Mosquitoes 0 Humans 2. - thought it may have been 1-1 after Edmund was bitten but he is still alive and well so it must have been another biting bug. We might be winning against mosquitoes but we are definitely losing when it comes to regular running water, consistent electricity supply and continuous access to the internet! I am writing this offline on Tuesday evening in the vain hope of getting it on the website before we come home. This is Africa or as the Zambians say TIA.
On Monday we stayed on the compound, conducting interviews with people from HHZ, our partners in Zambia. Without their help we would not be able to do so much and reach so many people in need. We checked processes and procedures, accounts and record keeping; a necessary part of the monitoring we undertake when we visit. We also discuss any issues or challenges and see how we can work together and help. After all help is in our name, so is health - and we will have plenty of opportunity to see the work and the people who have benefited from us or discover those who need our help. More of this area of our work later.
Another area we look at is the work out in the field, following up an where our supporters money is spent. This includes selecting, at random, some of people we have helped financially or helped by giving them medical help or a disability aid such as a wheelchair. The latter is important this time given we sent out 30 new wheelchairs we bought with a generous donation from Women’s World Day of Prayer. Such visits enable us to provide feedback, share stories and confirm what we see reflects what we expect. Using the selections, we created the programme of visits for Tuesday. Visits to projects will start on Wednesday but don’t hold your breath, this doesn’t mean we will get the report on the website the same day!
Tuesday. Every weekday morning starts with a short time of worship. Today was no different. Well it was really, we picked a hymn our Zambian friends didn’t know and had to lead the singing - Abba Father in several keys! Mostly down to my unique singing ability to change key without even noticing. Remarkably they got the tune and drowned me out after a few bars.
Early on I went round to see Primelda and Alistair who run the sewing department. Their role covers training for disabled people, showing them how to use a sewing or knitting machine. I met Modester Mueene who was learning to sew on a machine. The sewing department are delivering the Menstrual Hygiene Programme and they are very pleased about the visits they have already made to schools. This is a project we wish to continue to support and expand. The rest of the day we met a number of people we have helped or were asking for help.
Bettina Nassele - in June we invested £20 for a business start up. She bought a crate of fish which she sells door to door and typically makes £6 per week, making a big difference to Bettina and her six children.
Precious Mambo - she has a deaf child. She received £30 in February 2017 which she invested in chickens and guinea fowl. She breeds them to sell and harvests eggs. Precious makes a profit of about £100 per year.
Girlan Mwanga - received one of the wheelchairs donated by Women’s World Day of Prayer. He is 12 years old, severely disabled, does not go to school and may need additional help.
Maipza Banji - she is paraplegic and has also received a wheelchair. Now she can get out of the house more and her mother does not have to lift and carry her any more, after all she is 21 years old.
Jean Beenzu - a young woman, 18 years old, who was paralysed along the left side after contracting meningitis when only 6 months old. Jean can propel herself in the wheelchair and does so to visit her Aunt. She aspires to be a DJ - we wish her luck.
We moved on from seeing Jean and visited Hachanga to see a water tank we installed recently. The borehole and tank provide water to the local school and a nearby smallholding growing vegetables. Alfred, who is disabled and walks with a stick, proudly showed us around his kitchen garden. We discovered the water system needs a new controller which we will cost and see whether we can help.
On return to the compound we were greeted by Beauty Mazuba and her mother. Beauty, who is only 4, has Cerebral Palsy from 2 years old. Her mother is struggling financially and we gave her £25 to buy a large bag of charcoal and a large container of cooking oil. This will be divided into smaller quantities and sold at a profit. This simple intervention will enable her to support both herself and her daughter. We gave them a wheelchair, blanket and doll.
Malambo - she has sought our help many times, receiving food help. Now she has a plan to become self sufficient. We gave her £40 to buy maize seed and Malambo can use part of her brother’s farm to sow and reap the maize. When she sells the maize her profits will bring her financial security and enough money to buy seed for the next season.
On that happy note our long working day ended and we got round to dinner which Malukena had prepared for us - potatoes, cabbage, relish and scrawny chicken!