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Progress Report

14 July 2010

Warm greetings to you all from Zambia. Our nights are now cool but daily temperatures are in the early 20s — a very pleasant time of year. It has been two months since we sent the last progress report, and it seems best that from now on we send the reports bimonthly, rather than monthly.

The Limapela Cedric’s Basic School

Zambia celebrated Heroes Day on 5 July. We gathered in the morning with the PTA, staff and students to honour and thank Cedric Whittemore for his contribution of 30 years to education in the community. It was a happy time of speeches, poems, singing and dancing.

This past week all the teachers participated in a two-day seminar at Lifesong School in Garneton with visiting Canadian teachers. The fresh ideas and resources they were able to pass on have given a wonderful boost to our teachers’ knowledge and skills.

The term has been dogged by poor attendance as we have resorted to sending children home until fees and arrears are paid. This has been very disruptive, but has been having the desired effect. I guess human nature is the same amongst both rich and poor — many people will avoid paying until they know they have to! Fee Sponsorship has been a great help, and we could do with more sponsors.

Despite this, Alison Raymond and her team of teachers are beginning to see pleasing results in the reading programme they have been working on in grades 1–4.

School teachers

We are most grateful to The Beit Trust for a recent grant of £16,200 (about NZ$34,000) for the construction of two classrooms for Grades 8 and 9. Alfred Beit was a mining magnate and contemporary of Cecil Rhodes. The trust disburses funds to educational and medical establishments throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. We would like to start building as soon as possible and have a room ready for the new Grade 8 class in January. We are also grateful to some private donors who have pledged to cover the cost of getting the electricity connected to the school.

After a sterling effort by Rotarians Desmond Woods and Paul Street in Canberra, Australia, the matching grant application was submitted to Rotary International on 1 July. If successful, stage 1 of the water project will begin — two bore holes (one for the school and one for the community) pumps and storage tanks. What a difference it will make to have clean water flowing from shiny new taps! Stage 2 will include a toilet block. Approximately NZ$80,000 (US$56,500) will be required for this, and we are hoping that our sponsoring Rotary Clubs will be willing to drive this through also. If you are thinking of contributing to this, remember that your donation has the potential to be matched 50 cents to the dollar.

Project Staff Housing

The guesthouse for the Raymonds is now finished. Terry Webster has completed the interiors to a superb standard, and our workers have learned a great deal in the process, so we are all blessed indeed.

Travel

Carolyn Webster will be travelling to New Zealand at the end of July for family commitments, and Terry will join her a month later. They will return to Zambia at the beginning of November. Alison and I expect to be in New Zealand in December. We all look forward to the break and to meeting up with some of you.

—Matthew F. Raymond, CHAIRMAN


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