Newsletter No: 54 January – March 2013

Newsletter No: 54  January – March 2013

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and relaxed. I am sorry it’s been so long, life is somewhat busy. An extra little baby in our life adds a whole new dimension to things. Our rainy season came and went. With a number of storms – more than I can ever remember, houses being blown down and roofs ripped off buildings.

Despite the storms our rain stopped in January and we are facing a drought here in Mwandi, the majority of maize crops are long dead and there is barely a decent size crop of grain to harvest. The only meal will be the stems for cows to eat. There will be hunger in Mwandi this year.

coraCora is now 6 months and is a very “healthy” looking baby. She is crawling so quickly that she most certainly is not in the same place you put her down if you turn away for a few minutes. She has red hair with big blue eyes and is so cheeky. She loves to hear her own voice and loves her sister so much and Lucy thinks she’s pretty good too. She is teething at the moment.

Lucy turned 3 at the end of February and is still full on, she goes to pre-school every morning and loves it. She loves reading to Cora and explaining all about the cats, dogs and life in Mwandi.

Ruairidh has been really busy with organising a large construction job at the hospital, coordinating visitors to the mission through Simba house and working hard at the farm with the OVC sustainability program. He has postponed the last 4 modules on his masters until July.

My thyroid is holding up well as long as I continue to take my medication. I get completely frustrated that I cannot get to work as much as I would like to, but I manage to get heaps of work done from home. I went to the chapel to start teaching Sunday school again this week and no kids to be seen. So, I have put the word out and lets pray the older children who attend United Church of Zambia come next week.

We were so blessed to have Ruairidh’s grandparents visit Mwandi for a few months. It was just wonderful to have them to pop in to see us most days as they went on their daily walks around the mission. Both in their 80’s, you’d never guess.  Jack (Great Papa) was a great help to us at OVC with helping Mubiana with the new Stores computer program. Mubiana now has all his stock, assets, purchases etc. on computer and is going really well. I am gradually weaning him from his paper work and now the only paper work is his print outs of his monthly reports. It is a progressive step forward in our stores department and I feel so blessed that Jack was here to help teach Mubiana.


Sadly at the project we have had to completely close down the bakery. We haven’t been selling bread or rolls to the community for some years now but we have kept on making rolls for the Nutrition Program. But due to increasing costs of electricity, salaries, ingredients we just cannot afford to keep it running. We have to make our money go further at the project and it just was not good stewardship to keep the bakery running. We are now buying rolls locally for the Nutrition Program and we are supporting the women of Mwandi.

We have been so blessed to have received a lot of visitors to the mission for the first quarter of this year. It is always wonderful to see old faces return and new faces come to encourage us and share parts of their lives and hearts with our children, staff and volunteers – always hard working at the project whether it is welding, electrical work, singing, counselling and just loving the children. We are so thankful for your love and support.

We have been very busy down at the Farm (Agric project) The same system we use at OVC with stores is being mirrored at the farm, staff now have name tags, three devotions are run during the week and a real sense of pride is shown amongst the staff. Our visitors are teaching new skills to the staff in computer skills for Sishwati at the butchery. Every Wednesday we run Mobile Sales out in the bush. It is amazing that on the first trip out, only 30 km away people were so happy to see eggs; it had been over 6 months since people had eggs to be able to buy. Charles and Tanny take out a lot of eggs, meat and fish (when available) for people to buy.

We have a great demand for fresh milk in the community. We have purchased 7 heifers (half boran and half Friesian) but we would love to be able to purchase 5 pure bred jersey dairy cows. This would be a great help with our sustainability program.

Our pig sales to Zambeef has come to a halt as the cold rooms at the abattoir in Livingstone have broken down. Because they are of the old gas type they are having to be totally rebuilt with a newer gas system. Because Zambeef love our carcass quality so much they are making plans with Ruairidh to bring a truck from Lusaka for a day to slaughter our pigs.

Ruairidh has had several trips to Lusaka and tried to find a good breeder for fast growing, large white pigs and we have struggled to find one in Zambia. We may have to be buying our pigs from South Africa, which is a huge gamble. Ruairidh is heading to Lusaka this week to find out more information from the Zambian Farmers Federation.

Our Recreation centres walls are now complete and the roof is being worked on as I write. The building is causing quite the gossip amongst the children and they are so eager for its completion. Our vision is that the youth groups from the community Churches will be able to come and use the centre in the evenings and during the afternoons it will be used for counselling sessions with large groups and activity time. I am so excited that we will be able to offer our children some awesome activities that they can only access from bars in Mwandi and we really don’t want our young vulnerable children being exposed.

We are currently filling another 40ft Container in Port Lincoln – Australia – We need financial support to help us with the freight costs and also support with contents. We have totally run out of clothes for the vulnerable children of the community. Although our sewing classes make clothes for the children, they cannot keep up with the number. If you wish to help please contact the Support team or myself so you can see our “wish list”.

girlWe still need support in all the different grades in our Education Support program. Thank you to all of you who are re-sponsoring and sponsoring for the first time. Education is vital for our children and if we can support our children in school then it gives them a great start in life. Please contact Sandra in Australia and me or go to our website www.mwandiovc.com for more information.

We still have one University student that is seeking support. He is Mushe Malumo and doing a degree in Forestry management at the Copperbelt University. Mushe is a lovely boy and a member of the United church of Zambia. In fact I used to teach him at Sunday school. His is on government bursary, but there are items that the bursary does not cover each year. Please contact me if you or a group could support this young man.

Stamps are still needed for our support team in Australia – next time you’re in the post office and have a few extra gold coins in your purse that is weighing you down please buy some stamps for the OVC Project instead of getting teased into all the nice items they have on display at Australia post these days and send on to Sandra Pugsley, this really helps with our admin costs for sending out information to our Education support Program.

The members of the Mwandi /Fiona Support Team are all volunteers and we have many “friends of Mwandi” who help us with various duties that are not on the “support team”. We are so blessed to have strong Christians who have had our project placed on their hearts. Thank you so much for all the hours of work you do for us here in Mwandi.  Some of the members of the Support team have never been here, but see the vision and the need that is here for our children.

Our children are all on school holidays and our children are home from special school. Mutafela gave us a huge shock last holidays. He just disappeared on a Sunday afternoon, because we don’t feed the children on a Sunday, nothing was reported to us until Monday, and that he was missing. We asked around and only a few children had seen him way up near the Mwandi junction to the main road. We found this strange as Mutafela doesn’t wander off. Charles drove to all the surrounding villages explaining that Mutafela was missing and that he cannot speak. It was so windy and rainy and we were all so concerned for him, the football club and some churches’ youth went walking through the scrub just around Mwandi looking for him but nothing.  A lot of prayers went out for him and 3 days later he was found 40 km away from Mwandi. No clothes on and starving hungry and thirsty. Charles and Sibella (Mutafela’s Uncle) went to go and collect him and he came home so thin and so scared. We will never know why he ran away, but his family are not good to him and he seemed so scared, something definitely triggered him and it seemed all he wanted was to go home to school. The police were informed and family members called and were told that if this happens again the family will be taken to victim support in Sesheke. He has been home now for a week for holidays and at this stage he is still wearing clean clothes and looking healthy.

dr-tomDr Tom and team visited in February, running health checks on all the children who attend the Nutrition Program, Rainbow Pre-school, staff and volunteers’ children. All the children were weighed, fluoride was put on their teeth, worm tablets where given, HIV testing was done and all the children were given a very thorough health check. If needed, some children were referred to the Biet cure hospital in Lusaka or visiting eye doctors and surgeons that are coming to Mwandi throughout this year. What a wonderful blessing Dr Tom’s annual visit is to us here in Mwandi.

Each night the weather is getting considerably cooler and in no time it will be very cold here in Mwandi. It seems the cooler weather has come a month earlier here for us. You can help keep a child warm this winter by buying them a Blanket for only $15 each. We purchase all the blankets for our children in the last Textile factory in town and this year we aim to buy 700 for our children in need. You can use our website to donate to this important need.

We are currently running a Socio-economic Survey in the community. We have employed a trained social worker.  We sat down together and came up with some basic yet important questions to enable us to know what the guardians to the children on the Nutrition Program are surviving on each and every month. The Survey will take some months to do as with such personal questions it takes time for people to respond honestly and openly. A lot of publications say that most of Mwandi people live on less than a $1 per day. With the results of this survey we will soon know if that is correct!!!

drumsThe Mwandi UCZ OVC Project Nutrition Program World cup soccer tournament was held in April 8 teams of 7 players were selected the Friday before the match and it was the 3rd annual Mwandi UCZ OVC Project – World Cup. Girls and boys of all ages played like champions and the spectators encouraged all teams with a lot of noise, singing, back flips and African drums chanting in the back ground too.  Each player in the winning team of the tournament received a “large” can of coke and a “Manchester united” mug. Our best player received a ‘Real Madrid’ mug, a can of Coke and Ian’s Chelsea soccer top. What a lucky girl. A big thanks to Ian, Pastor Simasiku and helpers for making the tournament a wonderful day for our children. To see them working together as teams and to encourage each other so much is how the big “ OVC Nutrition Program family should be”.

Great news just in that Mumma – Namatama a young deaf girl who has been attending Nutrition Program for some years now has been accepted to Senaga School for the Deaf. She was accepted to Saint Malumba special school and ran away, so the school couldn’t take her back again. But with the Senanga school being in western province and a lot closer to Mwandi we are praying that she settles in and remains there calm and able to learn sign language. We can only try so please pray she will be ok and relaxed at the new school. We will pay for her mother to stay with her for a week to see how she settles in.

I wish to thank you all for your ongoing support to our Project with all the programs we run for our children. Your prayers are a vital part of that support unit and I know we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.

May you have a great day. – Till next time

Much love,

Fiona (Fred ), Ruairidh, Lucy and Cora

 

Prayer Support

  • Financial support to keep coming in for our Nutrition Program
  • Our children to keep safe during the school holiday period
  • Namatama to do well at Senanga School for the deaf
  • All visitors and Church workers to be safe and supported during their time in Mwandi.
  • Staff and volunteers who come to the OVC project each day

 

Urgent needs

In Calf pure bred Dairy cows – For project sustainability Program $3000 each

Monthly tokens for child counsellor’s $150-00

Monthly internet for the project $150-00

2x Whirly gigs for feeding area $150 each

Continued support for our Nutrition Program and Education support

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