"Planting” basic skills for children in need in Zambia
Thank you for your interest and support for the Manyinga Orphan and Vulnerable Children Schools Project, which provides basic education and agricultural skills to about 400 children in Grades 1 to 7 in two schools in rural Zambia.
Here’s an update:
Farm Initiative update
One important aspect of the schools’ curriculum is the Farm Initiative, giving students hands-on experience growing crops, tending gardens and orchards, and raising livestock. These are important skills in this largely rural area, and make a tremendous difference to the childrens’ future livelihood. In addition, the various aspects of the Farm Initiative contribute to the nutritional program at the school. Vegetables from the garden, fruit from the orchard and goat meat are a welcome addition to the staple nshima (a thick porridge made from a mixture of maize flour and water).
Livestock: Both schools, Chinema and Samafunda, look after goat herds. The goats are in good condition. Construction of a goat shelter has begun at Samafunda, and will begin soon at Chinema.
Gardens: At last report, the gardens at Samafunda were thriving; vegetable harvest was about to begin, while the tomatoes were still growing. At Chinema, however, some of the goats were able to get through a wire fence, and consequently enjoyed the produce growing in the garden. The students and agriculturalist were planning to replant some vegetables.
Orchards: The orchards at both schools face the challenge of limited water. At Chinema, the well is drying out if too much water is drawn. The well that supplies water for the orchard at Samafunda is quite far from the school; watering is done just twice a week and some of the trees are showing signs of drought.
Plans for the Manyinga Schools
Because of the ongoing issues with water shortages at both schools, the Manyinga Project Working Group is working with the local community and school staff to drill new boreholes to provide a more accessible and reliable water supply. So far we have been able to approve the drilling of one borehole which should commence shortly.
Regular maintenance such as fencing and general repairs is ongoing.
Insight into the Manyinga District
The two schools are located in a rather remote part of Zambia, but the area is beginning to open up and more development is occurring. The Zambia Daily Mail newspaper recently ran a story describing the development efforts in the newly named Manyinga District, and you can read it on our website at Manyinga.org. The article highlights many of the realities of the local area such as the lack of electricity and distance to filling stations and banking. As development occurs in this area, we will continue our efforts to transition funding and administration of the schools to the local government. We continue to believe this will be achieved, but it will take some time.
For the second year, southern Manitoba farmer and Manyinga Committee member, Art Enns has contributed the proceeds from a 35-acre field of oats to the Manyinga Project. We are so grateful for his generosity!
Art faced some challenges in harvesting the crop including excess rain, a broken bearing and an axle buried in mud. Read his complete story including pictures at www.manyinga.org!
Art’s experience serves to remind us of the many and diverse challenges farmers face around the world in producing food. That’s why we are committed to helping the 400 orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia to learn basic agricultural skills, and to deliver the tools and knowledge they can use for a successful future. We hope we can count on your support.
There are many ways in which you can help:
- Help spread awareness. Host a fund-raiser, and forward this update to people who want to make a difference to orphan and vulnerable children in rural Zambia.
- Stay current. If you aren’t a regular, sign up to receive quarterly e-newsletters about the Manyinga Project. Visit www.manyinga.org.
- Donate. We appreciate any financial support you can give to the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Schools in Zambia. All donations are eligible for charitable donation status.
Thank you for your support!