What is the Manyinga Project?
The Manyinga Project is the result of a connection between two rural African communities and a few individuals in North America to find a way to help orphaned and vulnerable children in a remote part of northwestern Zambia have access to education and a means to self-sufficiency. Planning and fund-raising efforts help approximately 400 children access basic education and essential agricultural skills in two locations (Chinema and Samafunda) in Zambia. The collaboration has resulted in the support of two schools, teacher’s residences, latrines, and the launch of a farm training initiative and health component.
What has this meant to the children?
In addition to acquiring knowledge through the regular curriculum in the classroom, children attending schools at Chinema and Samafunda have learned how to grow food and raise animals – skills that many, as orphans, would not have otherwise learned. Food produced by the schools contributes to a nutritional program at the school, and has helped to earn a modest income for the schools by selling the surplus. The schools boast a graduation rate that is higher than the national average – meaning that children can move onto higher education with more opportunities for the future. And a health and nutrition component helps the children stay healthier which makes it easier for them to succeed in the classroom and in the fields, gardens and orchards that make up the Farm Initiative.
Manyinga Project Milestones
Your past donations have supported many initiatives over the years. Here are a few highlights.
|Year||Achievements and Significant Developments|
|2009||Project Charter developed
Manyinga Project Volunteer Team assembled
Agriculture component envisioned in collaboration with Manyinga Community Resource Centre
|2010||Teacher stipends from South African Trust end
Manyinga Project increases funds to support teacher salaries
89% of children at Chinema and 100% of children at Samafunda pass entrance exams into Grade 8
|2011||32 acres (32 lima) planted; yields improve by 200 to 300% over 2010
317 children enrolled at Chinema; 96 enrolled at Samafunda
|2012||421 children enrolled in two schools
Grain storage built
$1600 generated from Farm Initiative
Children Health nurse making regular school-wide checks for signs of malnourishment, basic hygiene, deworming medicine administered to all students
|2013||Classroom at Samafunda built to replace unsafe, crumbling structure
Graduation rates higher than national average
|Year||Budget||Beginning Balance||Donations||Expenses||Ending Balance*|
*Numbers may not add precisely due to rounding
While there has been significant progress at the schools, and in the health and skills of children, there is still work to do. In addition to the ongoing efforts, the following specific goals are in place for 2015:
Supporting local teachers in acquiring and upgrading teaching certificates
- Current agronomist (Kapi) is retiring, new agronomist to be trained and overlap with Kapi, so transition will be smooth. Job description and responsibilities to be developed and communicated.
- Complete fencing around gardens and goat pens
- Ensure continued health nurse visits, and treatment and education regarding hygiene and afflictions common to the area.
- More latrines to be built.
- Complete Joan’s house (teacher’s residence). The Chinema School Principal and family moved in first half of 2015.
Movement toward Self-Sufficiency
- Continued dialogue to facilitate successful transition to local government support; for example local government should start to pay for certified teacher’s salaries. This process likely to take some time (success measured in years, not months).
- In 2015 the Manyinga Project has budgeted $31,500 to support the two schools, the Farm Initiative and health initiatives. While some dollars were carried over from 2014, approximately $18,000 is still needed to meet the budget. Funds will be used to support:
- Teacher salaries
- Support basic health care
- Purchase seed and inputs for Farm Initiative
- Agronomist salary
- Building infrastructure such as latrines, fencing, storage etc.
- Funds to augment Feeding/Nutrition program beyond what is available from school gardens and agriculture program
Despite the many successes we have witnessed at Chinema and Samafunda, there continue to be many ongoing challenges, including:
- Difficulty in preparing, planting and fertilizing enough land to produce food and harvest for sale. This means that not enough food is produced to support the nutritional needs of the students, and the feeding program needs to be augmented.
- Drought severely impacts yield and health and performance of livestock.
- Shortages of materials – lumber, cement, crop inputs are not always readily available, which can affect the timeliness of crop treatment, or infrastructure building capability.
- Economic climate in Zambia. Zambia’s inflation rates fluctuate between 7 and 8%, which results in higher costs for basic inputs and building materials.
How You can Help
There are many ways you can help to support the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Schools Project:
- Support the schools, health initiatives or Farm Initiative with a donation.
- Forward this information to friends and colleagues.
- Join us! Our committed volunteers would love your energy and ideas.
- Raise funds. Use your imagination and creativity to raise donations. Some ideas include:
- Hosting a concert in your home or working to host a local concert
- Hosting a fundraising Dinner, BBQ, etc.
- Your own ideas!
Interested in donating? Click here to show your support for the project!
The Manyinga Project Committee 2014
|Robynne Anderson||Arthur Enns||Allan Ronald|
|David Bossman||Jennifer Karton||Marian Ronald|
|Jennifer Laffier||Jody Dundas||Myrna ROnald|
|Cam Dahl||Dorothy Murrell||Wendi Thiessen|
|Tanja Riedel||Brenda Trask|
The Manyinga Project Committee Members would like to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of the local communities of Chinema and Samufunda. The Manyinga Community Resource Centre volunteers land, labour and resources to support the schools and the Farm Initiative. Without their willingness and ongoing support, the Manyinga Project would not be possible.