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.
After a slow start to the rainy season the rains have been better than last year - promising a reasonable harvest. Some maize and beans are well on their way at Kaliyangile. These crops will be primarily used to feed the students and the livestock.
An introductory course in bee-keeping was given in December and, when the rains stop next month, the bee-hives will be sited around the Centre and the real work will begin.
The tailoring students are proving themselves competent and are starting to earn some money. They are currently using the equipment at the Centre to establish themselves – some have now been able to buy their own sewing machines and begin to start their own businesses.
On the poultry side, the new layers are now becoming productive, laying about 250 eggs a day. There is a great demand for eggs in Chisamba with a steady stream of customers visiting the centre daily.
The piggery is ready to receive a pregnant sow. This will mark the start of this new enterprise.
I hear also that the fish have grown well in the small reservoir on site and will soon be ready for market.
In recent months calves have been born and the milk production will be increased.
I will be visiting Zambia next month and will spend some time at Kaliyangile working with the local management to see how we can further improve the opportunities for the local teenagers. By introducing them to a range of skills we hope to enable them to provide for themselves and their families.
Thank you for your support!
The centre at Kaliyangile has been very busy – it is tempting to say that it has been a hive of activity!
It is hoped to start the bee-keeping course very early in the new year. The carpenter has been very busy making the bee-hives and the tailoring students have produced some more bee-keeping suits ready for when the course begins. A citrus orchard has been planted and discussions have been taking place with the Zambian Honey Council, who will provide the tuition.
On the poultry side, the layers are now past their prime and the egg production has reduced. The 232 chickens will be sold, however 498 chickens have been reared to take over the egg production and will start laying very soon. An incubator provided through Hands Around the World has been successfully used to hatch some guinea fowl and quail chicks.
Construction work has been going on in earnest to construct a piggery. This should be in operation very soon.
The various projects at the centre help the students to gain skills, in addition to the tailoring and carpentry courses. We have a keen group of tailoring students who are now producing useful garments – some are being sold to provide extra income which is a testament to the standard of the work produced. There have been some technical problems which have delayed the examination of these students, but they hope to qualify soon.
The increased activity at the centre encourages the people in the local community to visit the centre and become more involved with the project. We particularly look forward to the new bee-keeping course – there are already 20 students signed up and eager to start.
The following is an e-postcard from Kai Iizuka, a GlobalGiving Representative in Zambia.
There seems to be no lack of ambition in the Kayangile project, and they do have everything planned out, just needing that initial fund to get the ball rolling.
There are numerous plans for the project especially in the agricultural section. Though they are currently only growing a few crops, rearing chicken and cattle, there are plans in the works for a fish pond to teach students how to care for and rear fish. The area had already been dug out, but when I went there, it was serving as a holding for calves. Nearby, there were trenches dug for the piggery that they were planning to build and in a nearby field they were beginning to plant orange trees. I was told that these orange trees were going to supplement a beekeeping project that they had planned, as honey tastes best when produced from the nectar of citrus fruits. The tailoring classes were also churning out beekeeping suits in preparation for this.
During my visit, I was given the honour of planting an orange tree, starting by digging the hole, planting the sapling, and finally watering the plant. I made sure to remember where exactly I had planted the tree for future reference or it would be difficult to point it out from the forty that they were planning to plant. It was a lot of good fun, and I hope to one day come back to the project to see how my tree is doing. If all goes to plan, by then, there should be a grove of orange trees sheltering a number of bee hives being maintained and cared for by the new beekeeping students.
People have been very busy over the past few months with additional activities moving forward. There are currently 200 chickens being fattened ready for sale, as well as 250 chickens that are laying eggs. Milking has begun and 7 litres of fresh milk is being received each day.
As mentioned in the previous report, the rainy season this year turned out to be very poor, with the rains ending far too soon. Despite this the project will manage to produce some maize.
A chicken incubator has arrived from the UK and is now in Lusaka - this should make the rearing of chickens more effective.
The bee-keeping project is moving forward. The tailoring section successfully made 14 bee-keeping suits for a project in Monze which had asked for their assistance. They will produce their own suits when the project gets under way. Two beehives were made by the carpentry section earlier in the year as a trial exercise. It is intended that the carpentry students will be involved in making a variety of beehives for this new activity. The intention is to involve all sections of the project in this new activity.
A new submersible pump has been installed to supplement the wind pump. This has ensured that water is now more reliably available at the centre.
I will make a brief visit to Zambia from mid July to early August. I am very much looking forward to meeting Moses, Percis, the other people managing the project and the students. I will provide an additional report, hopefully with some photographs, to show what progress is being made.
Thank you for your continued support.
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