress is being made on construction of another school laboratory, following new government requirements for upgraded facilities in secondary schools.  Our friends in the Nimage002etherlands have come forwards once again to help us fund this. The good news was brought by Jan Kars, treasurer of the Friends of Makeni, who was visiting with wife Yvonne and friends Kerst and Griet. (A related report can be seen in the previous post.)

A view of the lab under construction can be seen here.

We also have a report from Joe Silwenga on socio-economic development in the settlement villages, where we are seeing increasing use of irrigation, the building of permanent houses, farmers buying their own vehicles and the installation of solar power.

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It is good to see this kind of progress. However, many of our farmers are still reliant on outside help in theseimage007 matters, and so it was fantastic that eight borehole repairs were undertaken by Jan and Yvonne Kars, together with Kerst and Griet Koopmans and MEC staff, as well as settlers in the villages.

Nine hand pumps were repaired and installed, and tools and repair kits purchased, for use in Chisamba, Kalwelwe and Mwomboshi settlement villages.

The executive chairman, Fr Andrew Mukuyamba, has encouraged settlers to embrace a culture of preventive maintenance and self-reliance to prevent severe water shortages from reoccurring.

Staff have also visited local chiefs Liteta and Chamuka to discuss matters in settlement villages, including the squatter problem in Chisamba. Their royal highnesses appreciate the work of MEC in stimulating rural development and have pledged again to help whenever possible.

image009 We are pleased to report another visit by Barclays Bank, who once again visited our children at St Nicholas Village, this tie donating a number of educational materials and toiletries, and also plants and trees, which were planted around the orphanage. All had a tasty lunch. The Barclays team also gave talks on financial prudence and have helped some of our children see mathematics in a different


Here you can see some of the trees planted outside the orphanage grounds.

MEC’s HIV/AIDS project continues to work in the community, and is engaged on a programme of work scheduled to run through August 2015 at a cost of K150,000, with financial support from the NGOCC.

Five rural communities and schools have been visited in Mwomboshi, Kalwelwe, Chisamba, Shikatende and Munyati.  The aim is to build capacity to advocate against early marriage and teenage pregnancy, which lead to high drop-out rates in schools and other social problems.

image011As part of this outreach and sensitisation, twenty bicycles were distributed to working groups in Kalwelwe and Chisamba communities.

There is more on all these stories in the attached newsletter.

Posted in Agriculture, HIV and AIDs, Secondary School, Settlement Villages, St Nicholas Orphanage, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment

Jan and Yvonne Kars’ trip report

Attached is a report from Dutch volunteers who arrived in Zambia on March 26th to spend five weeks at Makeni Centre and in the settlement villages. Jan and Yvonne Kars, along with Kerst and Griet Koopmans, had a very productive time, working with the pupils at the schools, teaching carpentry, and significantly assisting at the settlement villages in the restoration of water supplies, through the repair of no less than eight borehole pumps. In addition they left tools at settlement villages to enable the settlers to undertake their own repairs, and have given them the know-how required to do the job in future themselves. Impressive work!

Below is a selection of photos included in the report.

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Posted in Agriculture, Secondary School, Settlement Villages, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment

Blankets are on their way!

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Folkestone to meet with Ian Callander of Operation Sunshine. Some years ago Operation Sunshine helped us to ship some computers to Zambia, and we are are very grateful for their assistance once again.

On this occasion I had a car full of blankets crocheted by people of the Living Brook Benefice in the Diocese of Peterborough, Northamptonshire. A diverse group of people, including some pupils at Hackleton Primary School (boys too!) have been working away for many months making squares that were finally assembled into blankets.


The sorting room

Now, thanks to Operation Sunshine, they are on their way to Makeni Centre, for the use of children in St Nicholas Village, and (eventually) also for residents of our planned hostel buildings.

It was good to meet the team of people working in Capel-Le-Ferne who make possible this kind of aid. They are doing great work there, and deserve the support of their community. Long may their work continue!

Ian callander of Operation Sunshine

Ian Callander


Shipping Date!


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