Hello from Malambo Grassroots!
It’s hard to believe we are almost through 2013! While we are well overdue in sharing a hello and update with you, we have been incredibly busy on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean! In our last newsletter, we had mentioned that our Education and Income Generation projects have grown, and this has continued throughout this past year.
The two new scholarship programs that we started in 2012, one to assist orphaned and at risk children at St. Vincent de Paul in Monze, and the Chen Family Foundation Scholarship for underprivileged children to study music at the Ngoma Dolce Music Academy in Lusaka, are both doing very well. Below are some updates on the scholarship programs and other activities happening at the schools.
St.Vincent de Paul
The St. Vincent de Paul scholarship program is now entering its third year. Each year the program grows bit by bit, and it has been a wonderful success. This past year, Sister Lontia has been able to help 6 children continue their post- elementary school education following their graduation from St. Vincent’s. She has also been able to help fund the poorest children currently attending her school. All scholarship students contribute to small projects at the school such as making crafts that can be sold at market and tending the gardens that help feed the students. Sr. Lontia wants to empower her students so that they take pride in their scholarships, feel empowered by contributing towards their own education, and learn about the importance of giving back to their own community.
In other news, St. Vincent de Paul was one of our schools that received a piano in the container we shipped last year and we are excited to report that the school will be getting a music teacher! While there has always been singing, dancing, and drumming at St. Vincent’s, finally having a dedicated music teacher will make a great impact on their school! Plus, this teacher is also a piano teacher so the musical education at St.Vincent’s will be expanding! We know the students and teachers there are really looking forward to it, and so are we! We’ll continue to update you with any news as their music program grows.
Ngoma Dolce Music Academy
The program at Ngoma Dolce is going full steam ahead. Through the scholarship program there have been numerous workshops with the teachers at the Academy, as well as with visiting professors. Students from Kamulanga, a highschool Ngoma Dolce is working with, bus in over an hour each way to attend the workshops at the Academy. Some are also having private lessons from Ngoma Dolce, which we are thrilled about. The response from students has been incredible and heartwarming. We are grateful that the Chen Family Foundation Scholarship has allowed us to keep this program running! We’ve put some of the students’ ‘thank you’ letters here on our website.
Since we shipped the container last year, we have continued to receive donations of musical instruments. We had enough (several violas, a banjo, a guitar, a keyboard, lots of sheet music, and CDs) that, through a generous donation, we were able to ship two more boxes of instruments to the Academy!! Thank you, thank you!!!
Also in exciting news, the Academy has received a very generous donation from an independent donor. The donation has allowed them to buy a plot of land, where they are currently building a new music school! This is much needed as the current location is very small and rent is expensive in Lusaka. The new school will have practice rooms and a performance space. This donation, combined with the donations brought to them through Malambo Grassroots now brings a dream to a reality for students, teachers and music lovers from around the world!
We continue to work with Mwabuka Zambia, our in-country partner in Zambia, and also expand our relationship with the Katulumba Elementary School in Siavonga, who we began working with in 2012. We are hoping to complete a project building a water source for Katulumba soon, thanks to the fundraising efforts of students at Prince of Wales Secondary (PW) in Vancouver. The project involves pumping water up the hill from Lake Kariba to Katulumba School in Fishing Camp Village. Currently there is no water in Fishing Camp. With donations from PW, we were able to buy one of two water containers and also start to lay the piping down. The water will have a huge impact on the school and Fishing Camp at large. Katulumba will be able to sell the water to their local community for a small fee to help pay for the electricity and pump maintenance. Showers will be built for the older female students. The grey water from the showers will be used to water surrounding fields. And most importantly, the water will be filtered. It is so much safer for the community on many levels…..the lake has many crocodiles and hippos so it will be fantastic to get water from the tanks! As this project has developed, many more people have pitched in to make it possible from other locals in the community to the Siavonga City Council. Having combined community groups finish the water project creates a greater sense of ownership, value, and pride which will insure the pumps and tanks will be well taken care of. Thank you to the students from the Leadership class at Prince of Wales, for your help!
One of our students, Mweemba Matongo, who is now in his second year of university studying banking and finance, has recently received the top marks in his area of study!
Well done, Mweemba! We wish him all the best for his upcoming graduation in February and the exciting career path ahead of him.
Our projects in Income Generation continue and grow! Our rug hooking project, where rugs are created from second-hand T-shirts bought at local markets and then hooked onto hessian, is being worked on with two groups of women –one in Siavonga and one in Monze. Both groups are reporting strong sales!
We also mentioned a bee project in our last newsletter, which will allow local bee keepers to start their own honey-production business. A member of the Malambo Grassroots team flew to Zambia in October to bring together several parties involved in creating the honey business, as well as a bee college –the financiers from Canada met with farmers, business men, and members of both Mwabuka and Malambo Grassroots. The meetings were very positive, but due to timing and the needs of the other projects, we’ve put the bee project on hold for now. Our colleagues in Canada and Zambia, did not want to “spread ourselves too thin” and felt that the overwhelming success of the other projects should continue to be the main focus as this time.
Fundraising and Other Updates…
Following Geoff Cross’ incredible 103-mile ride in September 2012, we then had another athlete who wanted to push her limits in support of Malambo Grassroots in the spring of 2013! Some of you may remember Catherine Hopkins who ran the Portland Marathon for us in 2011, well she was at it again! Only this time, she decided to push it further and take part in the Chuckanut 50kms in Washington State on March 16, 2013. Her reports and training updates are on our site. Thank you Catherine!
A big thank you to the Vanderluit family! This past year Vancouver United Football Club purchased new soccer uniforms for their soccer club. The old uniforms were still in excellent shape, and Eric Vanderluit (our Rose Charities accountant!) was able to offer many of them to Rose’s various member-projects. We were the lucky recipients of jerseys, shorts, and socks as well as many soccer shoes for over 15 full teams! We were overwhelmed when picking up the uniforms. The Vanderluit family had washed everything – the jerseys looked brand new – all of the clothes had been beautifully folded, organized into teams and put into brand new knapsacks for the recipients! And even better, the jerseys just happened to be in Zambian colours! Soccer uniforms are like gold in Zambia so we can’t quite express the happiness and glee that they were received with! The uniforms have been slowly distributed – taken over to Zambia in suitcases – with a mix of uniforms going to boys soccer teams and to the girls’ net ball teams!
As we briefly mentioned above, we’ve been really fortunate to have a class at Prince of Wales Secondary School choose to work with us, raising funds to bring water to one of our schools. It’s so great to see students from one part of the world work together to help students in another! They held a variety of fundraisers and made and incredible difference in the lives of those at Katulumba. We are continuing our relationship with another Leadership class at Prince of Wales this year, and are so excited about the upcoming projects their work will make possible in Zambia.
We will also have some of our volunteers from Canada back in Zambia soon. While there, they are focusing on a few projects, including the creation of new textile projects for the Malambu and Lusumpuko Women’s Groups to work on, continuing to build our scholarship fund, and organising workshops on every topic from gender equality to entrepreneurship.
A big Thank You
Thank you for your continued support!
The team at Malambo Grassroots
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