Once again, my thoughts are turning to another visit to Muko School in Bugarama in the autumn.
We will hopefully be a group of four volunteers, including one returner who will again teach English to the teachers of Muko and the other schools in surrounding areas. This teaching program has proved to be very successful over the last few years, is well attended and appreciated by all present.
The other volunteers along with a local labour force will continue with the very successful maintenance program that has transformed the school to a good standard for its 1700 pupils.
Last year we were able to raise enough funds to build some additional toilets, plus a replacement kitchen block (by western standards still rather basic but it allows beans and rice to be cooked for the senior students). Additional water tanks have now been installed for washing in the toilets. The perimeter wall that has been a priority for the last three years is now nearing completion, and general cleaning, painting and repairing is still ongoing.
Would you like to volunteer to come with us? Or do you know someone who would? It's a great experience, very fulfilling and extremely worthwhile. Get in touch now on 01600 740317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All of this work has to be financed, and although all of our volunteers pay their own expenses and fares, all donations are of course much appreciated! Thank you for your support.
Water, water everywhere!
It’s been raining very heavily in Kisumu recently, 3 or 4 inches falling in a single day. The humidity afterwards is unbearable. However that’s not what has caused the flurry of activity in the photo.
The water supply to the workshop had stopped delivering any water and that was a real problem especially for two of our trainees who live on-site as nightwatchmen. So the Water Board were called into action. They managed to re-establish the water supply for the workshop but whilst doing so they fractured another nearby water pipe. The result was that free water was gushing out of the ground much to the delight of the local women! They are used to having to buy water to wash their family’s clothes and dishes so this plentiful free supply was a cause for much amusement and enjoyment. It was a case of taking advantage whilst the bonanza lasted.
Building their families a home
Meantime two of the trainees are beginning to use their newly learnt skills to build a home for themselves and other members of their families. That’s Bonaventure 3rd and Kennedy 2nd from the right in the photo. They have passed their initial exams, they have a bit of experience, and are now able to be loaned out on occasions to local builders to help install doorframes etc. They earn a few shillings, and Paul’s advice to them is to invest their earnings in building a small family home. It’ll be a long job but it’s a good start on becoming independent. It’s a struggle to get some of the trainees to smile, they often feel that they do not have a lot to smile about but the training at Paluoc, and the success that they have enjoyed has certainly begun to bring a smile to some of their faces. New recruits are always being sought.
When there is something more to be seen of their new homes we’ll post a photo. Meantime its back to training, and making more school desks and benches.
Thank you for your help and support!
The students from PIZZ School are not forgotten when they leave after Grade 9. In Zambia the children have a further 3 years of study before they finish their secondary education and we are keen to ensure that the students achieve their full potential.
PIZZ School provides the support and encouragement needed for the children to have confidence to move into local secondary schools if they pass their grade 9 examinations.
This year a total of 74 children took the examinations and a remarkable 53 children passed. With the examination pass rate in many Zambian schools at less than 10%, this was a wonderful result and a testament to the dedication and hard work put in by Mrs S and her staff.
We would like all these children to complete their education. It costs about £300 per year per child to pay secondary school fees, so the success of PIZZ school also presents a challenge! So far most of the successful children have been enrolled in secondary schools, including Janes who was featured at the end of last year. She obtained excellent results and has been accepted at one of the top Monze secondary schools.
Mrs. S keeps in touch with her former students and where possible I meet them when I visit Zambia. I will be returning in May and staying for about two months.
Henry T, one of these students, is now a young man. He studies at Manungu Secondary School on the south side of the town. He enjoys biology and chemistry and plays football for local team The Young Arrows. He told me last year that he would like to become a journalist. I am hoping that he will write a brief article about himself which we could use in a future report.
Please continue to help us to provide the education for Janes, Henry and all of the other children for whom we are making a huge difference.