Kwa Mkono Trust News Autumn 2013
This has been a busy year at the children’s centre as well as the original projects several new ones have been started. The result is that the centre is starting to generate its own income and although it still needs our support to keep it going it is encouraging as this is the first time since the trust was formed in 2009 that the centre has provided some of the funds needed for itself. As the centre increases its own income the trust can concentrate on increasing the number of children going for surgery as well as improving physiotherapy and rehabilitation that is available at the centre.
After over 30 years’ service first to the polio hostel and then the children’s centre Hosein has decided it’s time he retired. During that time he has helped the children, who have lived at the centre, become more mobile and encouraged them to do exercises to strengthen their muscles, as well as making crutches and callipers for those who needed them. So that the children’s rehabilitation is not affected Hosein has been training Vincent for the last 6 months to take over from him. Although he will be leaving at the end of July the centre is going to arrange a party to say their official good buy’s in September when 2 of the Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust trustees will be visiting the centre and he will be given a gift to thank him for his service and help over the years.
For a number of years the staff have been paid below the government minimum wage but from September all staff will be receiving their full recommended pay, this has been made possible by a generous donation the trust received to be spent over the next few years to improve the conditions for the staff.
The first five children’s who went to CCBRT are progressing well, Nasra and Ismail have had their new legs and are walking and recently they have managed to walk to school for the first time. When Nasra went to the hospital to have her artificial legs fitted she met George and Betty Bush (the retired American president) who was visiting Tanzania with President Obama. Happy is finding the exercises difficult because straightening her legs is painful and she gets lots of spasms when she wears the brace, it is going to take time before she can straighten her legs and walk however she does use a standing aid so her legs are slowly getting stronger. Following the success of the first group to attend CCBRT in May Awadhi was taken to have his badly deformed legs amputated and he should have his new legs at the end of August.
The success of the shamba (farm) is important if the centre is to continue to improve. This year about 25% of the land was used to grow maize; the harvest has been good so the centre will not have to buy maize to eat for a number of months. In September 350 trees will be planted to act as a wind break, fence and in time they can be coppiced and the wood used for fire wood and the pine trees will eventually be cut for building. It is hoped to be able to increase the amount of land that is cultivated next year so that the centre has some surplus crops to sell as well as enough for its own use. In December we would like to plant another 500 trees, some of these will be a type of pine that can be sold for timber and fruit trees. A tree costs £1.50 to buy, transport and plant. Please help us to buy the trees so we can increase the area that we cultivate.
The modernisation and renewing of the facilities continues. Visitors to the centre this year have provided funds to replace the girl’s toilets and bath rooms which were one of the first buildings put up when the hostel started. The house that was used by Tegemea and his family is being turned into a guest house so the centre can offer accommodation to both its visitors and those for the hospital. It is hoped that in time visiting doctors will come to carry out operations to help the children, and save them going to Dar Es Salaam, 5 hours’ drive away.
Every evening John makes all the children do their homework and then he sets them tasks or gets them discussing topics that will help them with their school work. This has improved their results in the class examinations. It’s not all school work some evenings John sets up his DVD player in the mini class and everyone watches cartoons or a film. The children’s confidence has improved and they will ask and answer questions in class. The older children are encouraged to learn a skill and after school 3 boys are attending carpentry classes run by Nasoro and the girls are dress making. Everyone is helping with the chickens and we hope to eventually use the shamba (farm land) to teach the children about farming as most of their parents are farmers.
A tractor for the shamba
The shamba harvest has been good but we need to cultivate the whole area so we desperately need a tractor. Polio Children Charity are helping us and two of their supporters are running a half marathon and all the money raised will go towards the tractor. You can sponsor them at Just Giving www.justgiving.com/pankeelandjay
Salomé White who was born in Tanzania and visited the polio hostel with her father who was a missionary doctor is running the Bristol half marathon this money is also going towards the tractor. To sponsor Salomé go to BT mydonate https://mydonate.com/fundraisers/salome
Other ways to help the children
The calendar makes a good present as well as telling you what has happened during the year.
The 2014 calendar is now being printed and will be ready at the beginning of October. Each month has a picture and space for notes for each day. To get your copy send £6.00 plus £1.20 post and packing to Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust, 36 Beel Close, Little Chalfont, Bucks. HP7 9NS
Kwa Mkono Disabled Children’s Trust
Look at our web site www.kwamkono.org.uk or follow us on facebook.