Dick Wheelock and I timed our arrival in Benin to coincide with the arrival of the container which we had loaded in Monmouth and the timing worked well. It held a generously donated a Fordson Major tractor and many ploughing and other farming accessories, also a number of bicycles for intended use by the youngsters enabling them to get to school. Dick also linked with a church in Monmouth and obtained an organ to give to the Affame Methodist Church. We took redundant medical equipment, and literally hundreds of pencils!
It was decided that the container should remain in Affame for added security and so after having off-loaded the tractor in the market place we faced the challenge of placing the container within the ‘Kakpo’ family compound. Dieudonne had successfully negotiated the release of the container from the port and its transport to Affame, but now he needed a lorry with a crane. Fortunately he located one and between the tractor pulling and the lorry lifting and pushing the container was left securely in place.
The organ is in use in the church and the organist wrote reiterating the great thanks he had expressed in church. ‘Merci beaucoup et que Dieu vous benisse’.
Medical equipment will be offered to the Health Centres of Hounvige and Aschonsa.
Achilles was pleased that he had been able to use the three classrooms on stilts during the school year 2011/12 but he also expressed his concern that the plastering and painting had yet to be done. The construction relies extensively on the use of re-enforcing bars and these are liable to corrode if not fully covered. However, this task is difficult to achieve and can only be done between the two rainy seasons when sand can be taken from the river and cement can be safely transported by pirogue and lorry from Affame.
In order to make optimum use of donations, keeping the transport costs to a minimum and making bulk purchase of cement would be essential. Thus, it would make the most economic sense if this remaining task could be undertaken when the funding for the total estimated cost of £2500 became available. We are currently £1800 short of this target and so further financial assistance is urgently requested please.
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