Thank you for your interest and continued support of the Manyinga Project – an initiative that provides basic education and essential agricultural and food production skills to about 400 children (in grades 1 through 7) in two different schools in rural Zambia. This update includes highlights from Term 1 at the schools, fundraising updates and tips on how you can help out this season!
Highlights from the Schools
Student Assembly at Samafunda School, February 2017
There are currently over 165 students enrolled at Samafunda School, with class sizes ranging from 18 students in grade six to 24 students in grade four. There is a relatively even split between boys and girls in all grades. Enrollment exceeds 260 students at Chinema School, with the largest group being the Grade one class of 51 students. Of the 262 students at Chinema, 41 are orphans.
The Manyinga project helps more than students! Many former students become assistant teachers and go for further training to become certified teachers. Congratulations to assistant teacher Benny Kayuma of Chinema School, who has been accepted into Solwezi College of Education. Benny intends to get his primary Diploma.
The Farm Initiative
The Farm Initiative continues to give students important agriculture and food production skills, which are especially important for the orphans at the schools. Land and labour is provided by the community, and students are given regular agricultural lessons by the schools’ agricultural instructor, Happy Sakayi.
Students in Chinema Orchard
Happy reports that Agricultural lessons are well-attended by students, who are all interested in learning more about food production. This spring, they are learning the importance of timely applications of top-dress fertilizers to ensure good maize yields. The school planted 9 lima (1 lima = 0.25 ha) with good germination, but late arrival of fertilizer will likely affect yields. Students observed demonstrations on how to safely mix and apply pesticides to their maize field to control cutworm.
Happy is pleased to report that the fruit orchard, which currently consists of two trees, is doing well and that this spring, students were shown how to prune their orchard trees. The banana plantation is in good health.
Goats at Chinema School are in good condition and students were given a demonstration on how to vaccinate their herd.
Goats inside new goat pen at Chinema School
The bore hole which provides water Chinema’s farm site is functional for the moment. There is some concern about its sustainability, and the Manyinga project is planning for a new borehole in 2017.
This spring, students at both Chinema and Samafunda Schools learned about the importance of growing vegetables and proper site selection for their garden. Students also learned about Zambia’s agro-ecological zones.
Samafunda School reports that 10 lima of maize were planted and growth has been fair. Students were taught how to safely mix and apply pesticides to their maize field. The maize field is expected to be harvested in June.
The Samafunda orchard has been doing well despite the need for a new fence and continued water challenges at the school. Both pupils and staff have been tending to the plants and guava have produced fruit, expected to be ready for consumption by next term.
The goat shelter has been completed and the goats seem pleased with their new home!
New goat pen at Samafunda
Donor Spotlight – Dining, Dancing and a Growing Effort
A Mexican Fiesta in Rome
On April 19th, Los Rancheros - the oldest Mexican folk dancing troupe in Italy - reached out to create a totally global and very unique effort to support the Manyinga Project. With Mexican music from an amazing live Mariachi band and great catering from El Jalepeno, Los Rancheros entertained a global audience in Rome, Italy. The audience, filled with representatives from diplomatic missions and UN agencies in Rome, cheered on the lively performance and provided generous support to the schools in Zambia.
Special thanks to Paulina Ceballos who co-ordinated the event. Her extraordinary efforts showcased the great work of the non-profit Los Rancheros ensemble. The troupe was founded in 1977 by Mexican dancer Susana Moraleda and FAO-alumnist. Decades later, the Los Rancheros Ensemble promotes Mexican culture throughout Europe. Paulina dances in Los Rancheros and was both a whirlwind organiser and a whirlwind stage performer!
The evening raised over $3000 to advance the Manyinga Project. See more amazing photos of this event here.
Manyinga Field Fundraisers - A Growing Fundraising Effort!
Art Enns, a Red River Valley grain farmer, donated the proceeds from 35 acres of his 2016 oat crop to help support the Manyinga Project. The oat field was harvested and proceeds from the sale of the grain will help provide essential training in agriculture, primary education and basic health and nutrition programs for students at both the Chinema and Samafunda Schools in Zambia. Art’s oats were purchased and marketed by Paterson Grain in Morris, Manitoba.
Thanks to the generosity of three local Red River farmers and many crop inputs sponsors, the Manyinga Field Fundraiser has grown in spring 2017! There are 50 acres of canola being grown by Morris area farmers Elona and Doug Dyck, and Art Enns. The fields are progressing nicely in the warm June weather. Very special thanks to area sponsors of crop inputs for this field: Paterson Grain, Canterra Seeds, GJ Chemical and Omex Agriculture Inc. We look forward to touring the field and following the crop’s progress.
How you can help
There are many ways you can continue to support the Manyinga Project!
Become involved! Please consider joining the Steering Committee or offering your ideas and input.
Spread the word! Host a fund-raiser or simply forward this update to people you know who want to make a different to children in rural Zambia.
Are you a member of your local Rotary? Local Rotaries provide an excellent opportunity for us to share the word about the Manyinga Project.
Stay current. If you aren’t a regular, sign up to receive quarterly e-newsletters about the Manyinga Project. Visit www.manyinga.org to sign up.
Donate. We appreciate any financial support you can give. All donations are eligible for charitable donation status. Visit www.manyinga.org to donate.
Thanks for your continued support!