Manyinga Community Resource Centre Orphan & Vulnerable Children Schools Project

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 gain access to basic education and essential agricultural skills each year in two locations, Chinema and Samafunda, in Zambia. The collaboration has resulted in the support of two Grade 1 to 7 schools, (link to Schools Page) teachers’ residences, latrines, and the launch of a farm training initiative and health component. This project helps pay for teachers and teachers’ assistants, an agriculturist, crop inputs, nurse visits, general maintenance, and school supplies, etc.

What has this meant to the children?  

In addition to acquiring knowledge through the regular curriculum in the classroom, children attending schools at Chinema or Samafunda have learned how to grow food and raise animals – skills that many of them, 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 through selling the surplus. The schools boast a graduation rate that is higher than the national average – meaning that children can move on to higher education with more opportunities for the future. And the project’s 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

Wells dug

Latrines built

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

22 limas (5.5 ha) 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

  

2014

Classes begin inside new buildings at Samafunda.

Construction starts on teacher’s accommodation (Joan’s House) in Chinema

Approximately 350 children were enrolled at two schoolsAge appropriate distribution by grade achieved

Start-up of adult literacy class (learning English and Zambian), led by teachers

Fencing built around vegetable gardens, orchards, goat herds

Preventative education for afflictions common to the area, such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/Aids, and diarrhea

Fewer orphans – 67 at Chinema, and only 15 to 20 at Samafunda

Shelter built for mobile hammer mill used to grind corn harvested from Farm Initiative plots

2015

Over 400 children enrolled at two schools (over 265 at Chinema; 160 at Samafunda)

Graduation rate continues to be higher than the national average. All Grade 7 students at both schools successfully pass the national exams, allowing them to attend high school.

Two students receive scholarships to a boarding high school.

Mr. Happy Sakayi hired as the new agriculturalist, working with the community to plan and implement the garden, orchard and field crops, as well as to train students in crop production. He meets with the students once a week at each school. 

Emphasis continues to be on crop diversification and rotation; crops planted include maize, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and cowpeas, as well as fruit trees in the orchard.

The goat herds at both schools thrive; new platforms and fencing constructed. Goats are harvested for the feeding program at both schools.

Nurses visit the school once or twice each term. In 2015, training and issues discussed included preventative measures to avoid diarrhea, malaria and snake bites.

Special sessions focused on the young girls reaching puberty; in Term 1, students 10 and older are taught about the dangers of pregnancy, and girls 14 and over receive personal hygiene kits and information, meaning they do not have to miss school every month.

2015 saw the completion of the Joan’s House, the teacher’s residence.  

 

Highlights and Achievements in 2016

Manyinga Project founders Allan and Myrna Ronald visited the schools in early February, meeting with each school’s supporting communities. Community members reaffirmed their commitment to the schools, and their participation in the schools’ Farm Initiative and feeding program. While in Zambia, the Ronalds heard from several parents and caregivers of the children in these schools. Many remarked that their children were “more knowledgeable and interested in the farming efforts of their parents”, which is exciting and important in a land where 70% of the population are involved in agriculture. 

Education

  • Over 400 children were enrolled at two schools in 2016 (over 280 at Chinema; and 160 at Samafunda).
  • 45 students wrote their exams in Grade 7 at the end of 2016. The quality of education at Chinema has been noticed by the local government, and it has been named as a local examination centre for the area. 
  • The government covers some teachers’ salaries; the fundraising efforts of the Manyinga Project covers salaries of the remaining teachers, student teachers and assistants at both schools. 

Farm Initiative

  • Mr. Happy Sakayi is the new agriculturalist and he works with the community to plan and implement the garden, orchard and field crops, as well as to train students in crop production. He meets with the students in Grades 5, 6 and 7 once a week at each school, and tests them each term. 
  • Emphasis continues to be on crop diversification and rotation; 10 limas (1 lima = .25 ha) of maize, and 1 lima of sweet potatoes were planted at Chinema, while 10 limas at Samafunda have been cleared to prepare for an intercrop of maize and cowpeas.
  • Low soil fertility can reduce yields. Some cattle manure has been applied to the fruit trees in the orchard.
  • Harvest was again used for the nutritional program at the schools and to earn a modest return to sustain the Farm Initiative program. 
  • Low rainfall and aging boreholes have meant a lack of water, and water has become a limiting factor to the crops, orchards and gardens at both schools.

Health and Nutrition

  • The schools are committed to improving the health of students.
  • All students from both schools were successfully vaccinated against measles and rubella. Teachers and parents were involved in awareness and education programs about these diseases, which commonly occur in Zambia.
  • Neither of these villages has electricity. Solar light packs were distributed to children in upper grades, providing them (and their families) light to study and read at night. 

Infrastructure:

  • Some fencing and shelters for goats are underway, which will improve the health of the goat herds.
  • Work on improving toilet facilities for children and    teachers continues at both schools. 

Movement toward Self-sufficiency:

  • Much development has occurred in the Manyinga district, including the building of new housing and government facilities, which may, over time, influence the needs and demands for Chinema and Samafunda schools. 
  • We continue to pursue discussions with local government to discuss transition toward them taking over administration of the schools, paying the salaries for certified teachers, as well as implementation of agriculture programs at other schools in the area. 

Financial Summary

Year Budget Beginning Balance Donations Income from 
sale of corn
Expenses Ending Balance
2013 $39,200 $8,600 $34,600   $29,500 $13,700
2014 $36,200 $13,700 $24,600   $32,800 $5,500
2015 $31,500 $5,500 $33,350   $24,350 $14,500
2016 $34,600* $14,500  $38,300 $400 $21,050 $32,150

*Includes a 15% contingency fund

In 2016, funds supported: 

  • Teacher and teacher assistant salaries ($9,645)
  • Support for Farm Initiative, gardens and orchards including seed, inputs, rental of oxen and plow, vet fees, fruit trees and corn sacks ($2,970)
  • Agronomist and trainee salary ($710)
  • Building infrastructure such as latrines, fencing, storage, maintenance and repairs, etc. ($2,850)
  • Night watchman stipend ($730)
  • School supplies, tools, pails ($320)
  • Increased local reporting capacity ($1,340)
  • First aid kits ($285)
  • Goat pens ($1,200)

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 sometimes requires augmentation.
  • Drought and/or delayed rains can affect yield and health and performance of livestock.
  • Shortages of materials. Lumber, cement, and 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 rate fluctuates 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!

Click here to show your support for the Project.

A note from the Manyinga Project Committee 2016

We are so grateful for your contributions to the Manyinga Project over the past few years. It is so gratifying to see the children grow in health, and confidence as they successfully graduate and learn the agricultural skills to feed themselves. Please consider continuing your support this year

 

 

Robynne Anderson Arthur Enns Allan and Myrna Ronald
David Bossman Marian Ronald Karen Green
Jennifer Laffier Jim Smolik Erin Armstrong
Cam Dahl Dorothy Murrell Wendi Thiessen
Tanja Riedel Jereleen Brydon Stefanie Hyde
Len and Carol Penner Jo Anne Rolf-Eckstein Jody Dundas
Jennifer Karton    

 

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.