Bright is a blind young man who was supported by HHI in Zambaia to complete his education, and obtain his teaching qualifications. As you can see he is now a qualified teacher of the blind, and is a great success and a tribute to all his hard work.
News and announcements
Shibu is our regular bystander in the hospital in Trivandrum. Most of his duties involve work as a sort of nursing auxiliary, but recently ...
Tom takes up the story.
This month we have a dramatic story for you. A couple of months ago, a couple living quite a long way away from Trivandrum came to stay in the capital. The husband was a heavy drinker and the couple quarelled badly. The wife was hit by a vehicle and was admitted to the Medical College Hospital. One evening Shibu was attracted by a commotion in Ward 8 (a women's ward near Ward 15 where many of Shibu's patients find themselves). The husband had turned up at the hospital, fully drunk, and had approached his wife, apparently affectionately, and had then pulled out a knife from behind and stabbed her three times in the neck. He then stood there brandishing the knife. Shibu sidled up behind him, pinning his arms to his side, and so the men in front could then disarm him. It was a great effort of Shibu, wasn't it? ... . A policeman who had come to the hospital introduced Shibu to his companion as "the Ward 8 superstar". Many of Shibu's patients are brought to the hospital by the police, so he knows them well. So it fits in with what Shuibu's role has turned out to be - doing those things that others aren't prepared to.
HHI supports all the costs of Shibu's work in the hospital.
Jonah Sialumano - the disability affiars manager in HHZ Monze arrived in UK as a a guest of Disability in Wales and Africa (DWA)
On Friday 30th October a team of volunteers descended on our storeroom and completed the loading of the container just before nightfall. The whole operation went very well, mostly because a number of people had worked very hard in the days before to get items lines up, boxed and labelled. Though we had significantly fewer number of wheelchairs we did manage to get every square inch filled with useful items. It will now take about three months to get to Monze - we will update this post as we track the container's long journey.
Salini, who manages Thanal, maried Shanil recently. The wedding was a typical Indian event with about 1500 guests. The women from Thanal House attended in their best saris (we await a photo). Shanil, her new husband will soon start to work with Salini at Thanal House. We are sure Pastor Sam, her father who died a few years ago , would have been proud of his daughter on her marriage and for the exellent work she has already done at the home.
The marriage was arranged by her father before he died but this picture shows her joy at a future she will share with her new husband. HHI wish Salini and Shanil all the best for their future together and wish them well as they work together for the health and benefit of the destitute women at Thanal House.
On a recent trip to Zambia we took a bag full of knitting - particularly blankets and dolls. When we distributed these it was evident that the people receiving them where overjoyed. Thanks to all our supporters who knit for those in need. We have however created a priority list...
- blankets of all sizes - from baby ones to large for adults
- jumpers/cardigans for children under 5, all sizes, any (bright) colour
- school sweaters or tank tops for ages 4-11. Colours navy, bottle green, grey and maroon
- toys - eg dolls or footballers with black/brown faces
- other items
Jonah Sialumano is HHI Disability Affairs Manager and here he is taking an opportunity to be interviewed by a local radio reporter. Jonah is responsible for all areas of our work which involved disabled people and he ensures UK receive a prioritised list of 'helps' to enable us to fund the most urgent needs. Jonah also co-ordinates craft training and distribution of disability aids. On our recent visit we also asked Jonah for an interview which we filmed for the website.
HHI are funding a project in Chiyole near Monze - the community now have some bee hives and have already started to harvest honey. This will generate income for the community as the number of hives increase.
We were greeted by the community committee at Chiyole when we went to visit to see how they were doing - take a look at the video. Though it is early days there is promise of a successful project. They are well organised and have set up new hives to complement the two older ones already producing honey. Their next step is to smear beeswax on the new hives when the flowers and trees begin to blossom (late October/early November). This will attract new bees to settle in the hives and grow new colonies.
Some years ago we installed a hammer mill to the community of Chipembele. At the time they were poor and short of food. On our visit in October we visited them to see how they were getting on.
It was heartening to know that the hammer mill was still operating and providing income for the community. They have maintained the mill over the years and the income generated has enabled the people to buy seed and fertiliser each year to provide their own maize and continued to grind maize for their customers. Watch the greeting we received. When asked what else they had done with the income and it soon came apparent that they had spent well - families called out the number of animals they had - pigs, goats and chickens abound in the community now. It was also good to hear that when an animal gave birth then the newborn was given to someone else in the community to help them.
On a recent visit to Zambia we went to see the staff and pupils at Nanga special school, north of Mazabuca and about an hours drive from Monze.
Dreadful - the only word to describe what we witnessed here. Where to start? Well for instance the wiring in many places is dangerous - this is a live wire above a child's bed; the girls dormitory is in the same building as the dining area and kitchen - a fire hazard. The toilets provided by the Zambian government are open pit latrines with access so narrow that wheelchair users have to get down and crawl all over the...
Perhaps the most desperate problem is budget. With school fees of kw500 per term - some of which is not paid because of poverty, plus a paltry kw3700 per term government fund (equivalent to about 6p per child per day) gives a total - if all pupils paid - of about kw12500 against a food budget alone of kw60000. Do the sums and it adds up to starvation!