Happy New Year to you all. We hope 2018 will be a great year and bring many blessings.
We are sorry that our updates are taking a while to get to you but internet is still very hit & miss.
Before Christmas we visited all 16 families involved in running projects. It was good to catch up with them, find out how the children are doing, deliver Christmas cards, groceries, see how their projects were going and taking time to pray with them. Things are, and have been pretty tough here and many are struggling, but also some are moving forward. The goat project is a little slow but the initial 22 goats we gave out have increase to 35. (Not including some that died). We took the chance to tag all the goats with our new tagging toy. Each now has a bright yellow additional ear and a number. This will help us keep account of who has which goat & how many. Some families have up to 7 goats now and some have been able to sell to pay for immediate needs. We and the families are looking at other small projects that they can also do alongside the goats. Three families will be starting broiler chicken projects at the end of the month and another couple are wanting to start selling floor polish. A couple of families who were already doing broiler chickens are now off the sponsorship and able to pay school fees and sustain themselves, which is a real encouragement . The aim is for all the families to be in a position to sustain themselves by the end of 2018. We are also running monthly meetings with the families to share & celebrate successes, share ideas and support each other through hardships.
We also got all the children together to go through their school reports, stressing the importance of hard work to improve results. We were able to hand out donated clothes to them, many of which came from Sam Barringer (a big thank you to Sam, Pete & Clare Barringer)
The fence is now complete which is great and the land is finally secure.
320m of silver shiny metal surrounds the land on 3 sides (the other side is already fenced). We have started to dig the foundations for the fowl run and plan to build enough room to accommodate 3 x roadrunner chicken runs, a store room, free range layers, quails & 2 broiler chicken houses for up to 100 birds. We are still in the process of sourcing 10000 bricks (now is not brick making time of year so good bricks are scarse).
Our struggling suspension on these roads finally gave up and 4 new shocks & 2 new rear coils have been fitted, another expensive outlay but much needed.
A 5000ltr water tank has also been delivered and we have ordered all the metal work for a 4m tank tower and for the poles for the frame of the shade garden.
Bee against poverty project will soon start as we have ordered the first 10 hives & have 2 days initial training booked for the end of January. We are really looking forward to starting to learn all about bees & to get this project underway. 4 of us will be undergoing the training, Innocent, Edline & I and our first potential beekeeper Paul, a local farmer.
It looks like the area will be hit by drought again as rains have not come. We have only had one day of decent rain in the last month and this is supposed to be the rainy season. Already people are struggling to water their vegetable gardens and maize crops are being badly effected. We haven’t even bothered to start our amazing acres project as there is just no rain, even ploughing is difficult.
We look forward to visiting the schools over the next few days as they’ve now opened for the new school year and getting on with building work and whatever else life & God throws at us.