Monday, November 24, 2008

Zambia 2008 Presentation

On Sunday November 23, 2008 we hosted a most enjoyable evening with members of the teams that travelled from Alberta to Africa in 2008, members of their families and many others who have supported the Zambia project. Videos, photographs and stories highlighted the works done and the impact that they had on the Zambian community. If you missed the evening and are interested in hearing more, or would like us to speak to your church or association, please contact us to make arrangements to do so. Call (780) 289-1803.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Zambia 2008 Summary

As we leave Zambia to begin our journey home it was gratifying to look back on what we have achieved in the five months since Gordon arrived to begin this year's program.

- Three teams and several other visitors from Canada (over 40 in total) came to work with us
- Constructed a new staff house at the school
- Refurbished 40 desks for the classrooms
- Refurbished chalk boards and doors at a community school

- Team members taught classes at the school or did presentations to students about life in Canada
- Donated large amounts of school supplies to students and resource materials to teachers
- Conducted a one day workshop-seminar for teachers
- Painted the clinic and provided material to complete the building
- Dug the foundation for the next phase of the clinic and provided some material to get started
- Large amounts of general medical supplies and some small items of equipment donated to the clinic
- Assisted the clinic with clerical work and transport to monthly outreach clinics
- Donated sports equipment and uniforms to local sports teams
- Identified 20 orphans in the community needing most help and provided them with some resources as a start : food, school uniforms, clothing and mosquito nets
- Put a new roof on the house of an old man - nearly blind - taking care of his two orphaned grandchildren
- Attended local church and participated in services and ministry groups - men, women, youth, children and choir
- Distributed 70 bibles in the community, many of them in the local language
- Added funds to our small micro-loan fund which is helping people in the community - currently 11 loans are out and 49 have benefited since April 2007
- Connected with local women`s clubs and provided assistance to them in their activities to help themselves make money

Note : We estimate that over 2,000 pounds (900 kg) of goods were brought from Canada to be donated - as listed above

In addition there has obviously been a lot of interaction with many, many people in the community so that we have strengthened our relationship with the community. We have learned a great deal from this year`s time here which will help us greatly in planning and preparing for the years ahead. There is so much more to be done and we are excited about what is still to come.

A reminder that in addition to the photos posted on the blog there are many more in our Facebook albums, the links to which are listed to the left.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Knitting Machine

We were given a donation in Canada to assist women in our Zambian community with a sewing program to generate income for themselves. After meeting with a women's club it was decided to purchase a new manual knitting machine with the funds as they already had a plan in place to produce knitted items for sale.

The cost of the machine is being treated as an interest-free loan which will be paid back by the club as they sell goods produced on the machine. Once the full amount has been repaid either another knitting machine or some sewing machines will be purchased to increase their capacity.

The long-term goal is to start a sewing school to teach other women in the community and enable them to generate money for themselves.

Above : Jenny presents the machine to some delighted members of the club
Below : The machine just unpacked from its box

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tools for the Community

A guitar brought to Zambia by Bronwen was donated to Glad Tidings Church as they have a young man who had some idea how to play - and actually did one song in the service that day ! He is excited to have an instrument so that he can now improve on his ability to play.

Ten hoes (badzas) - made and purchased in the community - were donated to Sungula School for their school vegetable garden project

Friday, August 8, 2008

Small Business Support

Rich purchases fritters - the Zambian equivalent of donuts - from a local tuck shop, aka Zambian 7-11 ! Several of these small shops in the community have been successfully started by women through interest-free loans from the SPF community support fund.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Orhpans Assisted

The team helped present new school uniforms and school supplies to some of the orphans that needed them.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chilunga Renovations

Today the team loaded up the pick-up with tools and supplies and headed to Chilunga Community School to do some basic renovations for them.

While the women and the girls helped re-paint the chalk boards and decorate the outside of the school ......

.... Rich and James constructed and installed some doors on the classrooms

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Desk Rebuilding

Funds were raised by Living Waters Christian Academy in Spruce Grove, Canada for the refurbishing of desks at Sungula School. This task was tackled by Rich and James who came up with an innovative plan to use the old metal desk frames to build larger, sturdier desks in a cost effective way.

The whole team - all who have been involved at Living Waters - had a hand to play in the desk project.

The completed desks - 20 of them providing seating for some 100 students !

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Roof - Phase 2

Rich decided to add a porch to the front of old man's house to provide shelter from the rain and wind. A portable generator was taken on the back of the pich-up to provide power for the saw.

The roof was constructed on the ground and then lifted into place by several helpers ! The Zambians were very impressed with this innovation

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Teachers Workshop

Jenny, Leah and Carrie organized and presented a one-day workshop for teachers from Sungula and Chilunga which was held at the farmhouse base. It was much appreciated by those who attended and a very beneficial to them all.

Note : the three teachers from Chilunga had to get up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning to ride their bicycles to get to the farm in time for the start ! At the end of the day Gordon drove them back to their homes some 20 km away - quite a feat along narrow bush tracks and across several streams.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Taylor House Opening/Handover

Although the staff house, built with funds provided by the Taylor Team who were here in May, is not totally complete we had set today as the day for an opening/handover ceremony as it was the last day of school before a four-week break and our last opportunity to have such an event with all the staff and pupils as we leave before school opens again. We also felt that it would be good for our final Canadian team here to participate.

It turned into quite the event with virtually the whole community being invited out for the festivities which started in the late morning and continued on for several hours !

Entertainment by the school Cultural Club (above) doing traditional dancing and the Drama Club (below) doing skits - several performances each throughout the afternoon

Women from the community also did displays of traditional dancing - above and below

Grade 9 students present dramatical poems and dialogue (above) and the school choir (below)sang beautifully throughout the afternoon

Several speeches were made to the assembled audience and invited guests

The school head, Kerby (above) and senior headman, Jackson (below) address the gathering

Guest of honour and keynote speaker the District Commissioner (equivalent of county reeve/mayor) for Kapiri Mposhi presents his speech

Jenny and vice-head, Stellah, (above) wait for special guests to complete their tour of the house before the ribbon cutting and then Jenny and the DC cut the ribbon (below)

A framed inscription was presented to Kerby to eventually be hung in the house when occupied. The text reads :

"Funding for this House was provided by Taylor University College Edmonton, Alberta, Canada,
and handed over to Sungula Basic School on August 1st, 2008 by The Simon Poultney Foundation.

May God bless this home and everyone who passes through it."

The event was a wonderful ocasion with excellent perfomances and speeches and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Community Outreach

Today members of the team visited Shipungu Community School which has about 150 students in Grades 1 to 6 and is staffed by four volunteer teachers. Sports items and teacher resources, donated in Canada, were given to the school

The ladies and girls joined a community women's club for their regular meeting where they handed out knitting and sewing supplies brought from Canada

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Let There Be Light

We were very fortunate to have Rich's mechanical skills here when the generator engine went down and he was able to carry out the required repairs on it so that we could have power again

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Roof Goes On

We brought the material with us to the site and found that the old roof was already off and waiting for us to get started

Work gets under way with help from the home owner and some friends from the community. Rich was pounding nails while James had the tough job of hand-sawing the timbers, ably observed by Gordon !

Work continues on the back side of the house - the brick work will be dealt with by the owner

Rich climbs up on the roof to nail into the centre beam

The team celebrates the completion of phase 1