Pitsford School donation of shoes arrives

Pitsford Junior School, Northamptonshire, has been supporting MEC for some years now under the banner of ‘Pennies for Makeni’, and the children of the junior school have been making small donations that have been steadily adding up to really useful financial contributions to the centre.

Shoes donated by Pitsford Junior SchoolI have also had the pleasure of speaking at two assemblies, where the children have been wonderfully enthusiastic, joining in with our exploration of the geography of Zambia and even a few Chinyanja phrases!

If that was not enough, the school recently decided to donate their old pairs of shoes to the centre.  Fifty pairs of shoes were collected, and with the help of Julia DSCF1666Willmott’s transportation, and shipping through Operation Sunshine in Folkestone, we were able to get the shoes to Zambia.

After a hiatus caused by the recent cholera outbreak, during which all schools in the area were closed for safety reasons, we finally were able to start giving the shoes to our own pupils in Makeni.

Mrs Wenda Dil wrote to tell us about it:

“Finally, great excitement, boxes opened, beautiful shoes of much better quality than our usual….  Some lucky children got two pairs, and some waiting for little ones to grow into them.”

Later the children of St Nicholas Orphanage wrote a thank-you letter:

“Dear children of Pitsford school,

We the children of St. Nicholas Orphanage in Lusaka Zambia would like to say a very big thank you to you and your teachers.

Thank you for the boxes of very nice shoes that you took the time and trouble to collect and post to Zambia.

It was a very big job and we are very grateful for your love and care. 

We are going to try to send you some pictures of the children trying on the shoes, and later some pictures of our school, to which you have contributed in the past.

Our grade 6 pupils are busy composing a letter which we will be sending to you soon, telling you some facts about their life in Zambia.

Till soon, our very kind regards,
From the children at St. Nicholas”

This also signals some more interaction between the schools in England and Zambia, which we hope will be fun and interesting for the students in both schools!

IMG_0787 (Medium) Children in Makeni trying on shoesHere are a few more photos of children trying on shoes.

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Christmas Greetings 2017

MEC Christmas Card

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Christmas Greetings from the children of St Nicholas’ Orphanage,

Makeni Ecumenical Centre


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2015 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

The image0122015 Annual Report is now available with progress reports on the various projects underway at the centre and their successes and failures. There is much to be grateful for in the continued support of so many organisations and individuals around the world, including locally. Makeni Centre continues to implement its transition plan to improve its sustainability and to develop community projects.

image016image013 We continue to make progress in building school laboratories, and to reach out to rural communities in terms of health advice, support for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as with local communities in supporting education and development.

image014Many of the beneficiaries of this work are listed in the report.

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2015 4th quarter news

Dear Friends,

Here is another news update, the 2015 4th Quarter Newsletter.

image003First, our congratulations to chairman of MEC, Fr Andrew Mukuyamba, on his consecration as Bishop of the Continuing Anglican Communion in Zambia on 25th October, 2015 in a ceremony held at Makeni Ecumenical Centre.  Fr Mukuyamba was commended by Bishop Michael Gill, who challenged him to focus on doing greater things for the church in Zambia in his new role.

image004Sadly, it was also a year in which we lost a long-standing voluntary supporter and board member, General Brian Hakamangwe, who had served for over 10  years as one of the directors of Makeni Centre, contributing a great deal to procedures within the centre. Gen. Hakamangwe’s funeral was held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka, on 4th December 2015.

The staff of the centre pass on their condolences to Gen. Hakamangwe’s family.

It has certainly been a significant year in the life of the centre, as a complete reappraisal of the centre’s future was undertaken with the help of advisors from Holland, and in particular with advice from consultant, Dr Martijn Bazen. It has become clear that changes need to made to ensure the future of the centre, particularly in these hard financial times, and taking into account the huge growth of the city of Lusaka. A three-year plan was drawn up to improve the centre’s efficiency and sustainability. Unfortunately this means that many projects will have to end, while the centre focuses its efforts where it can have the most impact.

image006We continue to make efforts to help the local community, an example being a three-day workshop on early marriage and teenage pregnancy, funded by NGOCC. The centre was commended for the success of this event by the area councillor, Mr. Jiptus Mwanza, and encouraged to hold similar events in future.


image008Another success was that three of our young men, David, Patrick and Gift, all completed the entrepreneurship part of their auto mechanics studies, which is being sponsored by the Friends of Makeni in Holland.

They all attended a colourful graduation ceremony to celebrate this milestone, whilst they continue to look ahead to completing their studies in June 2016.  This newsletter we also hear from David Mtonga in person, about his experience on this course.

image007Finally, we are delighted that the blankets, baby-suits and hats created by the ladies Knit and Natter group from Hackleton, Northamptonshire (UK), with help from Hackleton Primary School children, arrived safely in Lusaka in October 2015.  We could not have managed this without the assistance of Folkestone charity ‘Operation Sunshine’ in transporting theses gifts, for which we are very grateful indeed.  The items were received by Mrs Wenda Dil, and are being distributed to children in the orphanage, as well as other needy children.

For more on these stories, please see the newsletter.

Posted in Church of the Good Shepherd, General news, St Nicholas Orphanage, Staff, Supporters, Volunteers | Leave a comment