Mar 30, 2020

Kaliyangile Zambia March 2020 Update

Some of the girls training at Kali
Some of the girls training at Kali

These are very difficult times in Zambia. Following the devastating drought and almost non-existent harvest in 2019, there is still a serious water shortage; as the country mostly relies on hydro-electricity for its power, rationing is reducing this to just 2 or 3 hours in 24! Over Christmas it was hot and humid but the onset of the rainy season was delayed. Everyone was feeling down and greatly in in need of a psychological boost. And then, just after the New Year, the weather suddenly and ferociously changed with tremendously stormy winds and spectacularly heavy rainfall!

In early January, 3 ladies from the UK volunteered with HATW at Kaliyangile for a month.

Persis the centre manager cheerfully comments:

"It was a great start to 2020 for Kali. We welcomed our volunteers Annie, Lone and Margaret. Everyone was excited and looked forward to an interactive and educative moment with the students and the community. Happy, smiling, walking the long distance. The volunteers’ passion to share their skills despite the challenging language barrier, different living styles, hot and stormy rains was just admirable. A wonderful experience for Kali.

And now also, our long-lasting dream has started to mature into reality as works slowly but steadily have begun on the workshop...

Many thanks & God's blessings to our overseas partners"

Margaret writes:

"The Kali project is set in the quiet rural area of Chisamba, about two hours from the bustling city of Lusaka. The local village was a hot twenty minute walk, over a railway line, and through maize fields which led to wide dusty road. During my stay I worked with local students, sewing, knitting, crocheting and helping with computer skills. On Saturdays about 16 young girls (aged 3-16) came to the project. They had fun joining in a drawing game, making pompoms and necklaces.

The way of life here is difficult. Average families with 5-6 children struggle.  Inspite of this the people always had a smile and a kind word."

Annie adds:

"Early February saw us return home from our four-week visit. It was an awe-inspiring trip: the locals are challenged on a daily basis, the main one during our stay being the intermittent and limited electricity supply - this affected everything from utilising the incubator for the chickens and running the milling machine to powering the computers in class - all of which can impact on the income for the centre. Tough times indeed but there are exciting developments ahead - building of the new workshop classrooms has begun, which will offer additional opportunities in carpentry and possibly metalworking. 

Life-changing’ can sometimes be a glib phrase but the way the community responds to children in need, taking responsibility for those unrelated to themselves, and the way the children accept and look out for each other, are lessons that will stay with me. They deserve any help and support we can give."

And now in the UK we are in lockdown due to the coronavirus. In Zambia too. There they have had a small number of cases so far, but there is great apprehension. High rates of Malaria, HIV and TB in the community make them vulnerable and poverty makes everything more difficult.

The Kaliyangile centre is making a difference and needs to continue to develop and help support more young people. Thank you for your help in the past - please help us to continue to encourage and support the team there in their endeavours.

Every little helps. If you think you are too small to make a difference, you have never been in bed with a mosquito!

Annie enjoying time with the children
Annie enjoying time with the children
Our volunteers with local friends
Our volunteers with local friends
Good progress with the new workshop construction
Good progress with the new workshop construction
Mar 26, 2020

Sarberia India update March 2020

The beginning of the school year in January is a busy time for Mr Naskar and the staff of the New Life centre, not only for welcoming new students, but in sorting out the books for distribution. The staff are in the school before the beginning of term for this purpose.

Schools in India have to have their name printed on the front of the exercise book, which means that the books cost more but also limits ‘shopping around’ for cheaper books.

For a school which exists to serve the poorest children in this village, book buying at the beginning of each year is only one of the ways in which Mr Naskar has to balance the budget. The parents of the majority of these children live at a subsistence level, doing daily labouring jobs in the fisheries which are predominant in this area of West Bengal, or in the paddy fields.

Mr Naskar is scrupulous in following the National Curriculum, which means that the children study between 10 – 12 subjects depending on their age. Each subject has an exercise book and sometimes a text book which can be used as an exercise book for the student. We can see therefore the high cost of books for the school each year, when the majority of parents are paying a minimal amount, for schooling, the equivalent of £1.60 a month.

What a contrast to our schools where the exercise books are handed out without any thought of where the money has come from for them?

Wouldn’t you like to help Mr Naskar educate the first generation of highly literate adults in this village?

New exercise books!
New exercise books!
Sorting new books in time for school to start
Sorting new books in time for school to start
Mar 19, 2020

Pizz Zambia update March 2020

Brooding skies and multicolour lunchboxes!
Brooding skies and multicolour lunchboxes!

Having just returned from Monze, I have positive & negative news to report…

The positives! The rains came during our visit. Excellent news for the current maize crops. Sadly, not everyone was able to plant, due to not having monies for seed or fertilizer, which means there will continue to be shortages.

Great news to witness the additional feeding programme in action – money that you have all given feeding those who most need it and ensuring it has direct impacts. School children getting a meal each day, no one is turned away if they are hungry.

I spent time talking to many children at school and a recurrent point was: most ate at school and there was only one meal a day. Many said they were hungry but that there was not enough food.

The bad news - hunger is likely to impact into 2021 as maize continues to cost more, due to less availability, making it too expensive for many families. We need more money and more help to continue what I can describe as a ‘complete lifeline’ to so many lovely Zambian families in need.

And now, with schools in Zambia too closing due to Coronavirus, we need to try to ensure that this doesn't lead to more hungry children.

So - huge thanks to all those who have already supported this vital initiative. Don’t stop now, but please help us to keep up the good work!

A heavy sack but a big smile!
A heavy sack but a big smile!
This is what a lifeline looks like
This is what a lifeline looks like
 
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