Deana went to Monze, a small town of 19,000, in Southern Zambia, where she lived within the local community doing much the same work as she did as a health visitor in Port Talbot. Seeing people in their own homes had a big impact on her. Knowing too that 400 children -nearly half of them AIDS orphans – walked many miles to a building which looked like a dilapidated cowshed, which served as a school made Deana determined to do something. So when she was asked by the people to help Deana said “How can I say no?”
On returning home she was greatly supported by Bridgend Quakers who helped her to set up a registered charity and serve on the board of trustees. The vision was always that to be effective in alleviating poverty, there must be a collaborative partnership, where we in Bridgend work with groups already helping to develop their communities. The people of Monze must be at the forefront of any development, which is why work must focus on empowerment with skills in agriculture, business and education.
This is what has been achieved already (Feb 2017):
- We received a Quaker Peace and Social Witness grant for a solar water pump and goats to help Cisikili HIV support group grow vegetables to support orphans.
- We rebuilt Lushomo school 3 classrooms, solar lighting, books, 2 compost toilets, showers for girls, a bore hole, solar waterpump providing clean water for the commmunity and garden, sports equipment and drums, design, training and trees for a school permaculture garden, fence.
- Small businesses have been set up, including buying a peanut butter machine to enable a group to use their crop of peanuts to make and sell peanut butter. Income is used to support a pre-school 3 to 7 year olds, care for the elderly and enable orphans to attend school. Another small business is an egg laying project run by a womens support group, the eggs provide good protein for the community and income helps children with disabilities and run a school for 3 to 7 year olds.
- Training to build solar cookers out of cardboard.
- Training to make supportive furniture for children with disabilities out of cardboard.
- Sponsoring deprived children to attend school, and providing solar lights to do their homework.
Friends of Monze Update February 2017
We are delighted to tell you that Kampunu School, the second school that Friends of Monze has built in Monze, was completed on 13th January, just in time for the start of the new term on January 16th. Our partners Zambia Women and Girls Foundation (ZWaGF) have inspected the school and given it a good report. Everyone is looking forward to the handover ceremony to be celebrated in April.
130 children have already enrolled with more expected. Kampunu School, built in a poor rural part of Monze was a real team effort. The villagers in Kampunu hand made the 12,000 bricks for the school, and did much of the labouring overseen by Stanley the trusted builder, who had already proved himself when building Lushomo School. We drilled a bore hole to provide water for hygiene and garden taps. We have QPSW funding for permaculture gardening training, a fence to keep wandering cattle away, tools and fruit trees for this garden.
We are now looking for funding for books to cover the 8 subjects in the Zambian curriculum which children study each year.
Recently, our partners in Zambia have identified a third school for us to consider, way out in the bush, in a very poor area in Monze. Parents are very keen for a proper school building to replace the inadequate classrooms they have built themselves.
We are pleased to say that we have provide Sichiyanda School with 2 computers and teaching material for grade 9 exam work. We have provided permaculture training, a bore hole and hand pump. We erected a fence which will be planted with brambles to keep goats out of the permaculture garden.
We are planning to put on a 2 day training on Menstrual Hygiene Matters (MHM). The education will be provided for 2 groups of women. One group are peer educators, energetic young women who will teach through the medium of drama and dance to children in schools and youth clubs. The other group are Dorcas Mothers, a group of Seven Day Adventist Church ladies, who will teach women’s groups about MHM. They will also be sewing menstrual pads which they can sell. FoM want to donate one free pad to each school girl who is part of the MHM training.
A group of women in Hampshire run a social enterprise training people in Zambia to build cardboard frames and chairs which help keep disabled children upright, and able to leave their huts. They visited Monze last June and worked with Deana and are planning to complete the training in March when they next visit.
Deana, as ever, is very busy and in contact by WhatApp and Skype with our partners in Monze on an almost daily basis. She has received a large consignment of beautiful hand -made baskets to sell through shops or stalls, so pleased contact her if you know of any venue where she can sell these. She is also more than happy to speak to schools or organisations of any kind about the charity and the amazing work it does.