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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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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2014 4th quarter news

Settlers leaving the centre

Settlers leaving the centre

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.

image011We 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!


Margaret Mulimba in striped green top

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.




Esther Chisenga in Katete

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.

image012Finally, 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!

Posted in Agriculture, Clinics, Primary School, Secondary School, Settlement Villages, St Nicholas Orphanage, Staff, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment