Report April 2017
It has been some time since we brought you news from the FOM trustees and we are delighted to bring you this report. The children continue to thrive and lead happy lives under Mary and her team’s care at their Malezi farm. The children are continuing in their education at their new school, Ikulwa Village School and have all settled in well.
Life at Malezi continues to be very challenging with all the new government child care legislation, economic constraints, and security provision, the impact of the climate on the crops and, most crucially, the lack of water supply. However, Mary and her own board of trustees at Makumbwa Malezi Children’s Organisation are trying to deal with each and every one of the issues with the same passion, commitment and drive as always but, without a sustainable water supply, Mary cannot have any more children to live there. The FOM Trustees are in weekly contact with her and each other and the last Trustee visit was in August 2016 with another hopefully planned this year.
As you know the saga of the Westfield Well continues. Without a water supply, Mary has to buy in clean drinking water by tanker from Geita town. Rain water is collected in tanks but there was no rain for four months up until January. A very significant development though is that the Geita Gold Mine has agreed to fund the drilling of a new bore hole at Malezi. As you can see from the photos this has involved some massive machinery and a great deal of planning and negotiations all undertaken by Mary. We are eagerly awaiting news of a successful drill. Unfortunately it is a timely process but we do hope to have good news soon and having GGM on board is amazing progress. Funds are being raised and set aside to go towards paying for the pipes to be laid to take water to storage tanks for use in the house and on the land. The well head also has to be secured to stop water being stolen.
Concerns about security at Malezi have been raised and Mary has done a lot to secure the house by building a wall around the compound, complete with high metal gates. She also has a security guard on duty at night now. Her long term project is to build a wall round the whole garden area to enclose it and the house but it will require a lot of bricks, which she makes herself so will take a while.
Once again the weather has greatly affected Mary’s crops this year. She lost her entire sweet potato crop because of drought but there is a crop of maize. Rice was planted as planned but the rain, when it came, was so heavy it washed all the plants away. Mary will not plant rice again this year. Mary has 20 bags of rice left from last year and feels this will be enough for a while for the children. She estimates she uses 10 bags of rice for 6 children per year. Unfortunately the banana trees have also died due to lack of water but she does have a lot of other fruit trees, such as mango, papaya and moringa which provide the children with extra nutrition. There is also the livestock on the land which provide the children with eggs and goats milk.
It has been a hugely challenging year for Mary, Malezi and the Friends of Malezi. We are still humbled by the support our sponsors provide FOM and in turn Mary and the children with. The fundraising events through the year and generous donations mean this project can keep going and make such a difference to these children’s lives. We thank you once again for your ongoing support.