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A Trip to Africa

Thursday 20th Nov 2014

A Trip to Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 20th Oct Duncan Hamlett and Lilian Barton went to Uganda with Mike Willetts of the Rotary Club of Carnforth and his wife Linda. 10 years ago Mike founded a primary school in Kitale in Uganda. Please see www.kitaleschooluganda.co.uk to learn about the history of the school. There were several projects to accomplish during the 7 days we spent at the school. These included buying shoes for all the children (most of whom are bare-footed) to protect their feet from "the jigger" bug, and some spares amounting to almost 350 pairs. Thank you to everyone who contributed money for this project. Some of the older girls were taught by Linda how to make washable sanitary pads to provide them with essential protection. The function of a brick incinerator was explained to some of the boys and one was promptly built as was a compost heap. They were taught the benefits of recycling especially of plastic bottles which can be sold and turned into a source of income. The head mistress agreed to attend a First Aid course and together we decided on basic first aid items necessary to equip an essential First Aid cupboard. These items were duly bought. It was agreed to double the size of the recently built brick chicken coop. This project was funded by the Lunesdale Club. The plan is in time to have 1000 chickens and the eggs produced will also provide a good source of income. We cannot forget the purchase of the pig.  The round trip, in a battered old pick-up truck on VERY bumpy roads to purchase her was about 4 hrs. She was quite happy on the truck although it took 4 men to lift her onto the back of the truck for the return journey. She coped well and I can report that her piglets will be due in about a week! She is a welcome addition to the 2 young pigs already resident in the pigsty and thankfully they get on well. This pig project it is hoped will also prove a source of revenue as pork is in demand in the towns. Mike's heartfelt wish is to provide all the pupils of this school with life skills to help them become self sufficient and find a way out of the poverty surrounding them. His achievements are much to be admired.


PS

We recently heard that the pig has given birth to 9 piglets, mother and babies, doing well!

 

 

 

After our time in Kitale we flew to Blantyre in Southern Malawi to visit the charity Mary' Meals primarily to meet the staff in the Head Offices there and to see how the charity operates. Duncan has done a huge amount of fundraising for MMs. The charity has a very simple ethos. It provides a feeding programme in some of the world's poorest countries. Primary schools must request MMs feeding programme and then, providing a child goes to school, it will be given one simple meal each day which consists of Posho, a porridge like food made from maize flour plus a supplement. Local ladies walk to school very early in the morning working from a weekly rota, to cook and serve the meal. Local community participation is essential to the success of the programme. This clever but simple formula guarantees primary school education for children plus a daily meal. In Malawi 698,777meals are served every day and world- wide 923,572 every day. It costs just £12.20 to feed a child for 1 year. We visited several schools and also a few centres for nursery children under 6 years of age some of which are in extremely isolated rural areas. There were numerous occasions during these visits when we felt very humble and there were great wrenches on the heart strings. For more information please see www.marysmeals.org

 

 


The final leg of our trip was spent in Entebbe where we visited Mission Aviation Fellowship, MAF, another deserving charity supported by Rotary. This was located in a high security maintenance depot. Here we met a group of dedicated men who are very highly trained in maintaining a fleet of small aircraft so that people in developing countries can receive essential help when needed both in expertise and resources. To find out more please see www.maf-uganda.org. Our trip was unforgettable. Each day was packed with activities demonstrating the good work done by Rotary all around the world. We all came home however so thankful for what we have in our everyday lives.

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