Minchinhampton - Nkokoto Link - February 2016


Water and education.....probably the two most important aspects of the Link’s work in Nkokoto. So it is wonderful to be able to tell our supporters and readers that the new borehole is in operation, with the pump and concrete apron on which it stands, completed at the end of December. At the same time as most of us were opening our presents and enjoying our festive lunch on Christmas Day, the contractors began work on the final stages of completion of the borehole and pump mechanism. So now Nkokoto has two sources of clean, fresh and healthy water. What a splendid achievement to mark the end of 2015, a year when the Link has given mosquito nets and D-lights to 300 families, provided power to the school house and clinic with solar panels, supported the provision of lunches at Vumilia Secondary School, paid the fees for the Nkokoto students who are sponsored by Minchinhampton sponsors, financed and established a bicycle loan scheme for the students to cycle to and from school, given books and P.E. equipment to Nkokoto primary School, paid the fees for twelve students from the village at the Folk Development College in Urambo and bought and presented tool kits or sewing machines for those who graduated in December. A fine achievement, and the committee, the Link supporters and our sponsors should feel proud of these achievements in 2015. Thank you and well done to all!

A new era in the education of secondary students in Tanzania begins this month. The secondary age students now do not have to pay fees to attend school. This is a most positive move for the country as it will mean that secondary education will now be available to all rather than to only those who had access to the fees. It will almost certainly mean an increase in students attending secondary school, resulting in larger classes. I have found no evidence that the Tanzanian Education Department is to employ more teachers in those schools with expanding numbers on roll. This change in policy also means that the Link will contact all its sponsors to ask whether they would like their sponsorship to be used in other ways, such as paying for the students’ books, equipment, uniforms and lunches. One suggestion (but the committee has not yet met to agree its policy on this at the time of writing this article) is that we should establish a small business/shop in Nkokoto which employs some of the students who we have trained at the FDC in millinery (needlework and clothes making) to make and sell the school uniforms, thus providing a supply of good quality, smart uniforms at a fair price and providing employment at the same time. I shall be writing to all our sponsors this month to discuss this and other ideas with them.
In the meantime, don’t forget that the next Murder Mystery Evenings, titled “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” (a very appropriate title for the Link!) are on Friday and Saturday 26th and 27th of February in the Market House at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are going fast and even at this early stage, requests for table reservations have been received. Don’t miss out!

Rod Harris, Chairman