The work at Siriba Vocational Training Centre continues. The new term, after the summer break, began in early September. At first students seemed slow to come back after the holidays but now teaching and learning at the VTC are up and running.
As the principal of the VTC, I am spending some time in primary schools explaining to students just how important vocational training is, so that when the new academic year begins in January there should be a good number of new students.
The Siriba VTC is now the only vocational centre in the wider Siriba area. Others, it appears, began, but have not been sustained. This means that it is vital that the work at the Siriba VTC flourishes.
The centre now has official recognition from the Ugandan Directorate of Industrial Training. This gives validation to the courses on offer and also means that the students can enter for fully recognised qualifications.
Money does remain a problem because a number of students and prospective students are orphans so that the fees that they can afford are quite low. This means that for some time to come the VTC will have to rely on external unding. We are hoping that the Ugandan government, having officially recognised the scheme, may wish to put some funding in but, at present the likelihood is that this is a long way off.
Thank you for your interest in our work. Please help us if you can!
Jim, one of the Hands Around the World trustees, visited the projectin June and was delighted with the progress made since last year.
Despite a continual struggle with limited resources, the centre hasbeen able to expand its vegetable garden and now also has more than300 chickens. This is bringing in some income to pay essential billssuch as electricity and feed for the animals during the dry season.Two cows and a heifer are pregnant and calves are expected inNovember – this will enable milk production to resume. In this waythe centre is able to do its part to make the project sustainable.
The tailoring students are very keen, with a further 10 beingenrolled back in May. Previous students have continued to make use ofthe Centre's equipment to help them start small businesses. One isreturning to complete her schooling funding her fees from shirts anddresses she makes and another hopes to save enough money to buy herown machine and make a living from tailoring.
The carpentry department is currently enrolling new students and hasproduced some furniture and a beehive to sell locally. Funds areurgently required to buy wood for the carpentry class. The sale ofgoods will be used for this purpose, though additional donations arealso needed.
The rainy season will begin again at the end of October / beginningof November and it is planned to plant 1 hectare of maize and ½hectare of sugar kidney beans – funds permitting. These crops areused to provide food for the students and supplement the feed for thelivestock.
I am looking forward to returning to Zambia in September to spendsome time with the students and staff and see myself what adifference the project is making.
Amid great excitement, Geoff Burnett, Dick Wheelock and friends in July gathered lots of different donated goods to send in a container to our partners in Benin.
Items sent included a carefully-chosen and refurbished old Fordson tractor with plough and other implements, a 100 year old anvil, a cement mixer, various hand tools, a church organ, 42 bikes, many pencils and a printer!
The container has now arrived in Cotonou and been collected by Dick, Dieu Donne Kakpo and Geoff and is on its way to Affame.
We expect to hear news shortly and trust all is well! We'll keep you up to date with the latest news as soon as possible.