News and announcements

Mary’s Story

Amputee leg amputated Monze Zambia recycling Health Help International HHI UK charity

Mary Chikambo is 57 years old and has recently had her leg amputated.  She lives alone and has no family. Mary turned up at HHZ seeking repairs for her truck which our resident Mr Fixit, Robbie, managed with ease.

In order to support herself, Mary collects empty plastic bottles, fills them with tap water and sells them for 1kwacha ( approximately10p). With the help of HHZ staff, all plastic bottles at the compound were found and deposited in her truck.

Nalukena, the catering and domestic manager at HHZ, will, in future, put all empty bottles aside for Mary and keep them safe until she is able to collect them. 

Recycling at its best!

Jute still in Zambia

Another visit to Ntambo- 

Today new crutches were given to Priscilla and also soap for use with the ‘ingenious hand washing gadget’ (see article of the same name) .  The two pairs of shoes which were given to Priscilla fitted well; one pair is for school and the other for wearing in the bush. Priscilla was particularly happy with the ‘Boom’ washing powder and she and her friend Macdoreen, who is unable to hear or speak, tackled the laundry.  While Jute helped with the washing and pegging out of the clothes, Robbie fixed Priscilla’s broken bed.

Mr Gondwe made a costing for the rebuilding Priscilla’s house of approximately 16,000 kwacha (£1,600) and suggested that if HHZ Robbie and Robert did the labour it would give them employment as well as keeping the costs down.  

Mr Gondwe spoke to Robert and also to Beatrice, the Ntambo chairperson, about how to maintain and service the hammermill.  Beatrice was very happy to receive new crutches too. 

Back at base…

Colin Venters, originally from Scotland, but now living in Monze, uses the HHZ library every Tuesday and Thursday to make extremely sturdy papier mache, yes, papier mache furniture and disability aids with Robbie. 

More sewing items were given to Alistair and graded specs to Adam. Carole, whose eyesight is fading, was given +2.5 reading glasses by Adam and felt the benefit immediately.

The Security team was delighted with the uniforms but it was decided that new boots would be a good idea.  These cost 80 kwacha a pair.

And… the last remaining solar radio taken by Jute to Zambia was given to security and they will charge it daily on the tin roof!

Naanga School

Today trustee Mr Gondwe drove trustee Mr Mugalia, HHZ administrator Carole Nzila and Jute as well as 6 wipe down mattress and disposable mattress covers for approximately 2 hours to Naanga School.  
There they met the very gracious, quietly spoken, and appreciative Head teacher Mr Hansangu,  Edson Lungu, the house father and Mary, the boarding mistress. 
The school has two separate dormitories and caters for 10 disabled girls and 10 disabled boys up to grade 7. Most of the students pass their exams and then leave to go to grade 8 in a different school.
As it was the school holidays there were no children present but staff and caretaking staff were watering and hoeing. Large areas had been cultivated and there was evidence of vegetable growing and what promises to be healthy crops for the future. 
As you may know, HHIUK funded the new toilets which were well built and very clean. There was a hand rail and enough space to turn a wheelchair. There were male and female toilets, ramps and also an outside sink. The next step is to consider installing concrete pathways which are needed to join the ramps to main school area and to the dormitories. Also, the dormitories are in need of a lick of paint. 
At the moment there is a tin shed-type structure in which cooking takes place.  This is a problem in the rainy season so a new kitchen/dining area is a necessity.  It was good to learn that this school does not lack initiative; they had managed to raise funds for window panes themselves.  On the next visit to Naanga, soap, toothbrushes and stationery will be taken. 
Jute spoke about the Menstrual Hygiene Management initiative, which targets girls coming into grade 7, with Mr Hansangu and he is very happy for this to take place. This means that Alistair and Primelda, who have been trained to deliver this package, will be undertaking yet another task. 

Container Arrival: News Travels Fast

After hearing that the container had arrived, Bertha travelled to the HHZ compound from far away. She wanted new machine saying that her old one was not working. It was checked and pronounced fit and well so Bertha did not need a new one.  Alistair, our HHZ seamstress and sewing teacher, oiled the machine and gave advice to Bertha about how to maintain it.  It has been decided that Alistair, a talented lady and a real asset at HHZ, can now service many machines in this way.
Alistair was also able to alter four Security guard uniforms which had been sent out on the container. The shirts were taken in as they were a little wide.  As there were only two pairs of trousers on the container, Alistair has made a pattern from them and will make another two pairs once the fabric has been bought in Lusaka.  We hope to show you pictures of Elliot, Christopher, Fidelis and Tawanda very soon.  

Hearing aid batteries: Adam gets to work

Zambia Monze deaf hearing aid empowered education

A young man, Innocent Kasalala, 18, came to the HHZ compound asking for help. He was unable to hear and had learned that someone at HHZ might be able to assist him.  Adam selected and adjusted some ear moulds, fitted new batteries and the young man, for the first time, could hear clearly.

Innocent had never been to school because of his hearing problem so Adam and Jute suggested that night classes might be an option for him.  Although his parents would need to support Innocent with this, HHZ could further assist and supply him with stationery.

At the Market

Disabled woman empowered HHI UK charity wheelchair trained sewing machine

If you have read the article, ‘There’s always a solution’, then you will be aware of the plight of Priscilla Hatwambo we wrote about when we visited in Ntambo. One thing Priscilla didn’t ask us for, and something we felt was really needed, was a pair of shoes.  So, armed with determination and kwacha, Jute set off to Monze market and bought shoes for Priscilla.   It was there that Jute met Prisca Hatembo who was also in the market and buying fabric to use on her newly acquired machine! (See Article 5: August 23rd)  She was very happy to see Jute and also to have the material to start sewing.  And, of course, we’re happy too!

It’s the first!

Wheelchair, disabled girl, cerebral meningitis, Zambia, medical charity help, Monze

The first wheelchair from 2017 container has been given to Prisca Muchangwe (see below).  She is 12 years old has been disabled since birth. She arrived at the HHZ compound with her mother, having travelled  all the way from Njola Manza which is about one hour's journey by bus. 

When we saw her wheelchair we didn’t have to think about it; its condition spoke for itself. And, Prisca was even given a comfortable wheelchair cushion too, and a strap to keep her secure as she is wheeled on the uneven ground.  

Of course, the old wheelchair has not been discarded. It has been left at HHZ for Robbie to use for spares.  Happy Prisca … and happy Robbie!

Home visits around Monze with Dr Nkonjela

Monze, Zambia, charity, Health Help Zambia, Zambian doctor, diabetes, foot sores

Having successfully treated trustee Mr Gondwe’s wife and HHZ administrator Carole, both of whom are diabetics, Dr Nkonjele was asked to treat other patients known to HHZ because they had received wheelchair donations.  These patients were unable to walk because of sores on their legs and feet as a result of diabetes.

Dr Nkonjele is the only diabetic specialist in Zambia and, as well as travelling to all areas, he has a private clinic in Kitwe, miles from Monze.  He cleans wounds, tests sugar levels, informs patients about a non-sugar diet, and treats the sores using antibiotic creams and tablets. He feels he can reverse the amputation diagnosis which many hospitals prescribe for diabetic patients.  We travelled with him to watch him treat three patients who live in extreme poverty.

Ethel, 11, developed sores on her feet when she was 3 and cannot walk properly.  Since receiving treatment she is able to wear flip flops and Dr Nkonjela recommends that she attends school for the first time.

Grace, 14, has open wounds and uses a wheelchair.  We watched Dr Nkonjele cut away the putrid skin and clean, scrape, and apply cream to the affected area. He bandaged her feet and left instructions for her care with the family.  

Ellis, 79, is a double amputee and lives on the floor.  He has been given a self-propelling wheelchair donated by HHZ. Dr Nkonjela checked that sores were not developing on her feet.

Dr Nkonjela works quietly and carefully with his patients and improvements have been noticed with healing starting to replace the smelly putrid sores.   

HHI is committed to providing money to enable these patients to continue receiving their treatment.  However, these patients are just a few of the many who need this type of care in Monze and beyond.  We hope that somehow we can extend the work that the good doctor does in order to help other needy people.

There’s always a solution!

Jute and Priscilla

We visited Priscilla Hatwambo at home.  A bumpy hour long journey took us into the bush to the sprawling village, Ntambo.  Priscilla had had cerebral malaria as an 8 year old and has been unable to speak or walk properly ever since.  She is, however, as bright as a button, and although we could not fully understand her sign language we were left in no doubt as to what she wanted.  Priscilla was delighted to see Jute and trustee Mr Maheritona again and pleased to receive gifts from Jute.  She was, however, not afraid to ask for other things she needed and that included ‘Boom’ washing powder.

Priscilla’s living conditions are nowhere near acceptable.  Her family home has fallen down and she now lives with her mother, father and brother in a dilapidated shed.  Priscilla’s bed, provided by HHI, is in need of repair and she had recently broken one of her crutches.

School is a haven for Priscilla. At school she enjoys learning, has friends and has fun!  She is so grateful to HHI supporters for funding this.  

We discussed with Mr Maheritona what Priscilla’s prospects might be once she finishes her schooling. What options are there for a girl with Priscilla’s disabilities? At the moment, we don’t know what the future holds but we will continue to support Priscilla with her schooling and transport to and from school. If finances allows HHI would like to rebuild the family home.

And, by the way, we have bought the ‘Boom’! 

Jute and Hilary in Zambia - 5

Disabled school teacher manual sewing machine Monze Zambia

A Quiet Afternoon at the Compound? 

For the first time a doctor, in this case Dr Ibrahim, from the local Monze Mission Hospital visited the compound to tell us what would be useful for various hospital departments.  He was amazed at the range and quality of the hospital equipment he saw.  He could tell us which items would be more useful in either clinics or hospitals and that information will help the trustees and staff at HHZ when it comes to distribution time.  He was also very grateful to everyone in the UK.

No sooner had Dr Ibrahim left, Prisca Hatembo arrived.  Her old sewing machine, which she had received 10 years ago, was beyond repair and as we had 15 on the container we were glad to let her have one. As you know, HHI funded Prisca through school, teacher training college and she now works at the new Muumba school for which HHI provided funds.

During the August holidays, Prisca will keep herself busy making clothes for herself, her children and maybe others.  We suggested to her brother that he might like to cook the shima and look after the children.  He agreed of course!