On December 23rd Milton distributed gifts of rice, sugar, cooking oil, salt, tea leaves and salt to the older people in Kyemula – a 3H tradition which is much appreciated. Some of the ladies came in their traditional gomes – a particular style of dress with puffed sleeves.
Our August newsletter mentioned the plight of one of the children who used to attend Jackie School, since then Milton has been visiting Mariam regularly in the hospital where she was being treated for TB, AIDs and malnutrition. Although initially she responded to treatment her system was too weak to tolerate the antiretroviral medication and recently she had become despondent and apathetic. Immediately after Christmas Milton had negotiated a place in the hospice for Mariam but sadly before this could be effected she died on 1st January. He, and we, are devastated by this tragic end to her sad life. This sad situation has prompted us to look increasing the support we offer to the children in the school holidays – it will take a while to decide the best way to do this but we are actively looking to design a support system for the orphans and children without families.
On a brighter note Milton has reported, ‘It's raining heavily right now and am the happiest because it's making our trees grow very well. It has made people to have some crops like maize, cassava, potatoes. Not very much worry of famine compared to past years.’ Here we have cassava underplanted with potatoes and maize in the background.
We haven’t had any warnings of potential food shortages from Namayili either – which is excellent news. One of our sponsored children, Sam Wolanzulu, is pictured grazing his goats during the school holidays.
The children will be returning to school at the end of January – we are sending the sponsorship money for this term out early to enable some maintenance tasks in the schools can be tackled before the children return and so that school supplies are purchased in good time.
Here in the UK we are finalising our annual report and preparing the accounts ready to go to our auditor as our financial year runs to 31st December.