News from a selection of our projects

2023 NEWS

THE ‘KAKAMEGA PROJECT’ (RUSH) – INTERNATIONAL NEEDS, KENYA & BURKINA FASO

Sadly the situation in Burkina Faso is not good as it is one of the African countries that have been subjected to military coups which has caused considerable disruption to the civil population. International Needs, our contacts for this project, sent us letters from the children that we support.  One of them, Justine, told us about her Christian faith whilst another, Roger, has ambitions to be a soldier to defend his country.  Hopefully, if he eventually achieves his ambition, by then the armies in this part of the world will be focused on defending the rule of law.   This is one of several projects that have asked us if we can increase our support due to the increased cost of living – we will be reviewing that request in January.

SEURR SANG’HIDA TRUST – ENTASOPIA PRIMARY SCHOOL, NKURUMAN, KENYA

Our support of this village community mainly focuses on disabled children and adults.  Our donation this year helped to install flushing toilets near the classroom we built in 2022. It also enabled 3 parents and their children to go away for a week to learn how to rehabilitate disabled children.  They are now enjoying passing this knowledge on to others in the Kenyan village.

BREAD, BEREGA, TANZANIA

We had a Zoom video conference with the doctor & clinician involved with the Epilepsy Clinic we fund at Berega Hospital.  This was very useful – we now have a better understanding of the issues they face.  Patients had been travelling up to 60 miles from surrounding villages to be treated at the clinic and receive supplies of essential medication to control their fits. Unfortunately many of them could no longer afford the travel cost.  A new approach has the doctor and clinician travelling together on a motorcycle to visit each of the 9 villages once per month.  Our support is used to cover the travel expenses and the cost of the medication as the Tanzanian government is now paying the salaries of the medical staff.  We get regular reports that are showing an increase in the numbers being treated and also show us when the epileptic fits of those being treated are reducing – some patients have even been able to return to work.

FISH EAGLE SCHOOL, TANZANIA

Progress has been a little slow this year due to health issues for our contact who has been coordinating the school building work for the villagers near Tanga in Tanzania. His normal role is running a nearby holiday lodge business but it had a relatively quiet time during COVID.  The building for the school library we mentioned in last year’s report has recently been completed and we have received an itemised statement of expenses totalling £630.  The next stage will be to fit out the interior with shelving and of course books.

MTANDIKA TRADE SCHOOL, TANZANIA

As in many of our projects, costs have risen and we have asked our contacts to ensure our support is used most effectively.  They now feel that it is less sensible for us to help students move on to higher education in Tanzania, as there are insufficient paid jobs for doctors and other professionals.  However, those leaving the Trade School with practical qualifications and skills as tailors, electricians etc. are able to find local jobs. 

The crops have been good which has helped the school as it grows some of the food that the students eat.

CALCUTTA CATHEDRAL RELIEF SERVICE (CRS), INDIA

Despite India’s recent successful moon landing there are still millions of their people living in extreme poverty.  CRS launched an appeal in their latest newsletter to help fund their annual feeding program supporting some 500 children of impoverished families. We have sent £500 which should supply meals for a year to about 35 of these children.

NEPALESE SCHOOL TEACHERS, KERUNG, NEPAL (in the foothills of Mt Everest)

The school in the foothills of Everest is running well with many happy children and teachers. Our Sherpa contact has found work now that tourists are returning to the area.   Unfortunately the Wi-Fi signals are still intermittent in the village so communications are less frequent than we would like.  A zoom session would be amazing if we can arrange it – the scenery is spectacular!

EMMANUEL SCHOOL, THAI BORDER WITH MYANMAR (BURMA)

The latest report from this project told us that as a result of increased repression by Government forces in Myanmar yet another wave of Christian refugees has joined the camp which is just over the border in Thailand increasing the number attending the school to 236 children.   The full report from the school including photos and messages from teachers can be read on our web site www.TWOAT.org   

AMBONDROMIFEHY LITTLE SAPPHIRES SCHOOL, MADAGASCAR

Our contact is Laurette Totomarovario, who holds a senior position with the Mothers’ Union in Northern Madagascar. The project is in the small mining village of Ambondomifehy. In 2010 TWOAT donated funds to complete a fresh water well for the village. After this the MU developed a plan to create a nursery school at the site so that pre-school children no longer had to go to the mines with their parents. TWOAT has helped to fund the school ever since. Currently TWOAT provides the majority of the financial support for the two years of nursery plus four further years of primary schooling, the latter added at the request of parents as they were so pleased with the nursery provision. The combined school currently teaches about 40 children as well as ensuring that they have a nutritious meal every school day.  We described earlier in this bulletin how the school’s needs for funds had risen (now £4,800 /year). We are delighted to report that St Peter’s in Walton have committed to providing nearly half this sum on an ongoing basis.

In a previous report we told you how one of the teacher’s children, Montesque, had been hit and badly injured by a coach so he had to be brought into class on a mattress.  We sent funds to pay for his hospital treatment and he is now fully recovered – you can see a recent photo of him on our web site.

OTHER PROJECTS

The funds we send to Ludhiana Hospital in India allow poorer patients to be treated by the hospital. We continue to support children to attend school in Uganda via Rainbow Africa and we fund a community worker seeking to empower women via Papua Partners.  We have also continued supporting a project caring for Ukrainian Orphans called SOS Childrens’ Villages and Motivation providing wheelchairs in Africa.

We took two loads of mostly electrical tools for refurbishment to the “Tools for Self-reliance” depot in Carshalton. These were well received as there is no longer much need overseas for hand garden tools!

2022 NEWS

THE ‘KAKAMEGA PROJECT’ (RUSH) – INTERNATIONAL NEEDS, KENYA & BURKINA FASO

We have been pleased with the level of feedback we have been receiving since a large charity, International Needs agreed to take over the RUSH project from the two Reigate school teachers who originally founded it but who were starting their retirement.  We added an additional student to the two we were already supporting at the RUSH Academy in Kenya and agreed to send £500 to assist another of their school projects in Burkino Faso which was taking on extra pupils due to unrest in other parts of the country. International Needs periodically organise Zoom sessions so we can talk directly with some of the people working with the charity in Africa.

SEURR SANG’HIDA TRUST – ENTASOPIA PRIMARY SCHOOL, NKURUMAN, KENYA

Our support of this village community mainly focuses on disabled children and adults and continues to impress us when we see it on zoom presentations by Gill Pulei. There has been a kitchen upgrade and a new classroom which we helped to finish and equip.  We are hoping that it will shortly be recognised as a special unit for funding by the government.

 BREAD, BEREGA, TANZANIA

The Epilepsy Clinic we fund at Berega Hospital had expanded its outreach programme to include another nearby rural medical centre but unfortunately it suffered a setback when the clinician decided to leave to run his own pharmacy business. The hospital doctors have identified a potential replacement who already has a higher level of general medical skills and knowledge than the predecessor but not so much specialised knowledge with respect to epilepsy.  There has been better news about government support with the possibility that 5 x staff at the hospital will be taken onto the government payroll.  We are in discussion with our UK contact for BREAD Dr David Curnock and via email with the Tanzanian doctor who was overseeing the project and hope that the new clinician will be confirmed shortly.

FISH EAGLE SCHOOL, TANZANIA

The situation has improved somewhat since the worst of the pandemic has passed over.  Our contact with the Fish Eagle School has also been assisting some other nearby villagers with building extra rooms for their school with part-funding from the EU. One room will serve as a library for which we sent a funding contribution. Libraries are an important feature for African schools and one will also be added to Fish Eagle.

MTANDIKA TRADE SCHOOL, TANZANIA

There have been requests this year for extra financial help for some of our six sponsored students in the vocational trade college.  They needed equipment for their engineering courses and more recently payment of medical fees for one who was involved as a passenger in a serious road accident.  With a decreasing rate of exchange we have also had to increase our payments by 10%, but it is well worth it as graduates of the college are regarded highly and so get good jobs. 

CALCUTTA CATHEDRAL RELIEF SERVICE, INDIA

The project continues to work with the very poorest communities in one of India’s largest cities.  The project is developing a film to illustrate their work and we are hoping to show it at an Indian themed evening event early in the New Year.

NEPALESE SCHOOL TEACHERS, KERUNG, NEPAL (in the foothills of Mt Everest)

A July e-mail from Rudra intimated that, as there is less COVID now, the children have been attending school regularly and are doing well. The extra money we sent to support poorer villagers without regular work to buy rice, oil etc. to feed their families was very much appreciated.  There is an improving tourism situation in the Everest region so villagers are hopeful for more employment.  The government is very poor financially and costs of everything are rising thus the extra teacher will not be paid by them. Our continuing salary support for teachers will remain essential for the children’s education.   Whilst a zoom call would be fantastic for us, the internet is not reliable and is unlikely to be a priority for them at times of food shortages.

EMMANUEL SCHOOL, THAI BORDER WITH MYANMAR (BURMA)

The latest report from this project told us that as a result of increased repression by Government forces in Myanmar another wave of Christian refugees has joined the camp which is just over the border in Thailand.  Altogether 37 additional children have joined Emmanuel School.  We agreed with Revd. Tim Astin of the Good Shepherd that we can divert some funds that we jointly raised with them for another project to Emmanuel School.  We can now send enough extra money this autumn so that the new children can also enjoy the lunches that we have been funding for the existing pupils over the last several years.  

AMBONDROMIFEHY WATER & NURSERY SCHOOL PROJECT, MADAGASCAR

TWOAT has supported this project since 2010, initially funding a fresh water well for the mining village of Ambondromifehy. With the well in operation, the local Mothers’ Union was able to start a Nursery School so working parents did not have to take young children to the mining area. The Nursery School was so successful that parents asked for it to continue into primary years and it now extends to primary year 4. 35 children in Ambondromifehy are now benefitting from the schooling and some of the children who started in 2011 have now reached senior school, one of them being rated 2 years ahead of her age group!

TWOAT gets frequent feedback on the school’s achievements and difficulties. After COVID and severe storms in 2020-21, they are now facing the world-wide energy crisis, which has doubled the cost of fuel and food for them this year. In a ‘normal’ year the school costs about £5,700 pa to run, a rate of just £160/child. They can usually raise one-third from parents, with TWOAT supporting two-thirds (in 2021-22 we sent £3,800). But much higher living costs now means they fear that many more parents will not be able to afford school and lunch fees.  Thus TWOAT may have to increase the support it offers to allow the school to continue providing the education, food and care that the parents and children so value.

OTHER PROJECTS

The funds we sent to Ludhiana Hospital in India allowed poorer patients with COVID to be treated by the hospital. We previously helped fund eye camps at St Luke’s Hospital in India but our contacts there have now retired to live in the UK. Summer Camps we supported in Albania have also been discontinued for the time being.  We had difficulty contacting the Let It Grow project which has run small water pipelines to a village a few miles from Lake Malawi but we understand it is still active.  We continue to support Rainbow Africa and Papua Partners and to send refurbished old hand tools to Africa via “Tools for Self-reliance”.

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