We are pleased to offer you the 2014 4th Quarter Newsletter, rounding up the news for the year on some of our projects, successes and challenges in 2014.
It has been another busy year for the settlement project, and the end of an era for Mwomboshi and Kalwelwe settlement villages, as both have now reached full capacity. The final groups of families settled in October 2014 brought the totals to 102 and 47 families in Mwomboshi and Kalwelwe respectively. Chisamba will now be the destination of choice for future settlers, where they will join a population that already numbers 230 families.
The administrative manager, Mr Joseph Silwenga, reports that by settling families in these villages we have offered a lesson of how rural development can be stimulated in Zambia, as MEC continues to provide infrastructure, social amenities and services such as schools and clinics to these villages. This in turn encourages the government to join us in developing facilities at these locations. There remains a good deal of work to be done, for example Chisamba is in the process of trying to build several classrooms for secondary school pupils and Mwomboshi is trying to source support for a clinic to serve nearly 10,000 people in the area.
We also have reports from the our Makeni Schools. In September, the secondary school visited the National Assembly building on a tour, including a visit to the main chamber where members of parliament debate. They also learned about the background and history of the National Assembly and the items kept there, such as the speaker’s mace. It sounds like they had a great day!
Deputy Headteacher, Margaret Mulimba, was in South Africa for a month, attending a peace-building and transformations course run by the Africa Peace-Building Institute. She will bring back her new found knowledge of the theory and practice of conflict resolution and other techniques, which will help feed into the work of the peace club at the school.
We also have a report from Esther Chisenga, a former pupil, who is now studying Enrolled Nursing at St Francis School of Nursing and Midwifery, nearly 500 km east of Lusaka. She is finding her work interesting and challenging and thanks Makeni Centre and the Friends of Makeni for their support and sponsorship.
Another noteworthy piece of information is that a letter of understanding has been signed between the Lusaka District Medical Officer and the centre, which will help to clarify the relationship between the centre and the government in our shared provision of medical services. Government clinics have been hosted at the centre since its early days, without formal arrangements. This agreement will help to put the understanding on a more formal footing.
Finally, here is a picture of Carien Plummiers from Kloosterkerk Worldwide, one of the most important supporters of MEC. Amongst other activities, Carien demonstrated some handcraft works to the Children at St Nicholas Orphanage when she visited with her husband and two friends in November 2014, as shown here. Our thanks go out to all our supporters and visitors over the year!