Minchinhampton Nkokoto Link - March 2018

Since the beginning of January, we have agreed to increase the capital available for loans in the micro-finance scheme. The village elders had asked for this and it means that money will be available for more villagers to develop and/or set up their small businesses. Also, 516 villagers will be given family sized mosquito nets and solar powered lights. Remember that, although electricity has now reached Nkokoto, the vast majority of villagers can’t afford to have it fitted in to their houses or pay for the power.

NkokotoWaterTankThe school’s rainwater harvesting tank (left) leaks and the cost, although more expensive than originally planned, is a priority for the school children giving them access to water during the school day. The purchase of the sunflower seed crushing mill for the villagers have grown tobacco,maize, ground nuts, sweet potatoes and rice this year. We will revisit this project next year.

We have received the end of year results of the primary school children who have completed their final primary school year. All 16 of them passed their PSLE 2017 examinations and all 16 have chosen to go on to Vumilia Secondary School. None of them chose to go to the FDC (Urambo College) to do the two year course to learn a trade. This means that for the first time in my years on the Link, there will be no sponsorship of students in year 1 of the college by the Link. We of course continue to sponsor those in year 2 and have purchased the “tool kits” for those who finished their course in December. I have contacted the Principal of the FDC and asked him to let me know how the college is and if they have any difficulties with which the Link can help out.

The fact that all 16 of the final year pupils at Nkokoto Primary School have gone on to secondary school leaves me personally with a question about fairness. The Link will be sponsoring 8 of these students by purchasing school uniforms, shoes and school educational materials as well as giving them a bicycle to get to and from school (and no doubt for family use too!) so should we consider in this case this year sponsoring all 16? We of course will need the extra income from Minchinhampton but we won’t be sponsoring any students at the FDC this year.

NkokotoBricksOne disappointing news received from Stima was about a pile of 40,000 bricks that I saw during my visit. I was shown these bricks that were donated by villagers (each villager giving ten bricks, I was told) and there were two men busily digging foundations for the new house for a teacher (below) andI genuinely thought that the new teacher’s house was going to be built by now. Stima has now told me that nothing has been done with these bricks. So why hasn’t the house been built or were the two men working so hard there only because of my visit!? However, the Link is still planning to finance the building of a two-teachers house as soon as we have raised the money.

By the time you read his article, the Murder Mystery Evenings will have come and gone. If you were there, we hope you enjoyed the evenings. . (Sadly, demand for tickets was far greater than expected and numbers had to be reduced this year because of fire regulations and over crowding in past years, and there were many who were disappointed that all tickets were sold by the first week in February.) Our thanks go to Gerry and the drama team who loyally give their time and support in this way for the Link, and of course to the Link committee who work so hard throughout the year to raise funds for the people of Nkokoto.

Rod Harris Chairman
01453 872317/0777 565 2379
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