The workshop has had its first successful trainees in the Government Grade 3 carpentry & Joinery Exam. The young men concerned are staying at the workshop to continue to practice and improve their skills, and also to learn important new skills like “How to price a job”.
The workshop now has 9 trainees and is gradually earning a good reputation in the local area. Sadly, even this can prove to be a potential pitfall. All of the trainees are living in difficult financial circumstances but when their carers, it could be an uncle, aunt grandparents or in some instances a single parent, see how busy the workshop is and how well-equipped they are becoming, they don’t believe that the trainees are not being paid! This can cause a lot of aggravation at home. It would be great if they could be paid but that is just not a realistic possibility. They do get a very small amount of money sometimes when they have planed wood using the planning/finishing machine, but this is infrequent, and in other respects they are not skilled enough to work on paid tasks, not yet anyway. The trainees do get money for lunch about 45c (30p) per day, otherwise they would have none. This money comes through Hand in Hand Sponsorship – we are always on the lookout for new sponsors!
The trainees have some smart new uniforms of which they are very proud. They have also got some new power tools – a router and a sanding machine. They are taught the basic hand tool tasks but there is a lot of kudos, and effort saved, by using powered tools. It also will allow them to extend the range and style of their work, and of course are very useful new skills. These are exciting developments coming soon, once they have been trained! They have been helped to purchase this new equipment by donations through GlobalGiving. Thank you for your support!
It doesn’t seem that long since we returned from Rwanda, but it is seven months since our last visit so it is time to start thinking about our return this year, probably at the end of October.
I have recently received news that for those children that are in secondary classes, and whose parents can afford the £10 per term, they are receiving a daily lunch which has got to be a huge boost for the School and students alike.
On this next visit, it is once again intended to take a small group of volunteers and along with the help of the usual very enthusiastic local labour force, we will continue with plastering and laying of cement floors in the old classrooms, we will also be painting in some of the newer ones that have good walls. There are still two very old rooms that need windows and doors to make them more inhabitable. Toilets are still of great importance, but it does seem to be very difficult to get this part of the project “off the ground”.
There are still not enough water storage tanks; it is very disappointing to see the rain water that goes to waste daily, even during our short visit.
Teaching English vocabulary is high on the agenda this year and it hoped that at least one of our volunteers will be trained in this skill.
All of the above costs money and although we try and encourage volunteers to pay (or earn) their own expenses we still need donations to help pay for the local labour and materials to carry on with this work
All the monies that are donated are accounted for on this very worthwhile cause. If you have already donated to this project in the past I thank you, but more is always welcomed and much appreciated.
I have just returned from a two month visit to Zambia.
Despite the rain stopping early, a reasonable maize crop is expected. The poultry and dairy projects are doing well. Guinea fowl and fish are now mature and ready to increase their numbers to provide a good stock of both.The guinea fowl were the first birds to be reared from eggs using a new incubator recently donated
The centre is now accredited to Teveta – the local training body – and is able to undertake examinations on site. Unfortunately staffing issues prevented the tailoring students from sitting their exams last term. We hope to have a new trainer in post soon and the students will then be able to sit their exams – in the meantime at least two are producing goods and selling them to help maintain themselves and their families. Another past student is keeping chickens to earn a living.
It was agreed to try to increase community involvement in the project and encourage local youth leaders to make use of the facilities for their own activities where it doesn't impact on the training operations. It is likely that some sports and other activities will take place at the centre, leading to more young people becoming involved in learning skills. It is also important to help the young people to be encouraged to get involved in positive activities, rather than drifting into the local bars.
While I was at the Centre the first 5 beehives were set up by the orchard. A further 15 hives have been constructed and will be positioned in due course.
The water supply has been improved and an irrigation system has been purchased for the paddock where a special grass has been planted for the animals. This is expected to improve the milk yield and ensure the animals are kept healthy.
There has been a delay with the piggery because of the restrictions imposed due to an outbreak of swine flu. This is expected to be resolved shortly and the pigs will be introduced to the site.
The added awareness of the community has sparked new interest from some of the young people in the area, keen to learn some skills. There are increased opportunities available as a result of the increased variety of agricultural activities now taking place, with the potential to change the lives of many of the local disadvantaged teenagers.