Geoff and Vicky Fox returned to Mufindi this week after a 6-month visit to the UK, and everyone was excited to have them home again! A lot has happened in the past six months, and showing them the progress of the projects really exemplified the rapid development that has occurred this year in Mufindi.
Even on the day they arrived (22nd) a lot was happening in the community, and things continued in a busy busy way to the end of the month. It seems everyone has been encouraged by the indelible Fox vision, and there has been so much positive development since the NGO started just a few years ago.
|Consider it the 'before' picture. Re-roofing|
of the Mdabulo in-patient wards.
On Monday, Charles Mwagala finalized the plan with a carpenter to re-roof the in-patient ward wing at Mdabulo health facility. This week a group from the regional capital of Iringa has visited Mdabulo to host a male circumcision campaign. The new functioning wing is in use, and we are excited to see this facility get more developed while we search for funding to complete this project.
This same day Yusto Chumi and Jenny Peck talked with the school board at Igoda Primary about a plan for Yusto to teach English at the Igoda Children’s Village kindergarten part-time. The meeting was very productive and plans were made for the community to contribute towards the sustainability of the School kitchen program that has been a success since 2009! The school and the village of Igoda has really helped our work in the past few months by including the NGO in meetings and discussions on community development.
A baby from the Children’s Village who arrived earlier this month with poor health was taken to a private hospital Monday where Nache, an 11 year old HIV positive boy has been staying recovering from a serious of lung problems. The health department of our NGO has been very busy this year, but we see the difference that they make each day.
On Tuesday, Fraida Kavaya traveled to Mafinga to start her first day at Teacher's College. Fraida has an amazing story of perserverence as she comes from a very difficult background, where she grew up in a very remote village, with very little family to support her. She worked hard through secondary school and has worked at the NGO during her school breaks, and in between school years, to make an income to support her younger siblings. this year a family from Canada reached out and has agreed to support her through Teacher's College. She has worked hard to reach her goals in life- she says when she is finished school she wants to be community service provider of some sort- "either, a nurse, a teacher, or a social worker." We wish her the very best this year in school, and we can't wait to see where she will go!
Wednesday saw three older children from the Igoda Children's village move back with their families. At the end of July, 62 children now preside at the Children's Villlage. We are seeing more and more children reunite with their families as the community as a whole is shifting from crisis mode to recovery mode in response to the devastating effects of HIV. This is a crucial point in the battle against the disease, as we hope long-term measures will start to be put in place to help the area recover from this disease in a sustainable way.
|Stacey Droll and our Home Based Care team|
This week saw the final Home Based Care meeting featuring Foxes'NGO/Peace Corps Volunteer Stacey Droll. She has been a tremendous health volunteer with us for the past twelve months, and her work will not be forgotten. She made an incredible bond with her home based care team, visiting each of the for several days at a time in their homes as she worked with them on implementing their work in the villages after their training last December.
The month ended with a plethora of visitors, and not just the guests brought by Geoff and Vicky Fox from the nearby tourist lodge that were impressed and uplifted by the great work being done at the Igoda Children's Village. A group stakeholders in most vulnerable children from various NGOs in the region of Iringa led by members of Afya Women's group, Tunajali, and Africare. Rapidly the NGO has become a leader in orphan and vulnerable children care in the region. We are all happy to be part of a successful project.
|'Bibi Yetu' Bernadetta from Baylor Mbeyatalks with Jenny Peck|
We also were visited by two professionals from the Baylor Children's Foundation of who helped give several services to our guardians, and children at the Children's Village. A two-day seminar to our guardians on child care was held, as was individual counseling for each of the children. In addition, the guests tested each child at the facility and a gave a seminar on the risks and dangers of HIV for youth. This is part of an ongoing attempt by the NGO to provide psycho-social support to this vulnerable population. We give our sincere thank to the people from Baylor for their support!
Finally we had visitors from an organization called CIEE that will be hopefully connecting with us for future student volunteers to start coming on a regular basis to help with education, human capacity, and other endeavors.
We are happy to be making these connections with other organizations, and we see it as a sign that the success of the projects in Mufindi are starting to be recognized on a regional and national level. We are excited to see so much development in the community, and we are all brimming with pride this week to get to show Geoff and Vicky how far their dream has come!