We have had a series of interesting, useful and encouraging meetings over the past weeks.
First was with Belinda, a cousin of Edline’s who is a teacher at Sanyati Baptist High School. She has run a Children’s Sponsorship Project in the past and it was great to pick her brain. Several things came up that were very useful, ideas we hadn’t thought about as well as some advice and tips. We are going to meet up with her again to go through some of the forms she used and I’m sure we will steal some of her ideas! She also wants to get involved & support our project and it will be great having her as part of the team.
We also met up with the Pastor of the local Baptist Church here in Sanyati, which is just down the road. We told him about our vision and how we would value both his and the churches support. He was very interested and talked about how he and Edline’s Dad had tried in the past to work to improve the community but for various reasons, it just wasn’t the right time. We asked him if he would be on our committee here in Sanyati and if he could give thought to two other people from the church to also be on the committee. It’s very important to have the local church here involved & supporting us, along with asking for their prayers, they are a big part of the local community. We hope to have at least two meetings with the committee before we head back to the UK in November.
Our other meeting was with the local councillor again. Thursday 24th September, he had a meeting with local chiefs and leaders in the community to let them know about our ideas. It was great to hear that we have their approval and support.
He had also arranged for us to meet up with some of the orphans and disadvantaged children and their parents/guardians at two of the schools, Sanyati Baptist Primary and Wozhele Primary. So we really look forward to meeting the children & their families. I’m sure it will be difficult hearing some of their stories but it is one of the main reasons we are here.
A local school girl has been brought to our attention twice now, she lost both her parents some time ago and was being looked after by her Grandmother. Sadly her grandmother died in May 2014 and a local lady has kindly taken her in. She is not related to the girl but is trying to help this girl and to get her through her schooling. As yet we do not know the full story but it appears the girl has some distant relatives some way away but is very scared to go and live with them. We first heard about her from Mum and had briefly met the lady who is looking after the girl and then the councillor also raised the situation with us. We are planning to meet both her and the girl sometime soon to find out the full story.