Dear friends and partners,
Allow me to take this time to share what we have managed to achieve together over the last 3 months. I will recap, then give progress summary, share a few challenges and then also give a brief on the way forward.
The last time the tomatoes had just flowered and we were beginning to work on how to get them to market. We also talked about beginning to look at value addition of the tomatoes and how to go ahead and begin rabbit keeping (it cost us $ 610) to get the hutches and chicken coop ready.
Since July 2012 we have achieved the following:-
1. The green house had good fruit mainly due to the attention the green house workr put in
2. We had at least one more recurring donation so this has given us more resources to work with
3. We have managed to produce at least over 150 kgs of tomato fruit
4. The children have not had as much challenges with food even without government support.
NB. For two weeks though they had no lunch because of a delay in incomes. We are working on a relationship with local distributors who can give us food on fair payment terms- to be paid maximum 30 days
5. Financial summary ( We have managed to sell $103 since the first harvest on September 14th)
6. Marketing- We have used facebook to market outside to other places and obtained a request to supply 300kgs a week (This is a huge order for us and we are working on how to meet it) At full capacity we can produce 590 kg a week)
1. Water is still a challenge. The council have not been reliable in pumping water. This has led to post harvest losses of 25%. And Production quality has not been as expected (590kg) a week.
The water inconsistency destroyed the crop and we are replanting
Our Solution: We have mobilised support from other quarters to sink our well deeper so as to hit a more permanent source of water. Please join us in extending the well through a one off donation. it costs $ 85 a week. We are about two weeks away from hitting a permanent water source from the well, if the short rains do not start within the said time
2. Security: The fence around the school has been compromised and we have been getting losses due to pilferage and stealing of tomatoes.
Our Solution: We know a solution- surround the entire school using chainlink fence which would cost us about $1400 or $ 7 a metre.
3. Public Health Directive: Our public health officials visited the school and advised us that the chicken coop and rabbit farm were very close to the classrooms and hence we would need to either move the students or the classes if we wanted to keep the animals.
Solution: We are currently fundraising for classes.
We will also redesign our farming model to comply with the directives
4. Sales: The sales have not been as expected and this will mean operating expenses like teachers salaries will still not be covered for at least another 4 months. That brings us to 2013 February by which time we hope to increase our current 7 teachers salaries from current average of $ 65 to $ 100 per month and have two more for 2013 when we start a new class in January 2013.
We are replanting the parts in the greenhouse that dried up. We will conduct a soil test to determine the health of the soil- testing for disease and nematodes (cost is $30)
The well should be done soon, and with the onset of rains we will reach our targeted production of 590 kg a week in the next 4 months.
We will also start chicken and rabbit farming once
The designing of the farming model will take centre stage. I will keep you posted
Thank you for continuing with us. Your generous giving has seen lives being touched. Because of your help we have children able to concentrate in class. And performance is improving. With average performance across classes being improved by about 20% for each class subject. We can attribute this to a more consistent supply of food this year for our feeding program.
Together we have steadied the ship and now its time to get to shore...a sustainable program to give the children a foundation in education
I would still urge as many as can to consider making recurrent donations so we shift disbursement from once every 3 months to at least every month.
Thank you and God bless you all
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