As I am currently in Zambia, I was able to visit the project this week. The Centre is looking smart with some extra flowers planted in front of the buildings. This gives a cheerful welcome to the students and guests, and will provide some extra food for our bees.
Good progress is being made towards full self-sustainability of the project. There are now 20 pigs. Some will be sold and others exchanged to improve the stock. A hammer mill has been purchased with the support of Hands Around the World – this should be fully installed and operational within the next week or two. The hammer mill will produce maize meal (flour) from the corn cobs. As a by product it will provide food for the pigs and cattle, reducing the need to buy feed.
Training in tailoring and knitting is continuing - as are the literacy classes and bee-keeping. Some of the past students are becoming involved in providing training for new students. Uniforms, jumpers and scarves are being made for local schools - this will provide a small income, both for the project and those involved in the production.
Co-operation with local forestry department continues to work well and new links are being made with the local church, where some youth people are being encouraged to join courses at the centre.
Your continued support is greatly appreciated and is helping to sustain the project.
The name 'Kaliyangile' refers to a wish to be a self-help centre, and during my visit this week, this aspect shone through to me. Whilst at first glance the training centre may retain an impression of a work in progress, the team there are enthusiastically pursuing a number of initiatives focussed on helping local very poor and disadvantaged young people to move on in their lives.
The tailoring has always attracted girls keen to learn, but now with the help of donated knitting machines, cotton jumpers as well as shirts and skirts for school uniforms are being produced for sale. And recently one of the ladies, an unemployed teacher, volunteered to start a literacy class for young mums who have dropped out of school. This has rapidly become very popular - 22 are now enrolled and there are requests from older ladies and children who for whatever reason have missed out on chunks of their education. An initiative borne out of wanting to help children with their school reading and homework, recognising the urgent need to uplift the next generation.
The vegetable garden, piggery, bee-keeping, dairy cattle and chickens being reared for meat, are doing well and have benefited hugely from the first good rainy season (now just drawing to its close) for almost 4 years.
Especially too I was impressed by Persis the dynamic and enthusiastic young manager who has lots of ideas which she is pursuing with the support of her team.
Self-help is not easy in a very poor community, and at HATW we are supporting a number of their initiatives to increase their viability, but essentially the centre is now substantially self-sustaining.
I very much hope they will be able to continue their efforts and benefit lots of young lives. Thank you for your support in the past – please help us to make a real difference and continue to help these young people.
The local management is fighting hard to make the project largely self-sufficient.
They are producing 150 chickens each month to provide a regular income flow. The piggery is growing rapidly. Until the pigs are ready for sale this presents a financial challenge, but soon the piggery should make a significant contribution to the income at the centre. Some maize and sunflower seeds were planted at the end of last year. Fortunately the rain this season has been good – so a reasonable harvest is expected this year.
However the main objective of the project is to enable teenagers to have a better future. A new programme has been started to improve literacy in the community. 22 young people are benefitting from this new initiative.
The tailoring course has been extended to include embroidery and knitting. Some of the former students will be engaged in knitting school jumpers.
The project still has many challenges. The management would like to provide more computer training, but more funds are needed to buy equipment.
It is good to see new initiatives taken by our partners at Kaliyangile.
Your continued support is very much appreciated, Thank You.
The bees have been busy – producing about 15 litres of honey in recent weeks. This is the start of a new income stream at the centre. Together with the piggery, the self sustainability of the project is looking positive.
The young people attending the centre have a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in the agricultural activities of the project. These include livestock – cattle, chickens and other wildfowl, pigs and bees; and crops – beans, tomatos, rape, okra, onions, carrots etc. Fruit trees are also being cultivated – bananas, mangoes and citrus fruit. Instruction in these areas help the students develop useful life skills to add to the more formal training they receive.
The last year has been particularly difficult because of poor rains with the resulting bad harvest – anything that can be grown on site is a significant bonus.
Your support is always appreciated,
A tailoring production unit is being set up to help students make the transition between training and setting up a business. Five former students will work at the centre making products for sale - the profits will be shared between the Centre and the students, providing an extra income for both.
Seven piglets have been born in the past three months – in the short term this presents a challenge with the extra mouths to feed. In the longer term they will help the income generation of the project.
Electricity shortages continue to create big challenges both within the centre and outside where suppliers are struggling.
Maintaining the financial viability of the project without regular external funding is difficult, but careful management of resources is keeping the centre moving forward.
Training in computing continues and is very popular, but additional computers are needed before this activity can be further developed.
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