Pictured: Jenny Peck and Yusto Chumi 'embarass' Remijio (front row green sweater) by cheering emphatically over his school results!
With the news of Dr. Leena Pasanen moving to Mufindi to ‘retire’ in the new year, the NGO has set out to build a clinic for the Children’s Village with funds from this years Dar es Salaam charity Goat Races event, and a fundraiser held earlier this year by friend Gord Breedyk, and Evelyn Voigt. The clinic will be a place for Dr. Leena, and other volunteer Doctors to see patients, and will give the village of Igoda a health clinic, which will be the first health facility the village has ever had. The clinic will be modest in size, but will be very important as the first line of health service for many in Igoda village were referrals to Mdabulo and other health facilities will be made from this clinic. The ground was cleared this month, and next month we will have building materials delivered so that mason workers will be ready to start foundations in the New Year.
This month saw two more children from the Children’s Village finish their primary schooling successfully. Ken Ngigwa, and Boniface Kalinga graduated this year from Igoda Primary School, and both are excited to start Secondary School next year, a privilege not every child gets to enjoy. Boniface in particular was awarded the top graduate honors this year! We are very proud of him, and we look forward to receiving the results from other students next month, as all have been studying hard this year with extra lessons every evening.
November is an important farming month in Mufindi, and the same is true for the Children’s Village. Our children learned a lot from first-hand experience this month as we prepared fields for fruit tree planting, maize, and beans. The children also helped in the gardens on weekends by helping to farm the land, and even planting seeds as well. We hope the experience the children get through farming at the Children’s Village will help them later in their lives as they learn to live on their own in the village.
Bibi’s House (Care Homes) Complex
The Care Homes Complex is a set of three houses that has been built in the village of Igoda to be used by the village for temporary housing of disadvantaged members of their community. Originally designed for Grandmothers whose homes have fallen into ill-repair, the community has decided so far to use this complex to house single-mothers who are having difficulty getting their lives back after some difficult circumstances. Here is the story of the women in the care home complex today:
Atu Myundunga, 29, from Ludilo village has 3 children. Her husband is sick and her house is in terrible shape. Her grass roof is falling apart with gaping holes, and the walls are beginning to cave in where the rains this year (next month) will certainly knock it down.
A plan has been put in place for her to have some work at Igoda Children's Village, while her children stay temporarily at the center. During these rainy months Nov-May 2013, she'll save money for window and door-frames, corrugated iron roofing, and a bit of cement so she may build her own home. Her husband can help with building of the house if he gets well, and they will both make the bricks starting in June '13. When the rains come next year, Atu will be able to move in to her new house with her family, and we will hopefully have another success story similar to the Mwagala family from Mwefu, whose children stayed at the Children’s Village for a short time until their house was re-built, and are now living happily back in their home.
Anna Mhapa, 25, from Ilasa village has one 2-year-old boy named Koli. Anna was introduced to the NGO through the milk powder program. She was not getting HIV treatment, and the Home Based Care program educated her about the importance of getting treatment each month. Anna's child was not doing well, and was treated in Mafinga for kwashiorkor in September. The child is also HIV positive.
Anna also suffers from epilepsy, but has only received medication from local healers. She had refused to take medication through the local health facilities, or through Dr. Leena. The committee is concerned about her health and how this could affect her child, or how the child will be cared for if she passes away, or cannot care for herself. She continues to have difficult falls after passing out, and has finally started two days ago on medication for epilepsy. The committee had hoped she would agree to have her child stay at the Igoda Children's Village. She has agreed, and has had a very successful stay at the Children’s Village. Anna plans to move to the Care Homes Complex next month, as she is ready to start her life on her own armed with better knowledge on how to care for her child.
We're happy that there seems to be more and more local leadership, and that solutions are coming from the community for the community.
African Children’s Book Boxes (AfricanBookBox.org)
Anne Pearson and Ruth James made a huge impact during their stay this year, and perhaps the most touching moment was during their one-day tour of the 6 primary schools of Mdabulo ward. With African Book Box donations, the two were able to purchase over $14,000 worth of books, and on this day a good amount of them were handed over officially to these primary schools. It was an exciting and moving day, as each school head teacher gave us a tour of the village school, and we saw first hand the struggles these teachers and students go through in the name of education. In one classroom in Ilasa village, over 170 students had one teacher for standard one. In Kidete, the entire school was run through two classrooms. Other schools were in better shape comparatively, but the teacher to student ratio was nearly always frighteningly unbalanced. We were happy to give a good picture of local schools in the area, and even more pleased to give Anne and Ruth the chance to see these books go to good people. Each set of teachers at each school immediately dived into the box of books, and examined them, and started reading. We are overjoyed to know that each school in Mdabulo now has a set of resources that will improve the quality of education from its most basic level.