News and announcements

What next?

As you know, we are no longer sending containers to Zambia.  And, as a consequence, we do not have the same level of contact with some of our supporters. 

So, what are our knitters, knickers collectors, medical equipment donors, spectacles and audiology collectors, education suppliers, and machinery and tools contributors doing now?

Well, some have turned their hands to other things.  One of our supporters from Scotland, makes tablets of Scottish fudge and sells them at coffee mornings.  Also, the ‘Paracetamol Man’, again from north of the border, now collects £1 every month instead of tablets from his flock of weekly donors. Now that’s enterprising!

Maybe you are now wondering how you can change what you usually do and support HHI in a different way. Perhaps you can also think about how you can take part in one of our 20th anniversary challenges or even think up some of your own. 

By doing that, you will not only changing something about yourself, but also help to change the lives of needy and vulnerable people who live in desperate conditions in India and Zambia.  

Now that’s something worth changing for!

It's a boy!

disabled woman Ntambo Zambia UK charity no overheads Newport Wales

Priscilla is a disabled girl who lives in Ntambo, a small settlement about 45 minutes' drive from Monze.  We have worked with her for a number of years now.

Our latest news is that Priscilla has given birth to a healthy baby boy!  As yet we have no other details such as his birth weight or name, but we are grateful that he was delivered without complication and is well.  

Many of our faithful supporters have contributed towards Priscilla’s education for a number of years and, although her school fees are no longer required, Priscilla is still receives support for food and essentials from HHI.  Indeed, her house is nearing completion and it is hoped that Priscilla and her baby will be safe and dry once the rains begin.

We will keep you updated on Priscilla’s progress as we receive more news.

Of course, we are very aware that there are many vulnerable young women in Zambia who are in real need and we ask that you will remember Priscilla and others who are in similar situations in your prayers.  Thank you again for your thoughtfulness and generosity.

What a difference a wheelchair makes!

disabled girl cerebral palsy wheelchair Zambia Monze cared for by her grandmother UK charity low overheads volunteer run charity

We have had a great story from Jonah Sialamano, our disability expert in Zambia.  Jonah writes:

Bertha Hakajika, Female aged 09 of Village Kazingwe, Gonde area, Monze District: She has a diagnosis of Cerebral, with delayed developmental milestones. She has difficulties with sitting, standing, walking and carrying out day to day activities expected for her age.

She is being kept by her grandmother in Kazinwe village. Her father deserted her after seeing that she was disabled. The father is not known exactly where he is but it is just generalized that he is in Livingstone. As it is known in Zambia, there are few men who accept disabled children as their step daughter or son when mothers of disabled children are getting married to them. And so, when mothers opt for marriage, they leave their children with their relatives especially grandmothers. So is the case with Bertha. The mother got married and went to settle in Luapula Province where the current husband got a job. 

The grandmother takes Bertha to St John of God Child Development Centre, a Holy Family programme where children with cerebral palsy and other Allied Conditions are taken for physiotherapy exercise.
Kazingwe Village is about 13km along Livingstone, southern part of Monze and about 3 km off Livinstone Road west of Monze.

Depending on the days of appointment for physio sessions, the grand mother to Bertha lifts her from the village to the road side to hike for lifts (Vehicles) to Monze Town. When they reach Monze Town, if they have money, they book a Taxi and if they don’t have money, the grand mother has to walk from Town to the Physio centre about 2 Km while carry Bertha in her hands or at her back as another   Zambian way of lifting children. 

Helping the victims of the floods in Kerala - part 2

Philip has also written to us about the work of the Banyan Tree and sent us a lot of photographs, some of which are included at the end of this update.  Philip writes, in two separate emails:

In the name of Jesus Christ everything is going good. 

After the flood we went to distribute some food items to one of the flooding area name Punnakad, Aramulla panchayat, Pathanamthitta district. We supplied 12 food items in a  packet for 40 needy families. And clean two house. We went in our school van.(3 men and 5 women staff). It was a good experience. I am sending some photos of cleaning and food items distribution. By the grace of God we are safe.

You may pray for us

Philip

 

My family was feared in flooding because the water is very high near to my house both the two side left and right side of the road was flooding up 8 feet high only side is open, no road and path way. No electricity and telephone and mobile charge, no contact others. By the grace of God we are safe, thank you God

 My sister lives in Kalady in Eranakulam district was flooding her house. She lost everything. Children' s study material, school certificates, dresses, food, material, TV, fridge, grinder, documents, records, cow sheds, chickens and it's coops, agriculture etc.  We lost some agriculture. Her house is not living conditions, not strength. She got some help from local and government side - food material and dresses, Rs.ten thousand for cleaning and repairing. The next season the house is collapsing I also visited and help for cleaning.  Please pray and any possible to arrange any help her.  I send some photos.

My sister and family are farmers and coolie [i.e. daily labourers who try to get employment one day at a time.  Supply outstrips demand, so such people may get ten days work a month if they are lucky.  They will earn £4 to £8 depending on the work involved]. They have two children- one boy and girl. They are studying.

Letter from India

Kerala floods update

Tom Sutherland has written to us recently about the flood relief work that is being done in Kerala by The Banyan Tree, our main partner organisation in Kerala.  As regular readers will know, Kerala was hit by devastating floods recently, and hundreds of people were killed and over a million displaced.  He says

 

Dear Edmund

The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus.

Two trustees safely home

We had hoped for a quiet morning before our 36-hour journey home, but it was not to be.  Jonah's customers arrive early - even before dawn which is about 6am.  They are given a chair to sit on and they wait patiently until he can see them.

One that will stay with us for a long time arrived this morning.  Mary Hamoonga is a bright young woman who, at the age of 28, had just completed a lab tehnician's course and was looking forward to a bright future which would enable her to support not only herself but her extended family as well, when she was struck down by a mysterious paralysis four months ago.  The cause remains unknown, but she has lost the use of both legs and one arm.  She came from her village of Magoye, 37 km away on (and off) the road to Mazabuka - a daunting journey by public transport for such a disabled person.  It was great to be able to give her one of the wheelchairs that the Women's World Day of Prayer had funded and to pray with her.

Magoye Monze Zambia Southern Province HHI Health Help International volunteer run UK charity minimal overheads all money given goes to projects in India and Zambia

We then had a our good-bye lunch with the staff.  Our visit was a lot of work for them, and inevitably disruptive, and it was a nice way to thank them for all their help and forebearance.  It had been a very useful visit, and we achieved most of what we had set out to do.

Two Trustees coming home

Special needs school, Maamba, Southern province, Zambia.  HHI Health Help International, volunteer run UK charity.

This is our last full day in Zambia before we start our long trek home. It may well be the last entry in The Two Trustees diary. Like every other morning we wake at dawn, about 6.15. The first cup of tea is always the best or in Edmund’s case - coffee. I bought a flask on our first day to fill with hot water so we could make hot drinks even when the power is off. I’ve filled it everyday bar two. On those days I filled it we ended up using the flask of hot water for washing dishes in the evening and the two days I didn’t fill the flask, guess what happened?

 

The plan today was to drive to Maamba Special school, about 3 hours there and 3 hours back. As usual there is always time before we go out to deal with emergency helps and today was no exception. Unis brought in her seven year old daughter Angela Mwemba who has cerebral palsy. Alison has an appointment at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, to review her situation. Mum had no money for the bus fare so we helped her.

 

Two Trustees return

Empowering Disabled Monze Southern Province Zambia.  Self-help women employment

 

We have safely returned from our R and R in Livingstone. Returning to a full house - no power, no water, no internet! We enjoyed our down time knowing there would be no one around in Monze and little or nothing to do except our laundry. We were typical tourists, taking in the wonderful sight of Victoria Falls and sailing tbe great Zambeze River where we spotted elephants, crocodiles and hippos. We retur ed on the last bus on Sunday and after a 4 hour trip on a coach we arrived in Monze at 20.45 and were ready for an early night. The passengers we left behind on the bus, heading towards Lusaka, were going nowhere. The driver told them it was too late to go further and they would restart the journey about 5.30am. Unbelievable. On second thoughts no, believable. It is now Monday and we only have until Wednesday after lunch to finish our monitoring and gathering stories with photos. This morning we started to gather the potential number of girls in Monze schools who would benefit from Menstrual Hygiene Training and receiving washable pads. We estimate it to be about 800 per yearand this would constitute a good pilot for the programme, building on the early introduction in some schools. We now have costings and will bring all this together and seek funding. If tbe pilot is proven successful we will seek further funding to expand the reach.

We also sat in on some of the interviews Jonah (Disabilty Affairs) has each day, speaking and listening to people who have come for help. This process enables HHZ to identify needs and to prioritise them so he has enough information to inform HHI and ask for funding in his monthly report. Of course some cases are urgent and can’t wait for the monthly cycle. Jonah will get the funds for urgent cases but of course when HHI people visit we have come with some funds of our own or from donations given by people in UK when they here we are coming.

Two Trustees go to Zambia and take a break

Back to TIA. We were invited to sit on the Beneficeries Committee - this is were HHZ reviews people who need money, for health interventions, disability aids or services we can’t provide or business start up capital. Due start 8.30, actual start about 10.00! It was an opportunity to observe how HHZ listen, consider and decide on whether they can help the individual. As we approached the time to catch the coach to Livingstone for our tourist break we managed to squeeze in lunch, after all, we wouldn’t want to be late for the one o’clock bus. At 2pm the coach left  Monze, we could have had pudding. Not only was bus late, my seat was double booked but thankfully sorted. We are here now and ready for some rest. Hopefully our next entry will be on Monday evening. Have a good weekend, we hope to.

Two Trustees go to Zambia part four

Special needs school Nanga Zambia HHI Health Help International UK charity no overheads volunteer run Newport Wales UK

We have been here just short of a week but feel we have seen and done a lot already. It is good that people here are happy to speak to us; some with their stories and others with their problems. Yesterday, Wednesday, I had a problem of my own. When we were at Muumba school I noticed a lateral purple line across my right wrist and two of my fingers had turned yellow. The same yellow colour was spread all over my forearm. “Was it yellow fever?” “Should I see a doctor?” “Will I be alright?” - the answers in order, no, no, yes. I discovered later, after washing my hands and arm, that it was nothing sinister. It turned out to be the ink from a plastic shopping bag from the UK that melts in the sun. A bit like me really!

So, here we are, Thursday. The plan for the day was to set off by 8.30 and to my complete surprise Jonah popped his head round the door 10 minutes early, was it the new TIA? You will have to wait and see. After putting fuel in the tank at the petrol station that “doesn’t leak”, I kid you not, we set off for Nanga school. The drive would take us about 2 hours, about half on decent roads and the other time on potholes with bits of road attaching them together.