Sandra Jones Centre (SJC) news and updates ...
Children and Education
We have a total of 64 children and teenagers in our care at the moment. All the children of school going age attend pre-school, elementary or high school. 13 teenage girls attend our vocational training programme, which includes learning animal raising and agricultural skills. They help to run our rabbit, chicken, sheep, orchard and vegetable garden projects, which also provides both a source of food and income for our centre. We are proud to announce that four of our girls have successfully completed the vocational programme and are now doing their apprenticeship with us to gain life skills and business skills that will equip them to lead more independent lives.
We have acquired funding from a Canadian charity to purchase one new sewing machine and repair our existing sewing machines. Using donated African-print fabrics our students are sewing 'harem trousers', covers for diaries and patchwork bags, which will be sold by volunteers in the UK, USA and Australia.
A trial mushroom cultivation project is being run to see if mushrooms grow well in our environment. The input costs for this project are low but the retail price of mushrooms is high hence this could be a very profitable venture.
As progress is made in establishing a beekeeping project and a sewing project, more work space and storage areas are needed, and more independent living quarters will be needed to house the vocational students.
The need for reliable transport is ongoing and SJC is reviewing its strategy to buy two 7-seater buses to drop children to and from school and help children attend hospital appointments. SJC is currently in the process of buying their first bus, which is fantastic news! Please consider helping toward the cost of buying a second bus, estimated at US$ 4,000 to 6,000.
THANK YOU for your support this year - Merry Christmas and a happy 2016 from all of us at Sandra Jones Centre!!
a) Children & Education
At this present time we have six small babies at the Centre. That’s not counting the babies at our baby’s home. Our latest baby was born last week. Unfortunately she was born with jaundice so had to go back into hospital. Melinda, her mother, was obviously very worried but now they are both home and recovering well. The other children at the Centre are all doing well.
Our Girls have all just come back from a Camp which has been run by a group of regular volunteers from Australia who come out every year. This camp is the “She is” Camp and this year it was the “She is BRAVE”. They all absolutely loved the camp and it seems to have been a great success in every form.
b) Vocational Training Program
Four of our girls who have already completed the Vocational Training Program are now doing an attachment with us. This is a whole new experience for them and we hope we are going to see some interesting days ahead! We are trying to teach them to become more independent and to learn how to attain and keep a job once they leave us. The skills we will be encouraging them to learn during this period is the importance of getting to work on time, working hard, and working the full eight hours a job requires. It’s not going to be an easy journey for them but we have confidence that they will succeed.
We at the Centre have come to realise that despite the sad circumstances surrounding their pregnancies, each one of them wants just the same thing for their children as every parent wants for their own…. that they will grow up to be happy, healthy and independent.
Potential New Projects
The vocational training program girls visited a local woman who grows flowers commercially. They received information on how to cultivate different plants, and what the market for flowers looks like in Bulawayo. Indications are that the market for commonly grown local flowers may be limited even during the off-season for outdoor growing, but that there may be opportunities in growing less commonly available varieties.
A course in leather tanning at the Ministry of Youth Sizinda training centre has been identified as a possible source of information for learning how to utilise the leather skins that are a by-product of our rabbit project. Currently, the skins are still stored for future use until we can develop new products to sell. We will also look to local industry contacts for more information on tanning.
Up to date, we are still in the same situation with our transport. Our red truck we have been using for a few years now has been in the work shop several times over the past few months and is close to being on its way out. However, with the money that was earnestly raised from ZET in November/December period last year, we are able to bring our total amount to $10,000 towards buying a 15 seater mini bus. We have been advised that to get a good quality bus, we will need between $13,000 and $15,000.
Thank you for your support!
FIrst of all, we just wanted to say a massive thank you from the Sandra Jones Centre for your support! As you can see, our partner organisation is very grateful for the funding which we provide, which wouldn't be possible without your generous support, and have sent us some letters and certificates to say thanks. The Sandra Jones Centre has so far managed to provide support and shelter to more than 900 children and their mothers, and this really wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of donors like yourself.
As you may be aware, Sunday marks International Women's day and to mark this celebration of the amazing work women do internationally, Global Giving are matching any donation that you give until Monday. Could you spare just £20 to help the Sandra Jones Centre provide shelter as well as emotional, practical and psychological support for victims of Sexual Abuse in Zimbabwe? If you the Sandra Jones Centre will recieve £40 towards the amazing work that they do!
There hasn't been a better time to give. Why not celebrate International Women's Day by supporting the Sandra Jones Centre?
Thank you again for your continued support!
Thank you very much for supporting last month’s Tour de ZET. This is just a short note to thank you all for your generosity, and to let you know that we made it back in one piece!
Big thanks to Tom Hyde and Jordan Slack for their efforts on the day; and their efforts beforehand in helping us to raise quite a respectable amount of money!
The ride itself was a strange mixture of fun and anguish, with some beautiful Yorkshire countryside thrown in for good measure. We kept up a decent pace throughout, apart from on the Saturday evening when the hills got a bit more severe coming out of Northallerton (I could be wrong, but I’m sure I saw Jordan being overtaken by a French onion seller at this point…).
To date, we’ve raised just over £1,700 for the Sandra Jones Centre. We’ll continue to do what we can to support their work, and will send you another short update in a few months' time when hopefully we’ll have some good news about how your donation was spent.
We also have a lot of other exciting projects going on this year at ZET - if you’d like to hear more, please sign up for our quarterly newsletter by following this link. We promise not to bombard you with constant fundraising appeals, and guarantee not to share your details with anyone else!
Many thanks once again,
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