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.
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...
Our annual trip to Muko School this October/November was once again a great success!
The replacement of the windows and doors in the “old” classroom block went ahead as planned, allowing a lot more light and ventilation into these otherwise hot and dimly lit rooms; although the floors are still mud and the walls are unplastered, they are a great improvement. Further outside concrete footpaths have been laid, meaning that nearly all classrooms are linked and the children no longer need to walk in mud to get from class to class. Fourteen classrooms where cleaned and repainted, windows and doors repaired.
All of the above work was carried out with up to 28 local men and women employed for about three weeks.
Unfortunately, on this visit, there was insufficient money to purchase further water tanks; it was also disappointing to see that through lack of funds the tanks purchased last year have not been piped in, still allowing that daily rainwater to go to waste. The long-drop toilets are still a major problem with one of the soak away pits being full, rendering six toilets out of action as the School does not have either the amenities or the money to have it emptied. Work has started on a new ten cubicle block, which (funds permitting) might be completed early next year.
The new nursery has had a few teething problems, but with the determination of Izzy and the committee it should be running smoothly for 2014 with 30 infants attending each receiving daily porridge and lunch. Funding the nursery is still an ongoing issue.
Maintenance work continues on the school - it might be hot and slow and often frustrating, but the improvements can be seen to making a difference, and are appreciated by the local people and children.
Volunteers continue pay their own expenses but money is always needed to employ local labour and buy materials.
If you have in the past made a donation to this very worthy project, I thank you. Your continued support is always needed! But a little goes a long way in Africa...
Another year has passed and it is time for a small team to return to Muko School to continue with some maintenance work. Through negations with Immaculee the Headmistress, the main project this visit is to place some windows and doors in the “holes” of the oldest classrooms to allow some light and ventilation in, and maybe make them a little cooler for the children to work in. Other painting and general repairing will also take place in as many rooms as we have the time for; most of this work will be carried out by local men and women from the village who would otherwise be unemployed.
Storing the rainwater that falls daily at this time of the year is an on-going problem, there are intentions of installing at least two further large water tanks on this visit.
The new nursery that has been set up, with the help of Izzy and Immaculee, is continuing to be a great success with over 40 infants now attending daily, with porridge and lunch supplied by local women. The long-term ideal is to get the nursery self-funding by the local parents with, maybe some help from the government.
We have achieved a lot and seen much success in the last four years at this School. Sometimes the work is hot it and can at times be frustrating, but it can be only continued by the dedication of all involved. Volunteers pay their own expenses but money is always needed for local labour, materials, and the running/upkeep of the nursery.
If you have already donated to this project in the past we thank you; if you can continue to do so it will be very much appreciated, so that we may help these very under privileged children out of their present poverty.
Much progress has been made with the Nursery over the last couple of months - it is now running on a daily basis. There are now around thirty 3 to 5 year olds attending. They have mats to sleep on and are provided with a daily breakfast of porridge, and a meal of rice, beans, and vegetables. A lot of the credit for this success has to go to Izzy one of our volunteers and the Immaculee the school headmistress who between them have overcome the financial and Local Government problems that faced them.
Plans are underway for windows and doors to be placed in the holes that presently exist in the oldest classroom block. With the help of local labour, of whom 28 were employed last year, it might also be possible to lay concrete floors and plaster the walls when we return in October / November 2013.
There is also work to be carried out on the long-drop waterless toilets and there is still a need for more water tanks to be purchased and installed enabling the children to access clean water.
Improvements are slowly taking place in this ever-expanding School, the work is hot and often difficult but the appreciation is apparent not only from the children and the teachers at the School also the local government andofficials who usually pay us weekly visits.
Although our volunteers’ expenses are met by themselves, all this work is only made possible by people kind enough to make donations, allowing us to continue helping at this school. We hope for these very under privileged children that this in turn may give them a better education.
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