HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD seeks to help vulnerable children around the world, encouraging enthusiastic and well-prepared volunteers to offer practical help, skill-sharing, support and friendship.
Jun 22, 2015

June 2015 Update

A large pile of harvested Maize
A large pile of harvested Maize


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!

Bee hives in situ
Bee hives in situ
A sow at Kaliyangile
A sow at Kaliyangile
Lots of Tomatoes
Lots of Tomatoes
Attending Chisamba Show
Attending Chisamba Show
Jun 16, 2015

June 2015 Update

Stephen
Stephen

Things are progressing well at Paluoc Carpentry workshop. They are beginning to establish a reputation for good training: which means that students pass their exams and the workshop produces reliable workers. Recruitment is getting easier.

Needless to say the record is not a perfect one;

Stephen (above) is the first born in a family of two children. One boy and one girl. His education stopped at standard four. His mother died when he was ten years old. He lives with an aunt who has a small business in second hand clothes. His father repairs shoes.
He has thrived at the workshop. His attendance is very good. He took his grade 3 exams last year and passed. He is now learning how to make different types of furniture.

Then there is Jackline, below: She is the fourth in a family of nine children. Six of the children in their family have died. She is married with four children. Her husband is a mechanic.
She is a very committed trainee and has done a lot of practical joinery work. She is a candidate for this year’s examination, at the same time as being a full time mother of four. She has every prospect of passing, and her success has led to a second female trainee joining the workshop.

Another trainee who sat and passed his exams after time at the workshop was David (bottom). His attendance was irregular and he was unreliable and continues to be so still.
His background may help explain: He was the fifth born in a family of nine children, he left primary school in class five. Both parents are alive. The mother helps people with small jobs like washing clothes. The father is mentally disturbed and is unable to do any work.

The workshop is doing a good job with the sort of youngsters who need a second chance. Long may it continue!

And thank you very much for your support!

Jackline
Jackline
David
David
May 28, 2015

May 2015 Update

Hard at work!
Hard at work!

In these days following the death of our long-term project co-ordinator Geoff Burnett, it is very important to reinforce the links and ensure the continuity of this project. He's a hard act to follow! Geoff was such an enthusiast, and devoted to the people of Benin. Indeed, when our next volunteers go out in September, they have agreed to take out some of his ashes to scatter on the banks of the River Oueme which meant so much to him. Our African partners too are much moved by this gesture.

Geoff's extremely valuable work in support of vulnerable and under-priviledged children continues, with 164 currently being helped, of whom 104 are in school, 28 in 'seconde cycle' (sixth form), 20 in apprenticeships and 12 in university. Nigel England our new co-ordinator will be visiting and getting to know them in the autumn.

Dick Wheelock will be spending time there too again, using his agricultural engineering skills and experience as well as some new parts to help keep the tractor working hard. A drill for assisting with the planting of maize will be in his luggage!

Meanwhile construction work on the Affame children's residential centre 'Chez Papa Geoff' is proceeding well. The shell of the building is complete as is the exterior rendering, the ceilings are up, wiring is under way and just painting remains before the building comes fully to life and children can start to move in later this year.

We look forward to the next steps and hope honestly and appropriately to be able for long into the future to make a really positive difference in the lives of many needy children. Thank you for your help, and please continue to support us in our work!

The Workhorse
The Workhorse
'Chez Papa Geoff'
 
   

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