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.
A container organised by HHI (Health Help International – a charity base in Newport and working in Zambia) is about to leave for Zambia. They have agreed to take some equipment for Hands Around the World, including additional tools and sewing machines for Kaliyangile. These will help to provide the extra training needed to meet the Teveta syllabus.
In February two bull calves were born on the farm and we are now looking forward to the milk which will help the students diet and, if there is any excess, will provide extra income for the centre. Milking will also be a useful addition to the skills learnt at the centre. Eventually the bulls will be put to work on the farm.
There has also been a promise of a pregnant pig to get the piggery project under way. A pigsty will be erected to house the new additions.
The Tailoring students are progressing well are about to take their end of term tests we are hopeful that all these students will eventually complete the Teveta course and leave with officially recognised qualifications.
The rains this year have presented challenges. Early in the season flooding was a problem – this affected the beans grown at Kaliyangile resulting in a very small crop. The rain stopped too soon making it difficult to bring the maize to maturity. However despite the problems they expect to get a reasonable crop for the project. Lack of water has also hit the tomato crop. Unusual patterns of weather over recent years are presenting great problems in Zambia where the economy is very reliant on the maize crop. It will be important to teach the students how to grow food which will be more tolerant of the new conditions that are being experienced.
The centre is dedicated to teaching skills that will enable the students to become self sufficient and move away from the poverty that most experience.
With your help we are changing the lives of these young people. Thank you.
Over the past few months the Centre has been actively examining ways of extending its activities and generating some extra income.
The possibility of providing extra training in bee-keeping is one option. Specimen bee-keeping suits have been taken out to Chisamba and the tailor is busy reproducing them. He hopes that, with the students, the suits can be produced for another Zambian project – providing experience for the students and preparing them for their own project. The carpentry section have been producing some bee hives. This is an exciting new venture which could have many benefits for the students and the centre.
The chickens are producing about 250 eggs each day which encourages a lot of visitors to the centre as well as helping with the finances. We are looking into the possibility of solar powered incubators instead of buying day old chicks. The local team is working with us to evaluate the options.
The new carpentry tools are very useful and it is hoped that funds will be found in the near future to add some power tools. These are are essential to enable the students to obtain a comprehensive carpentry training and a government-recognised qualification.
After some considerable work by the local committee the centre has now obtained it's official registration from Teveta. This allows the centre to teach the official syllabus and hold examinations on site. It is also likely that, following the registration, some government assistance will be provided to enhance the support currently received. We hope to develop a good working relationship between the local and overseas agencies leading to ever better training for the students.
During the year the crop production has been enhanced and the students have each been given a small plot where they can grow some produce. It is hoped that some funds raised in this way can be put aside for equipment for the students when they graduate.
The mobile phone network in Zambia has had some problems over the past few months, but I have been able to have a brief Skype session with Kaliyangile. It makes such a difference when you can see the peoples' faces at the other end of the phone! It is great to see the smiles when we share a joke. We hope that the network will improve so that the communication becomes much easier.
We are looking forward to a very positive 2013 with some new initiatives and further consolidation of the training programmes currently running.
We are grateful for the support we have received in the past year which is essential to help these vulnerable young women and men. Thank you.
This year as well as being able to see how the project was progressing, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the new staff and the management committee.
It is clear that everyone involved in the project is enthusiastic about changing the lives of the children. They stressed that just completing the course did not provide a passport out of poverty. The tailor told me that some of his students cannot afford to buy a reel of cotton costing K2,000 (about 25p), so there was no way they could imagine buying a sewing machine without help. One suggestion is for students to raise money from some of the practical agricultural work. They have each been given a small patch of land, where they are currently growing carrots. The idea is for these crops to be sold and part of the proceeds put aside to build a little fund to buy equipment on graduation.
There is a shortage of materials for the carpentry and tailoring courses which is presenting some challenges. Both instructors are highly regarded locally and, when they have time, they make some items for local people. This brings in some income for the centre. This money is used to buy some of the materials needed. There is also a shortage of tools and equipment. I am bringing back details of the specific shortages. These include certain types of plane for carpentry and a buttonhole making machine for tailoring.
Raising sufficient funds to pay the general bills is always a challenge. 300 day old chickens were purchased and by careful fund management they have been grown until now they produce 250 eggs each day. There was a loss of about a dozen chicks when a snake got into the barn and one chicken that looked a little different to the rest turned out to be a cockerel! The electricity bill has been reduced to about a quarter of its previous cost by discovering a special tariff for non-profit making organisations – this has helped considerably.
Additional profit generating activities are needed and if the fish ponds can be brought into use, this will make a big difference to the budget. There is a good water distribution system with a wind pump getting the water from a borehole, however there is a lot of leakage around the pump at the moment which would need to be fixed before the ponds could become operational – though the cost is likely to be small. Often the difficulty with maintenance is finding the appropriate expertise locally.
This visit gives me added hope because of the new initiatives from staff and committee members moving the project forward,despite receiving limited funding over the past year.
I will pay a final visit this week to re-establish the accounts system. The project laptop has developed a fault which seems to me to be terminal – so I will leave them my laptop to help them budget, as well as making it easier to communicate with me in the UK.
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