As the year 2016 comes to a close, the Manyinga Orphan and Vulnerable Children School Project would like to thank you for your generous support and ask that you consider supporting the Manyinga project once again.
The Manyinga Orphan and Vulnerable Children Schools Project is the result of a partnership between two rural African communities and a group of concerned individuals in North America working together to find a way to help orphaned and vulnerable children in a remote part of northwestern Zambia improve their lives. The initiative has resulted in providing much-needed education, essential agriculture skills, improved nutrition, health care and sanitation for approximately 400 vulnerable children. The goal of self-sufficiency and independence for the students as they grow into adulthood continues to be the objective of the project.
The information below provides a brief update of the school’s activities in 2016. This year, we have helped the communities by supporting teacher’s salaries, agricultural inputs for the Farm Initiative, basic infrastructure needs, and other health and nutrition initiatives. Availability of fresh water for hygiene and for watering the crops, garden, livestock and orchards continues to be a big challenge. With your help, we are hoping to support the digging of new boreholes for both schools in 2017 to help alleviate this shortage.
MANITOBA – When Manitoba oat grower and Prairie Oat Growers Association President, Art Enns, sowed a 35-acre crop this spring with the intention of donating the revenues of the harvest to the Manyinga Project, he had no idea what an adventure that harvest would be.
Art Enns, a Red River Valley grain farmer, is donating the proceeds from 35 acres of his oat crop to help support the Manyinga Project. This is his Manyinga Harvest story.
I thought I would share the harvest from the oat field with you all and show a bit the challenges and rewards we had in growing this crop for the children of Manyinga. I had hoped to have a full fun day when harvesting but the year did not allow this to happen. So maybe next year.
We had a very wet growing season. Yet it seemed to always give us hope. Pour rain and then almost dry up. Despite the rain we did have a not bad looking crop when it came to harvest. Yet just before harvest we again received heavy rains. Which resulted in giving us some unreal challenges swathing the field.
We did managed to get the field swathed over a fairly lengthy time. Lots and lots of mud. Yet despite this the last week in August again brought us hope. A really nice dry week and on Saturday on Sept 3rd we actually started harvesting the 30 plus acres. Below shows you the nice sunny day and machinery at work.
I was short one regular harvest crew member so asked my friend Jim Smolik to come and drive the combine for the day. So here we have my regular combine driver Glenda Dyck in the tractor running the grain cart and Jim running the combine. Two loyal supporters of the Manyinga Project.
The oats went into the truck.
Into the bin for temporary storage.
This lovely couple - friends of mine - hauled the oats to Paterson Grain Terminals and from there it will be shipped to General Mills to be made into oat products. I have not done the numbers yet. So do not hold me to this, okay... Rough numbers in dollars in the $9,000- 10,000 range. About 20% plus less than last year. Yield this year is about 90 on this field. Last year was about 125-130. Yet am glad we got as much as we did.
We had just finished the Manyinga field when the unexpected happened. Poor Jim was driving. In a mud hole a bearing went and buried the axle in mud and water. We could not do anything that evening because I needed heavy equipment and my friends who had it were all in the fields harvesting.
As if the mud and water was not enough. We got hit this Sunday morning and a bit more on Monday. For a total of just under three inches.
This is what the situation looked like after the rain.
Tuesday of this week I brought in the heavy “artillery”. Only one that could lift the rear end of the combine out of the mud and water and not sink out of sight and allow me to repair the axle.
Today we got the parts and put the machine together. Even had a few angels helping.
Then I plowed my way home through the mud and parked it in a nice dry shed. It is raining as I send this note. I could have finished Saturday if I had not broken down... Just needed another 4 hours. So I will have to once more trek back into the mud!