January to March 2012

January to March 2012

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Dear Friends,

I hope that you are well.

Great news is that I am pregnant and due in September, a few weeks ago we travelled to Lusaka for a scan and everything is well. I have had a lot of morning (day) sickness and my back has really been giving me problems but it’s a lot better now I am in my second trimester. I am showing very quickly compared to Lucy. I will be going home to Port Lincoln to have the baby sometime in August if all continues to go well with the pregnancy.

On the weekend of Lucy’s 2nd birthday we had some friends come from Livingstone for the weekend. Rury was cooking a BBQ with some of his lovely pork from the farm and somehow the pork slipped off the BBQ and hot oil spattered over his right foot. There were two toes that had third degree burns and the other two second degree burns and he had to be flown to South Africa for nearly three weeks. His foot is a lot better and I thank you guys who knew, for your prayers for healing.

Rury has started to study his Masters on International and Community Development – he is enjoying getting back into study mode. He is doing the course by correspondence through Deakin University in Australia.

I have been spending a lot of time in our container, sorting things out and I am happy to say that it’s pretty organised. I was also helping do some plumbing at Keith and Ida’s new house and it was nice to be able to help them out.

The River is rising very high and it’s already up near the basic school road. It’s not usually this high until May/June so it will be interesting to see how high it will get. The past week the mornings have been cool but the days continue to be warm. I have a feeling it’s going to be a really cold winter this year…

We are currently tiling our laundry, so once that is done the house will be complete. We did not have the money to complete it before; thanks to support we are now doing the job. Charles is doing a great job tiling and we want to get it completed before my Dad comes as its going to be a laundry /office. At the moment our new washing machine is hooked up to the house main bathroom basin.
Lucy is growing up so quickly; she never stops talking and is quite the personality. Every morning when our staff members come to collect keys, she greets them wishing them a good morning and never forgets their names. Each morning she helps me feeds the dogs and in the evenings she helps me feed the cats. She gives Morris cuddles like he is a dog half his size and always talks to him as if he can talk back to her. After we feed the dogs she starts saying Mummy Mango so we walk over to the guava tree which is right next door to the Mango tree and she points up saying ‘Mango Mummy’ I pick up a piece of a poly pipe and knock a guava off the tree for her, she then washes it under the tap, sits on the bench and eats it. When we feed the cats, she gets the dry food out of the tub in a container and she passes me the can food and gets the can opener out of the drawer and says “let’s feed the cats Mummy”. She has it all worked out and loves helping me when she can. She makes us laugh each day as she just can’t miss out on anything and has to be involved in it all. She loves it when we all sing twinkle twinkle and incy wincy spider and Jesus loves me each night before she goes to bed. She kisses her Jesus loves me book after we sing the song at night too. She loves attending pre-school at OVC each day and has two friends, Chi Chi and Mubita. She is the youngest by a few years but does love spending time there; she is very noisy and never stops talking. She doesn’t have a very long concentration span but it’s great socially for her. Her report card was a classic and could be improved upon.

Chipolopolo the National Zambia Soccer Team won the African Cup of nations that was held in Equatorial Guinea in March. The team made the finals and it was nail biting as there were no scores by full time so it got down to penalties. The team were national heroes and it was an awesome sight to see for the country. A lot of celebrations took off all over the country.

We have a New Deaconess for Mwandi UCZ consistory, Deaconess Kabanda. I am sure she will enjoy working at Kandiana, (the old folks home), and helping out at OVC where she can. She will join some of our OVC committees and most certainly help run staff and children devotions – she will be a great support to our Reverend and other church activities that are running in the consistory.
Lucy attended the Mwandi Palm Sunday March with Grandma and Grandpa and Mubita. She was exhausted when she came home. The boy’s brigade played the drums and many churches joined in the march. I couldn’t make it due to my bad back but it sounded so loud and celebrative. Easter weekend was very busy with work as all staff was off but it was a great time of reflection and celebration. Keith, Ida and Mubita came for lunch on Easter Sunday and Lucy and Mubita and the sheep had an Easter egg hunt. Lucy loves chocolate! Keith read from the Bible and it was a lovely time with family and our friend who was visiting from USA.

The school Children of Mwandi are on holidays until May so there is lots of noise all day at the project. We collected the children from Choma Special School, they look so healthy and their report cards are encouraging with small improvement. I am so proud of those children and pray for their future as none of us know what is going to happen with them.

At the beginning of the year the children received local made school uniforms and all their stationary and shoes etc. as a part of our Education support program. We will distribute jumpers to them at the end of May. We are now supporting over 800 children in school from grade 1 to University. Those children are so blessed and we are so blessed with your support enabling to help our children, but we still need support especially in High school and college support. We have so many applications for college and University it’s amazing to see. If you or a group of friends or bible study group are interested in supporting a student in tertiary education please contact me or Sandra.
We have employed Rebecca a trained social worker to do more empowering in the Mwandi Community among the guardians of the children who attend the feeding program. Her theme this quarter is Food security and the importance of Education, Love and Health for their children. We take it for granted that we have been educated on the importance of these basic needs for children but for a lot of the guardians they need a lot of education on these topics so it becomes second nature to care for the children, it will take time but if we continue empowering the women in our community, then we have greater hope that our children will be cared for better while they are home.
Carpentry centre students are doing really well and some of the furniture they have been making is of really good quality. We are now running a sustainability program for the centre and for students. We want to give the students a tool kit at the end of their course so that it will enable those students to start up their own small business in carpentry. I am giving the guys quite a few jobs for the visitor’s house and for the project and staff are ordering furniture etc. to be made by the students also. They are keeping busy with work which is wonderful. We have extended the carpentry course from our initial 6 month course to a 12 month course.

The Feeding program is always loud, loads of energy and because its school holidays the children are coming early to the project. I am currently working as the store person as Mubiana is on annual leave and I am amazed how much we feed our children each day and there is hardly a scrap left over. Today was meat and veg. 40kg of meat was cooked, 30kg Rice and soup (gravy). The children look so healthy and the feeding program is just an amazing family atmosphere for those children, it really is just one massive family sitting down to lunch. Kids telling each other off, hugging each other, sharing food. The feeding assistants came and collected some knitting wool today to spend time teaching the young girls how to knit as not many girls play soccer like the boys do.

We, (Steven Clarke and myself) are sorting through clothes so each child on the feeding program receives a top and bottom this month. It takes ages to sort through the boxes of clothes to find outfits that fit. We are trying to give the children warm clothes as the mornings are very cold. I wish we could give our feeding program children a set of clothes each month, but we are not able to so I know they will wear the set we give them this month day after day until it nearly falls apart. We are handing out 430 sets of clothes per month. How we all take our clothes and blankets for granted. The children don’t even know what pyjamas are so it’s only visitors and myself that notice that a lot of children are wearing pyjamas for day clothes, but at the end of the day it’s covering their bodies. Comment Steve was ‘none of the clothes match’ my comment was – at least they have new clothes!!!

We have started our Sewing -Micro finance program, I am so excited about this important program – firstly we advertised locally among the community and a lot of woman applied, which was really encouraging, after scrutinizing, we selected applicants and held interviews and 5 ladies were selected (this is all we can afford to start off with). Pastor Mudenda and Given (Book keeper) undertook the training for the students for a week on running small business, entrepreneurship, book keeping and they all did well. This week the business women will receive their sewing machines, sewing materials and cash to help them start their businesses. They will sign paper work and we are giving them a three month grace period to set up the business before starting to pay back their loans. We will add a small amount of interest on the loan and once the loan is paid off we will buy the same business start-up kits for other applicants that were not successful this time around. The 5 ladies that made it through the process were our pasts sewing club students and all have many orphans to look after in their homes. Please keep these 5 ladies in your prayers as they start their small businesses this week.

Our garden has been producing lovely vegetables for the feeding program this year. The season was quite late, I only hope and pray that we don’t get effected with frost like we did last year. I have planted a lot of trees around the project over the past 6 months and they are all looking amazing. Even had oranges/lemons, peaches and a lot of guava crops this year. Once the water level has dropped we are going to make several trips out into the bush to collect some termite mound soil for the garden as that mixed with the sand and manure really helps the garden along.

Our new “staff eating area”, is a nice space for the staff to have their breaks and we have installed a stove so they can cook lunch to save walking home. We have started to run morning devotions and staff symposiums from there also. I have planted some trees outside the windows in the hope to produce some shade in the hotter months. We have made nearly 3000 blocks for our recreation centre and once we have made another 1000 blocks we will be start that next building venture.

We have been busy taking photos and organising letters to send to sponsors. This takes a long time as our children are just not at the level of writing letters. It takes ages. For those of you who are reading this in Australia and ever feel like helping the project in a very small way, you can buy some stamps, pop them in an envelope and send to Sandra Pugsley, new address, C/- P.O. NAIRNE South Australia 5252, so she can use them when posting out letters, photos etc. for our education support program. It would be very helpful for that program as all the money comes direct to the children none of the Education support money is used for admin, so $5 of stamps can really help us out.
At the end of April, my Dad and a team of 6 hard working guys from Australia are coming to Mwandi to get water on at the Mwandi Basic School and the High School. The High school is growing and it’s just wonderful that the school will have running water, imagine over 2000 children attend both the schools and there is no running water. The team will be here in Mwandi also installing an automatic filter system at the Hospital and doing some work at the OVC Project. The School water project is still in need of funds to put water on to the schools so if you need further info and would like to support this very important project please email me.
If you or any of your friends are interested in coming to Mwandi this year, please contact me as we are getting booked up. It’s wonderful that previous friends of Mwandi are returning and new friends are coming to visit the mission. We are so blessed to have so many visitors come to meet our children and see the programs we run. We are constantly blessed with financial support from all over the world and most
important with your prayers. Personally as our baby grows I know that many prayers are said for protection and healthy life, even before this little Waddell even comes into the world. I feel Lucy is constantly protected and blessed with prayers also. I ask that you continue to pray for the project, its needs, the staff and volunteers and most importantly the lives of our children. We thank you all for your support and my prayer is that you all share our story with others around you so they know that through Africa’s struggles our children are receiving support to stay alive and be supported with basic needs.

May God continue to bless you all.

Lots of love
Fiona (Fred) xx
Prayer request

  • That our pregnancy continues to go well and grow well
  • With the cold weather arising ,that our children are warm
  • Safe travels for visitors and work teams coming to Mwandi Mission
  • Our New Deaconess to feel safe and welcome with her new placement in Mwandi
  • Financial support to keep coming so we can continue to support our children in all our programs

Financial needs for the Project

  • Education Support Program – Especially High School and college/University students
  • OVC Monthly internet fee $150 per month – if a bible study, group of people can help this will enable us to stay on line
  • Start-up kit for Micro-finance program to help another women: $425
  • Feeding program: On going- support

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