Kwa Mkono Disabled Children's Trust

Supporting the Kwa Mkono Polio Hostel in Tanzania

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

News

Lesley Wright
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news letter September 2019

It was in 1969 that Sister Magdalena CSP realised that the number of children disabled by polio in the
Kwa Mkono area needed a hostel so that sisters could continue the work they had been doing rehabilitating
the children and educating them in the bedded dispensary. Sister Magdalena took over the nurses accommodation
that had just become vacant, (a new nurses home having just opened). She applied to the district government for permission to open a children’s home and applied for funding from the UK and started the building of the Polio Hostel.  The sisters admitted children with a physical disability who could be helped by having an orthopaedic operation, physiotherapy to improve their mobility and education or training in a trade to enable them to live independently when they leave. Hundreds of children have passed through the hostel in the 50 years and there are a dozens of children who went onto college and have become teachers, accountants, book keepers working around the country. Those who were not academic have been trained at the hostel and are now working as carpenters, tailors and shoe makers. Since early 2000’s the polio vaccine had reduced the number of children becoming disabled having had polio the hostel widened the range of disabilities who it could help changing its name to the KwaMkono Disabled Children’s Centre
In July the trust celebrated 10 years since it was registered
as a charity, in that time it has improved the diet of
the children ensured the staff are paid regularly and updated
the buildings by putting new roofs on the dormitory's
and painting them inside and out. The trust has also
raised money or found sponsors to improve the facilities
at the centre. A new kitchen with fuel efficient stoves
and doubled the size of the hall so all the children can eat
together. Solar lighting has been installed in the dormitory’s
and a capped bore hole opened and a bowser purchased
so the centre and hospital have a guaranteed water
supply.
Two trustees have just returned from the Centre. As usual there is good news and not so good. The vegetable gardens in the Centre grounds are being in-creased, there is a man, who is a volunteer, and has agreed to teach the children how to manage and look after vegetables his name is Edward. The children are very interested in helping him and we have made sure that there are plenty of seeds and tools for the chil-dren.

The shamba (farm) is not doing very well due to the weather. The rains are not coming as they should and therefore cause drought conditions, the maize, peas and beans have not produced much harvest but the cassava is alright and can be used for food for children and it is hoped that the quality is good enough to be sold to the biscuit factory bringing in much needed funds.
The incinerator is working well and this means no more smoke around the Centre or hospital. A small fire is still lit to make tea and small amounts of food therefore we will be sending funds to buy a small stove that burns saw dust and this reduces smoke, cost of wood and is also free from the carpentry work shop.
The children are having help in the evenings with their school work and shows a great improvement in the exam results. 2 Children have completed year 7 in primary school and will be attending a private second-ary school for a 2 month assessment to see if their academic ability is high enough to be accepted at He-gongo secondary school. Adam has now finished at Hegongo school and we are looking for an A level school for him 3 other children are looking for vocational colleges and are in the process of visiting some to find a suitable one for their mobility problems.
The children with prosthetics have been visited and had items repaired/adjusted and there are 5 children who need to attend the YDCP work room in Tanga as they require new prosthetics to be made. Tanga is 3 - 4 hours drive away from Kwa Mkono.
The computers have been serviced and updated and the children are looking forward to working on them once again.
During drought times the wells of the Centre and hospital have been kept full and the villagers have also had access to buy water.
The chickens are increasing in number and also look better than they have ever been. Sr Rhoda CMM is now in charge of the chickens and is doing a good job.
We are very close to reaching our target for purchas-ing a Land Cruiser. The Diocese has raised about £3,000.00 which is nearly £10,000.00 short of their target, with sponsors helping we have raised our tar-get plus a little extra so we are trying to raise more funds. The good news is that the District Commis-sioner has agreed for the exemption of Import and tax duties saving us $11,000.00.
There are various fund raising events in the Amersham, Bucks area and if anyone would like further infor-mation please contact us at kwamkono@gmail.com
We will also be selling calendars for £8.00 each +£2.00 pp which give pictures from the Centre and a small explanation. These are available from 20th October.
We are still pleased to say all donations are used to benefit the children as we are all volunteers and we al-so pay our own costs for visiting the Centre.
The children and staff thank all those who support the centre through KwaMkono Disabled Children’s Trust. This year as well as numerous individuals and groups who send regular donations to the Trust so we can sup-port the centre with a quarterly grant. The Trust has also received help from a number of groups and organ-isations for individual projects. The Community of the Sacred Passion have funded the children’s health insur-ance and painting of the roofs. Polio Children who sup-port secondary school children and those at vocational college as well as sending a quarterly grant towards the general running of the centre and have promised a donation towards the Land Cruiser. We also thank the Amersham Methodist Circuit and Lady Fatemah Trust who have supported the Toyota Land Cruiser fund.
The centre has been receiving gifts (food clothing) from local groups and the District commissioner has visited with his staff a number of times bringing food and eating with the children and Centre staff. With the vegetables the Centre is growing they are managing to avoid going into debt even though prices have increased during the year.
Contact Details
KwaMkono Disabled Children’s Trust
36 Beel Close
Amersham
HP7 9NS
EMAIL Kwamkono@gmail.com
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