I write this update from Zambia having just visited the project at Chisamba.
In addition to their tailoring classes the students are busy with other activities.
They are all involved in the agricultural side of the project gaining useful life skills. At this time the maize is being harvested – as predicted the centre has beaten the poor rains and gathered more produce than last year. Arrangements are being made to collect the piles of maize from the fields and bring them to the centre, where the seeds will be removed from the cobs. It is hoped that, if funding can be found, a grinding machine can be bought to continue the process of producing the flour. Such a machine will also provide a further source of income for the project.
The first honey is now due for harvesting and the students are keen to be involved in the practical work of turning the honeycomb into jars of honey and beeswax candles. The forestry commission is keen to join forces with Kaliyangile to provide comprehensive training.
Two or three of the cows are 'in calf' and it is expected that milking will recommence in October or November.
An additional area has been set aside to grow vegetables and a heavy crop of tomatoes will be ripe very shortly.
Together with the pigs, fish and poultry there is a wide range of agricultural experiences for the students to encounter.
The computer classes are very popular. The main challenge at the moment is acquiring some more equipment.
We are very grateful for your ongoing support and encouragement!
Kaliyangile is a hive of activity!
The new computer course is very popular. There has been an increased demand for the tailoring and carpentry courses.
The agriculture activities are also progressing well. We now have the first swarm of bees populating one of the hives and hope to encourage more to join them soon. Piglets should arrive soon and they will be fattened for market. The fish have been breeding and it is hoped that the fishponds will be lined – probably with concrete – so that they will get a new home and the students will be able to become more involved in the business of fish farming.
Persis the manager writes:
"Hi Chris, Hope you are enjoying good health.
We are progressing well with training and more youths are still enrolling for training. You have no idea how the new course has changed the outlook of things at Kaliyangile. Currently, the number of tailoring students has gone up to 12 and Computer students is at 16. Interestingly, we have a lady training in carpentry bringing the number of carpentry students to 6.
Training in bee-keeping is not excluded. It is part of our Agricultural programme.
We will be very grateful if you could help us source some computers so that our training could succeed. We have finally received the curricula for both tailoring and carpentry from Teveta. It is also noteworthy that their curricula contains computer lessons, hence the need for us to have a computer library. Meanwhile, we are using the laptop meant for administrative work.
We are very keen to hear positive development in regard to computers which will definitely change the face of Kaliyangile for good. The programme has helped to market the centre to most of our youths who are completing grade 12 but can not afford to pay for further college education. For this, the youths are very happy and hopeful. It has given new and brighter hope for a future to our local youths .
How was your meeting? Any hope for us? I hope they will reconsider us for now because we cannot afford to shatter the lives of these poor youths who have found a new reason to make a difference.
All staff is eagerly waiting for your next visit of assurance and they send their regards.
In addition to training in tailoring and carpentry the students are now receiving some tuition in the use of computers and agriculture. Training in bee-keeping is due to start in January.
The piggery is now in operation adding a further opportunity for the students to gain knowledge of farming.
The centre is still very busy maintaining poultry, fish and cattle as well as growing maize and beans during the rainy season and tomatoes, rape, okra and other vegetables all year around.
The incubator provided last year has enabled nearly 500 pullets to be reared – these will take over the egg production when the current hens are sold for food. The incubator has also allowed guinea fowl and quail to be reared.
All this provides a rich experience for the students and a chance to understand how they can help provide for their families by keeping a few animals or growing their own food.
In due course the piggery will help the centre towards self-sufficiency. In the meantime there are challenges to keep the pigs well fed so they grow fat for market.
Kaliyangile continues to face challenges, but, with your help, it is very busy doing all it can to improve the lives of disadvantaged teenagers in Chisamba, Zambia.
Please continue with your support so that more can be given skills that will allow them to provide for their families.
The new academic year is just starting and there is a lot of interest from young people wanting to study at the Centre. New staff have been engaged to undertake the training in carpentry and tailoring. The Department of Forestry has been impressed with the bee-keeping programme and has offered to provide training in bee-keeping. Seeing all the activity taking place around the centre, the students are keen to gain extra knowledge about agriculture and bee-keeping in addition to the more formal carpentry and tailoring courses.
The project has been busy during the year. Despite poor rains 30 x 50Kg bags of maize were produced - most of this is being used as part of the feed for the chickens. Tomatoes, okra, impwa, chibwabwa, rape and cabbages are also being grown and sold from the vegetable garden. The chickens are doing well - producing eggs (about 250 a day) for the local community. The Guinea fowl will also start delivering eggs very soon. The dairy cattle are thriving thanks to the new irrigation system generating luscious grass in the paddock. The piggery is also in operaton and is expected to make a significant contribution to the income for the project, as well as providing another opportunity for the students to learn.
The chance to learn agricultural skills helps the students to be better equipped to sustain themselves and their families and is a valuable addition to their technical skills. Wth your help the students will leave Kaliyangile equipped to provide a sustainable future for themselves and their families.
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.
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