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Introducing 5 New Schools to Nutrition/Conservation Programme

We have introduced 5 new schools to our TT/WAG programme, with school materials and seeds distributed to each school during September, 2017. Pupils grow their own food, with an inter-school competition to add a spirit of fun. These new schools are:
  • Chagunda – Serves 43 villages. 4 GVH, 1 PTA, 1 Head teacher, I headmistress. 320 pupils. Young school. No water. Children to bring a bucket of water from their village for nursery. 
  • Nkombe
  • Msikindikiza
  • Nagogoda
  • Mpala – 50 chiefs, 2 Sen GVH, No water
They are all primary schools, from standard 1 – standard 8 (aged 6 – 17/18 yrs.) Each is government-run, with an average number per class 200. School days are from 7am - 1.15 pm.
Unfortunately, like many schools here, these are massively under-resourced, with no books, water sometimes having to be drawn from a distant well and, of course, those huge class numbers are a challenge. But the kids and teachers are enthusiastic - and so we'll give it our best shot. 

Most of these kids have only one meal a day. Usually in the evening. Schooling becomes very difficult for the chikdren as the hungry season approaches in Jan/Feb. Attendance declines in all schools.

We've suggested they grow groundnuts and mix with maize flour to make a porridge so each school gets:
  • 20 kg ground nuts
  • 4 packets of vegetable seeds
  • Tree seedlings – fast growing Acacia + Bamboo
  • watering cans
  • copy book and pens for pupils
  • hard book, chalk and T-shirts for teachers
The pupils get taught by Aubrey, along with their own teacher - how to plant and grow from seeds, living in harmony with the forest, the animals, and introducing good basic agri practice and food nutritional knowledge to all of the children in the schools. 

To add a bit of fun and give the children an extra group motivation, there's a competition. At the end of the year, each school weighs outputs and tallies money earned from the sale of any surplus. There's a big trophy for the school winners, with football/netball strips, and balls for the pupils. All money in each school is taken care of by an elected committee made up of parents, teachers, PTA and chiefs. 

This project is being successful primarily because Lynn is on the ground and she is responsible for the delivery of the program through her extension worker – Aubrey. There are no other NGOs working in the area. However, if it continues to go well, hopefully other organisations will notice how committed the entire community is to this project – and they will come and offer other support.

In addition to our new schools, we will continue to work with the original 5 schools also on the border of Thuma. (which began in Jan 2017). This brings the total number of pupils with access to the project to approx. 10,000.

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