School progress report, housing, project sustainability, partner and training updates.
The fifth quarter saw the opening and closure of schools for the children. Indeed it was a difficult period in our nation politically however the grace of God was equal to the task. Most of our children did quite well on their examinations. A small party shall be conducted for those who did exceptionally well on the end-of-year examinations in appreciation of what the Lord did through these children. Also presents will be given as tokens of appreciation for hard work. All the other sustainable projects did quite well save for the nutrition garden.
A two day workshop on childcare was conducted to capacity to build some caregivers and members of the church. Our partner Legal Resources Foundation facilitated the workshop. The same training was cascaded to two other wards as an outreach exercise for wide coverage. The registration of the home is still outstanding because of electricity connections. The fish pond was finally done and awaiting lining and final touches to allow the fingerlings to be introduced. Another assembly was planted at the boarder of Zaka and Masvingo districts. Coordination meetings were held as scheduled.
2. EDUCATION AND HEALTH SUPPORT:
The period saw the opening and closing of schools for our children too. School fees were paid and stationery purchased for the children. By His grace, most of the children did quite well in their end of year exams! A party was scheduled for next month in honor to the Lord to celebrate those who did exceptionally. Honestly, without the education support from EHC, these children were definitely not going to make it.
Some of the children went for holiday (excursion) just for leisure and exposure in the eastern highlands. Also, some children are going through a discipleship program under the auspices of ICM. Since the objective of the children’s home is to raise able ministers of the word, intense and rigorous trainings shall be conducted to fully equip them for the work of ministry. Their health status was generally good during the course of the quarter, save for isolated cases of flu.
3. HOUSING UPDATE
The completed housing unit is ready for occupation. At the moment, there is a godly parent with 3 children. Once the registration is complete, the other 5 children shall be moved in. Electrification is being considered as a prerequisite, however a solar system shall be installed in the interim to provide the lightning.
We are delighted to inform you that the First Lady has plans to visit Emmanuel Homestead to ascertain what is needed to complete it. There are indications that funding may ensue this visit early this quarter. We covet your prayers for this promise to fruition.
4. LIFE SKILLS DEVELOPMENT:
As the children are involved in daily household and field chores at their places of residents, they acquire life skills. The girls were involved in routine activities like clearing the field, planting of maize seed, egg picking, rearing of goats, feeding of pigs, layers and guinea fowls at the homestead.
5. SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS:
All the three gilts furrowed giving a total of 22 piglets, although we lost two under unclear circumstances. All the piglets have been weaned and are growing well. The corresponding feeds were also purchased to take them through the period of three months. Once the project reaches 60 piglets it will be self-sustainable.
Our layers are in their last laying period. In April 2018 they shall end their laying period. Plans are already in place to prepare for the new breed to maintain continuity. On average the birds are laying 24 eggs per day. During the last quarter a total of $288 was gathered from the sales of eggs. The money was used to purchase fuel for the generator ($60), vaccination drugs ($25), feed (partly) $84 and transportation of children to school ($119).
Guinea fowls are busy laying eggs in this period, and the traditional chickens and turkeys are helping with hatching of eggs. We look forward to increasing the number of guineas by the end of the season, October to March.
Digging of the fish pond was completed and the lining of ponds and subsequent placing of fingerlings shall be done once we get to the peak of the rain season. Currently, temperatures are too high (34-38 degrees Celsius), thus not conducive to commence the project because of high evaporation rates. The borehole cannot supply enough water for domestic consumption and sustainable projects.
According to the assessment results on biogas, it was apparent that the project is likely to be kick started after April when the amount of dung (main substrate) will have increased from larger number of pigs. The 13 cubic meters will certainly sustain the home in terms of energy.
Nine of the goats have conceived and in a month’s time we expect some kids. The health status is just but good following some rains received a few weeks ago which improved pastures. The goats were dosed so that they would gain weight fast.
6. CHILDREN AND YOUTH MINISTRY:
Both the children’s and youth ministries are blossoming by the grace of God. The children’s ministry is growing in leaps and bounds, and they have meetings scheduled with their teacher. Youths are also vibrant and actively involved in church evangelism. We continue to see the hand of the Lord upon this generation as we train them in the ways of the Lord!
Currently most of the youths have embarked on a discipleship program covering Old and New Testament surveys, Sermon on the Mount and family and marriage courses. Once they complete the courses they are expected to be able to witness and disciple others. Every month the youths have their Sunday service where they showcase their talent, abilities and spiritual gifts in church
Chisiya assembly has been established, and a church building being constructed under the auspices of International Cooperating Ministries. This rural assembly is growing fast and to date has a total membership of 20 adults.
The church has gotten into partnership with Legal Resources Foundation, an organization that works with children representing their needs in society and even defending them in courts for free. The organization built the church membership in terms of child care, advocacy, financial management etc. The workshop targeted the caregivers, management and church members.
Subsequent workshops were conducted with community members to cascade the same information to fully capacitate communities on child care. These were done in tree wards 7, 12 and 16 as an outreach program.
Emmanuel Homestead became a member of the Masvingo Association of Residential Care Facilities. The mandate of the Association is to coordinate all children activities in homes. This will also give a voice to the donor community and the government. Large numbers can be reckoned with easily.
A director’s summer school was attended to in Kariba. The objective was to interface with the donor community, striking possible partnerships and sharing information with other directors. Strategies to build the Zimbabwe we want were also formulated by the civic society. Best practices were shared, and best ways of working with the government formulated.
Rose of Sharon had a total of 90 children by year end. The festive season was characterized by parties and gifts for the children. Most of the children passed both their primary and secondary level end of years’ exams.
The Poultry Project and vegetable garden are doing quite well. The onset of the rainy season has produced the growing of maize seed. The crops are at knee level and healthy!
Other horticultural projects like potato, cabbages and tomatoes are doing quite well. The Layers Project is also expanding which started with 100 chickens. The Goat Project is also doing well.
The orphanage is in need of financial back up to cover some administrative obligations. Also, the school shall expand to accommodate more students.
The children had the privilege of meeting the First Lady at the State house Christmas party. It was really an exciting moment for both the children and staff!
The following are our future plans at the school:
-Plant maize seed and expand on layers and horticulture projects
-Establish a Science Laboratory
-Acquire at least two projectors to enhance the use of ICT
The Tanyaradzwa children’s home closed the year with 71. Again, most of the children did well in their end of year exams. The registration process is still outstanding with papers at the minister’s office. The delay has been compounded by the change in government and minister.
Sustainable projects are doing quite well!
-The Winter garden produced cabbages, rape, tomatoes and onions that had ripened. These are being sold to the community and sustained the children’s budget at the house.
-The grinding mill was doing quite well following the installation of electricity at the home.
-The soap making continued to be affected by the lack of availability of slug on the market.
The Biogas Project as an energy source is still yet to be cascaded to the children’s home.
Future Plans for the children’s home are:
-Embark of Biogas Project at the children’s home
-Weeding of maize crop at the children home
-Painting of the remaining buildings
-Embarking on other projects like poultry, guinea fowl and goat keeping
10. CHALLENGES for EMMANUEL:
In the fifth quarter of project implementation, the following were the challenges faced:
1. The current shortage of cash in the banks impeded the steady progress.
2. The borehole that is producing less water hindered other projects to take off as planned e. g. fishery and mushroom
11. FUTURE PLANS:
In the fifth quarter we envision the completion and registration of the entire Homestead within the first quarter including:
1. Enrollment of more children in the academically gifted girl child program
2. Payment of fees and purchase of stationery and hygiene packs(girls) for the children
3. Conduct a peer counseling course for the children and youths
4. Extend the life skills development component to youths
5. Conduct drama, poem, music, theater competitions amongst the children in various homes
6. Continue the production of vegetables, mushroom and fish farming at the Homestead
7. Plant one more assembly in the Bikita district.
We are grateful unto the Lord for the continued partnership with Change a Life Foundation and other partners like Every Home for Christ, International Cooperating Ministries and Legal Resources Foundation.