The hard work by the teachers and students over the years has been rewarded with good results in the grade 9 examinations. 19 students passed the exams and were accepted at local secondary schools – more than half of the grade 9 students. Considering the difficulties faced by the children and the limited resources at the school, this is a remarkable achievement. Each year the results have been improving. With the help of our supporters the school is making a huge difference to these children and with your further support even greater things will be achieved.
Mrs. Sianga wants to continue to help to these children so they can complete their education and have a better chance to provide properly for themselves and their families. One former student, Mawini, achieved the top marks at the local Secondary High School and is currently applying to university where she hopes to study medicine and eventually become a doctor. We will follow her progress and back Mrs. Sianga in her quest to change the lives of these children.
The past few months have been very difficult for the families in and around Monze. The harvest last year was very poor resulting in high food prices. People have told me that there has been a lot of hunger in the area. The small lunches that the school has been able to provide have therefore taken on even more significance. In addition the garden has produced vegetables to support the children's diet. Mr Olden Hamabibi (headteacher) writes “The garden has improved the lives of the orphans”.
I will have the pleasure of visiting Monze again within two weeks and will stay in Monze until June. I will talk to the students and teachers and hope to bring more stories demonstrating how lives are being changed. I look forward to seeing the smiling faces and being entertained by the talented students. There is so much potential within these children, we must do our best to ensure that it is realised.
It is wonderful to be able to report that through the support of HATW's Chris Halsey Tribute Fund we have now been able to provide Sylvestre in Rwanda with a leg prosthesis. This young man works as a shoe repairer, and it has long been his dream to wear a pair of shoes of his own!
Reports from the School are that the children are delighted with the new windows and doors in the "old" classrooms as they are a lot lighter and cooler making reading books and writing a lot easier for them. Plans are being made to complete the remaining classrooms this year, including laying some concrete floors.
The nursery is running smoothly now, with around 27 infants receiving porridge and lunch (mainly beans and rice). The aim is to get this project self supporting.
The long drop toilets (or rather the lack of them) are becoming an ever increasing problem. There are only eight operational for the 1400 children, obviously totally inadequate to say the least. There are others that are unusable due to the soak away pit being full and no means of emptying them. Lack of funds makes it very hard to improve this situation. This is also the case with fresh water tanks; although some were purchased last year they have not been connected to the guttering to catch rain water that goes to waste.
On our next visit later this year we very much hope to take along a TEFL teacher or two, to help with spoken English language. This proved to be a great success previously and we are constantly being asked when they (teachers) will return. A library is also being set up to give the children some reading books; they have none at the moment.
It has been four years now since this project started and we have seen vast inprovement at the school. Sometimes it's slow and there are disapointments along the way, but we do get appreciated by the children and the local people who work with us when we visit.
All the volunteers continue to pay ther own expences, but funds are still needed for materials and to employ the local labourer who are so willing to help.
If you have in the past made any donation to this project we thank you! Your continued support is always needed and much appreciated...