Acting CEO Prudence Mukuyamba

Dear Friends of Makeni,

We are pleased to announce that our acting CEO is Mrs Prudence Mukuyamba, widow of the late Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba.

Mrs Mukuyamba was asked by the board of MEC to take over after the Bishop’s untimely passing from COVID in June 2021.

Mrs Mukuyamba has a varied technical background, having studied Telecommunications at the Zambia Institute of Technology and, sponsored by the British Council, in Scotland, where she obtained a diploma in Colour TV Engineering at the time that Zambia was transitioning from black and white to colour television broadcasts. This was followed by on-the-job training in England, with PYE, the BBC and ITN, leading to her becoming Zambia’s first female engineer in the broadcasting field, leading to her assisting in managing a project with the Japan International Cooperation Agency as they installed equipment for ZNBC in Lusaka. She also did courses in administration and project management, and later became maintenance engineer in charge of television studios and ZNBC’s outside broadcast department.

In 1990 Mrs Mukuyamba joined her husband at Birmingham University in England, where she was awarded a diploma having studied church administration, women’s leadership and sociology. She followed this up with diplomas in theology and Bible studies in Zambia, which led to her teaching at three Bible schools, where she specialised in church history, pastoral counseling and church planting.

Mrs Mukuyamba has been a Social Coordinator at Mwomboshi Settlement Village, where she also has a 10 acre plot of land and has worked with the Pearl Foundation as director of Chisomo Disabled Club.

For the past 16 years as wife of our CEO Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba Prudence has been able to closely observe the day to day running of the Centre, and work alongside donors and visitors in visiting our agricultural projects, and helping in the Orphanage. She has also taken courses in agriculture, poultry farming, pig rearing, food production and others at MEC and elsewhere. In 2016 she was elected to the board of trustees of MEC.

We warmly welcome Mrs Mukuyamba into her interim role, and wish her every success as she continues the work begun by her late husband.

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Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba

We are very sad to report that our dear colleague, father and friend, Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba, chairman of Makeni Ecumenical Centre, passed away after being admitted to hospital on Thursday the 24th of June in the early hours of the morning, having been diagnosed with Covid. The funeral took pace on Sunday the 27th of June. We will update this page with more details soon.

Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba

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Review of 2020

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.

School news

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.

Workshop attendance

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.

Settlement villages

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.

New Momboshi Clinic

Administration

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.

Appreciation

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

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October 2020 update

Dear partners, friends, and donors,

Warmest greetings from Zambia. We hope all is well with you!

It is always a pleasure on behalf of the Board of Directors and indeed community of Makeni Ecumenical Centre to share an update about the various issues as well as the activities that concern the work of the Centre.

So far, this year has seen unprecedented upheavals that have taken a toll on our work. The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our socio-economic strata, with several aspects being negatively impacted. Despite this, we are content that we continue with our agenda of making people’s lives better. It is sad that during this period we have lost men, women and children who could have contributed positively to the life of our country.

Given the operating environment, we are happy to see that much has been achieved, although much more needs to be done to realize our mission – “to provide affordable, quality education to our pupils, with the primary aim of empowering them to lead decent lives and contribute positively to national development”. This update aims at giving a brief view of life and the activities we have undertaken since we last communicated and since the advent of COVID-19.

The impact of Coronavirus

According to the BBC, worldwide there have been over 42 million cases recorded so far, with over a million deaths attributed to the virus. As of September 6th, 2020, Zambia had reported 12,776 cases with 295 deaths and 11,674 recoveries.

Zambia is grappling with a number of challenges, including soaring debt obligations, lower copper prices, depreciation of the local currency against major currencies, high inflation, as well as climatic variations that have taken a toll on the on the rainfall pattern, affecting both the agricultural and energy sectors. There has been a reduction in imports, and this has given rise to shortages in the supply of goods and services. The prices of commodities and foodstuffs has gone up while income remains the same or has gone down.

When the cost of living goes up, the health and nutrition of the people is affected. The poor performance of the economy has affected our operations as an NGO and as a Centre that is involved in doing charity work. The school, being private, has been affected negatively. To make matters worse, the closure of the schools early this year due to COVID-19 has led to an increase in children getting involved in mischief and other vices.

Most households have not managed to have all the necessary things they need. For example, most parents have not managed to pay school fees for their children even after schools have reopened. The Centre is trying to do its best in the “new normal”. We have seen great determination from our staff to keep things going and we commend them for that.

Teacher on duty, Mr. Walima, looking on. The school bus now does two trips due to an increase in the number of pupils using it.In the new normal, the wearing of face masks is a must and our pupils have been coming to school with masks on their faces. We have changed some arrangements to make sure that pupils can keep distance when they are in class, in addition to washing their hands frequently and sanitizing. We are also busy trying to put our computer classroom back into use. Some carpentry works have started on desks that were damaged. We want to free up the library, which was being used as a computer classroom.

It is our hope, as a Board of Directors and management that, as partners, donors and friends, you will continue to support our mission, which is to help vulnerable children have a better life. We do not expect the coronavirus to end soon, but we will eventually overcome it. Meanwhile, we must continue to do our best so that the situation does not get worse.

It is our earnest prayer that the good Lord will keep you all safe and give you courage to do more for humanity.

Bishop Andrew Mukuyamba
Chief Executive Officer of Makeni Ecumenical Centre, Zambia.

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