Over the past few months the Centre has been actively examining ways of extending its activities and generating some extra income.
The possibility of providing extra training in bee-keeping is one option. Specimen bee-keeping suits have been taken out to Chisamba and the tailor is busy reproducing them. He hopes that, with the students, the suits can be produced for another Zambian project – providing experience for the students and preparing them for their own project. The carpentry section have been producing some bee hives. This is an exciting new venture which could have many benefits for the students and the centre.
The chickens are producing about 250 eggs each day which encourages a lot of visitors to the centre as well as helping with the finances. We are looking into the possibility of solar powered incubators instead of buying day old chicks. The local team is working with us to evaluate the options.
The new carpentry tools are very useful and it is hoped that funds will be found in the near future to add some power tools. These are are essential to enable the students to obtain a comprehensive carpentry training and a government-recognised qualification.
After some considerable work by the local committee the centre has now obtained it's official registration from Teveta. This allows the centre to teach the official syllabus and hold examinations on site. It is also likely that, following the registration, some government assistance will be provided to enhance the support currently received. We hope to develop a good working relationship between the local and overseas agencies leading to ever better training for the students.
During the year the crop production has been enhanced and the students have each been given a small plot where they can grow some produce. It is hoped that some funds raised in this way can be put aside for equipment for the students when they graduate.
The mobile phone network in Zambia has had some problems over the past few months, but I have been able to have a brief Skype session with Kaliyangile. It makes such a difference when you can see the peoples' faces at the other end of the phone! It is great to see the smiles when we share a joke. We hope that the network will improve so that the communication becomes much easier.
We are looking forward to a very positive 2013 with some new initiatives and further consolidation of the training programmes currently running.
We are grateful for the support we have received in the past year which is essential to help these vulnerable young women and men. Thank you.