Month: November 2014

A wonderful update from Sister Lontia at St.Vincent de Paul Community School in Monze!

The staff of St. Vincent De Paul community , these are men and women who works tirelessly to bring up the standards of the children in St. Vincent . Names standing from left: Francis, Royd, Gillian, Sr. Lontia, Maureen, Namoonga, Jameson Seated: left Matiana, Nchimunya and Casina. We worked hard many times under very challenging situations but we always desire the best for our children.

The children are reciting poems on St. Vincent Day. It is a day we remember our patron saint, St. Vincent De Paul, and it falls on the 27th of September each year. We have Mass on this day.

Our priest, Fr. Clement, during the Mass celebration, blessed the grade 7s who were preparing to write the national exams on the 13th of October to the 17th of October 2014.

New adventure starts from here. This was a poultry house and we used to keep chickens for the school project. We decided to turn one of them into a school library because we desperately needed a library where children could be spending time reading and writing.


The building is progressing steadily and all of us are anxiously waiting for it..all we need are books!

This is our school football team. They always make us proud. Go! Boys Go!

Lunch time! Children and a teacher displaying some of the many plates and pots we bought from our donation from Louie and Heidi. These women are great friends of the school.

Lunch time continues... a time of interaction and play for the children!

Marvellous school choir. Entertaining the friends and parents. We use the piano we got as a donation from Malambo Grassroots to blend our music.

Our children are slowly being introduced to computer. Many of them it is the first seeing a computer in their lives. They are eager to learn and want to go high. We have 4 computers in the school. One computer is equal to 12 pupils.

This is a grade four class. Eager to learn. All they need is a dedicated teacher to be with them. Jameson is a well able teacher.

The teacher is in class with the senior grade. Children are motivated when they see teachers who are self motivated and full of energy. The sky is the limit for the children of St. Vincent De Paul community school.

An update from Ngoma Dolce Music Academy!

Ngoma Dolce Music Academy

Scholarship programme 2014

Ngoma Dolce, junior orchestra rehearsal

This year has been very eventful at the Academy. At the beginning of the year we were closed and trying to get ourselves ready to give lessons in the middle of a building site. As we approach December, we are almost finished building and working towards a whole week of workshops leading up to our Christmas concert on Friday 19th December. By that date we will have 8 teaching rooms in full use and our library will be ready (though not yet furnished).

In the middle of this, how has our scholarship programme fared? We have a group of 6 students who have Academy scholarships, supported by internal Academy funds. Two learn the violin, one the cello, two learn the trombone and one the trumpet. These students are making excellent progress. The 3 string players regularly join in the junior orchestra which has performed several times this year, most notably and publicly on Sunday 5th October as part of a festival ‘Promenades Musicales’ at the Alliance Francaise.

Ngoma Dolce scholarship students

The programme for students at Kamulanga High School (supported by Grassroots Malambo and Rose Charities) has continued its upward trajectory. The students come regularly on Thursday afternoons, when not having exams, and during school holidays when they participate in a programme of workshops and individual lessons. We also hosted a jazz demonstration for them with a visiting American jazz trombonist in August. In terms of regular weekly lessons, there are 7 students learning guitar, 5 piano, 1 violin, 1 cello, 1 clarinet, 2 trumpet and one trombone. They are preparing for a performance in the Christmas concert and will no doubt be in good form. Workshops in August included four visiting music students from Oxford and Cambridge universities: Alex, Anna, Max and Stephen (supported by the MUZE trust) who worked with them on singing, violin, piano, recorder and general musicianship.

The bus from Kamulunga, bringing scholarship students to Ngoma Dolce

The Kamulanga choir is doing extremely well. They get regular help from our singing teachers at the Academy, and won first prize for Lusaka Province in a Choral Competition organised by the Ministry of Education.

Past graduates of this programme are also flourishing. Oscar has continued to learn the French horn, and has (apparently almost permanently!) borrowed the Academy French horn. He participated in a concert of operatic music at the Alliance Francaise on Saturday 11th October at Alliance Francaise, under the supervision of a visiting German trumpeter, Gabor Szabo.

Plans for next year include a programme to include students from local schools such as Kamulanga Boys and Kamulanga Girls secondary schools which are both close to the Academy. The Kamulanga scheme will continue; our target for the coming year is to afford more opportunities for performing at the Academy, in a public space, and in their local community.

An update on the Women’s Co-op Groups!

One of the founders of Malambo Grassroots, Jocelyn Banyard, was recently in Zambia and sent us through this lovely update on how the Income Generation projects with the Women’s Co-op Groups are doing!

Read on…


Dear All,

We just completed the 9 day skills building workshop for women sponsored by Rotary Nelson.  It was SUCH a success.  Many many thanks to Rotary.  I am completely exhausted.

We had 2 women from Monze rural – Mutinta and Mutimba.

One lady from Mazabuka – Charity.

One lady from Kafwefwe – Elenor.

2 from Choma – Esnart and her daughter Busiku

and 5 from Siavonga – Loveness, Bridget, Grace, Febby and I have forgotten the last ladys name.

Joi came down for a break from Monze and pitched in helping – she is good with colour choice and did a lot of pattern copying – nice.  We also had a young rocket scientist, Peter, from Holland.  He designs propulsion systems for rocket ships to take them to deep space – a cheery super positive young brain who helped with many technical difficulties. (And made an appropriate technology sample of a light bulb made from a water bottle that is equivalent to 50 watts that I could show the women – good for those village homes with the tiny windows)

Bead work in progress

The idea was to introduce 2 new techniques (to low/no income women)– rug hooking and beaded art pieces.  The women were picked as potential leaders who could then go home and share with others.  The women did very well and loved both techniques.  I put most of them up in the lodge and the Choma ladies in the Castle.  I  would go over in the am at about 7 and all would be working.  Each day we started at 9 officially and worked until 5pm.  When I visited them in the evenings they would still be working up to 8 or 9 pm or 10 – and the Siavonga ladies said they worked until 11pm sometimes – by solar light.  Not usual in Zambia.  They all became totally hooked on the beads.

Febbie's first full size carpet!

Most of the funds were spent on transport and food and some t-shirts.  My mother, sister and I donated most of the materials and the lodging was free.  With the remaining we are buying some beads and frames so the women can continue.  Joi is finalizing the budget.  ($500 was spent on a previous workshop – bringing Sam in from Lusaka to teach Siavonga ladies papermache and how to decorate.)

We are going to try and get beads from Tanz to lower costs but in the immediate future will buy from Soweto in Lusaka.

The rug hooking went very well too.  We reviewed many issues on how to improve – from how to read a drawing, to light and dark values, how to choose second hand tshirts that looked new and were for v large people (to maximize profit).  This product so far sells well and easily.  I believe this workshop will help improve the group in Monze – I’ll let you know.  (I asked the Monze ladies who all say they are making good money with the rugs already. )  For the Siavonga, Choma, and Mazabuka women – this was a new technique.

Massages after a long day!

All the women came really not knowing what we were going to do – as soon as they saw the beads their eyes lit up.  Zambians LOVE beads.  I think this product might do very well with the newly wealthy local population here which is great.  They worked so hard everyone got very cramped neck muscles.  So Joi offered free massages to all.  Elenor (62) jumped at the offer.  I attach a photo.  I also set up the trampoline next to the lodge as I figured we needed some exercise to counter the hard work.  When it was set up the women crowded around and I asked if they’d like to try.  “Yes”.  “Well – go on”  “What is it?”  So we had to demo.  Great excitement, laughter and fun.  “Is this a bouncy castle?” Again – Elenor at the forfront – determined to enjoy every second.  SO each night the women bounced until dark, often one lying down in complete laughter as another jumped to bounce her.

Esnart, who is Tonga, is the indigenous craft expert of Zambia.  She was most helpful during the workshop – helping explain concepts like light value and dark value colour choices, and how marketing works if you are selling to a middle man ext.  Everyone fell under her spell – she is very kind and caring.  I am going to try and help her set up in the Choma area (not sure how yet – no funds myself).  She has no funds at all and is excellent with quality control – so the items will be good. And she will be working with v rural women who have nothing at all.

I sent each group home with beads, and designs for both beads and carpets and I shall continue making designs for all.

Love to all,


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