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Chairperson's report 2013

 

New projects undertaken:

 

The past 16 months has been the busiest and most productive since the formation of Pemba Support. Oct 2012 saw the beginning of the Makangale goat and duck co-operative projects with advice from volunteers and Brian Tourey VSO. Initially things went well and there was great excitement in the community but problems began to emerge. There was a lack of knowledge and co-operation. The people also experienced a lack of supervision and guidance by managers. This resulted in disagreements, deaths of ducklings, kids and adult goats. Now the duck farm is going well with 70 ducks (from a starting point of 14) and 5 goats remain (7 at the start) which are with 5 individual families. Despite the disappointments this was a learning curve for all concerned and valuable insights have been gained.

Pugini well was dug by local labour under the guidance of Maua. There have been 2 visits to the site by volunteers and it is wonderful to see the production of tomatoes, peppers, egg plants etc.

Tom and Carmel started a project with a poor family in Makaani where, Farhad, the deaf and dumb daughter in the house was supplied with a sewing machine and material. This is going well.

In Feb 2013, after much preparation at home, four new projects were initiated by the Feb volunteers. The renovation of floors in Makundeni Leprosy village got underway under the watchful eye of Dr Said. Canon Stephen got money to start his chicken project in Kizimbani. A trip to Michungwani was made with Maua to meet Maree, his family (including his 3 disabled children, Fatma, Hakim and Fakmi) and his community of poor fishermen. A wheelchair was brought and an outboard motor was promised to help bring in much needed extra income to those families and Fr Tom Assenga got money to buy books and swings for Tumaini nursery school in Kizimbani. Also, during that volunteer visit a kick start was given to the Makangale/ Bothar project by inviting the CEO of Heifer International, Henry Njakoi, to spend the weekend in Pemba and to visit Makangale and other sites. The same week valuable equipment and dressings were brought to Chake and Wete hospitals and contacts were made for possible projects at a later date.

At the end of June 2013, €20,000 was approved for Makangale cow project so this became the main focus of the Oct volunteers. Three members of Heifer International, Abdul, Gibson and David spent an intense five days in Pemba. Two full days were spent with the people in Makangale and there were many meetings with Government officials etc. There was the appointment of Fr Festo and project Holder, Hamsa as Manager and Rashid and Ali as supervisors. The budget allowed for 15 in calf heifers and a bull to be purchased. So far the project is going really well with 30 farmers trained in animal husbandry, 16 sheds under construction and grasses being grown and monthly reports being received by Pemba Support. €500 for a water storage tank for a clove tree nursery was delivered to Gando. Michungwani community   got their outboard motor. Support funding was delivered to Canon Stephen for a tailoring school in Kizimbani. The craft workers in Mwambe   got funding for 4 new sewing machines and a 6 day training programme to up skill them in basket making and a honey project in Kizimbani is awaiting further investigation.

The most recent project is in relation to the digging of three deep wells in Makangale, Makaani and Dongoni. A geophysical survey was carried out on all three sites in December and negotiationsregarding costs are underway as we speak. Thanks the Irish Embassy in Dar es Salaam for a grant of €10,000 which will part fund this project.

 

Ongoing projects:

Makundeni Leprosy Village has benefitted greatly from our involvement over the past 16 months thanks to donations from St Francis Leprosy Guild, and fundraising by Pemba Support.  In Oct/Nov 2012 a water system was brought to the village and communal taps installed. Old latrines were repaired and some new ones built under the watchful eye of Nunuu, Tom and Carmel. Dr Said supervised the installation of concrete floors in 28 houses. Sahele and Hadia were flown to Unguja for new prostheses and new mattresses and sheets were bought for the patients. Three sets of hygiene packs were delivered in the past year and the patients were given a hygiene workshop by Oct 2012 volunteers. Research is underway at the moment to establish the best way to ensure electricity in the village. The dilemma is whether to repair the existing solar panels or to install electricity meters. This is work for 2014!

People with low vision have been supported by Pemba Support over the past three years. Over 1,000 pairs of recycled glasses have been brought to Chake by volunteers. Drs. Sitti and Rashid have also been given money to help people to travel to eye appointments and to subsidize the cost of new glasses. Some hearing aids have also been delivered to Chake hospital.

The Catholic Mission and the priests have been key to the success of Pemba Support and deserve our ongoing assistance. Makaani Church was roofed and windows installed in 2013, funded by Apostolic Work. This group also sponsored many sets of vestments. New pews were made for Chake Church, sponsored by CBERT. In the wet season of 2013 a grant was given to Fr Zeno to build a wall to help curtail erosion around Chake Centre. Some home comforts have been supplied to both houses in Chake and Wete and two priests have been supported in their studies.

Education is central to our mission and we try to help in any area we can. Tom and Carmel were key workers in the English and Maths courses in Chake centre in Oct/Nov/Dec 2012. Daudi was supported in Machui College and received his certificate. Mabrouk failed to finish his course in Mkokotoni College. Asha and Mariam (two deaf and dumb girls) started a two year programme at Upendo Lutheran Sewing School in Stonetown and are still there and making progress. Omar Salum, a young Pemban from an extremely poor family, started a course in Jambiani Tourism College in Stonetown and is doing well. Eleven students in Makangale Primary/Secondary Schools are being funded for school fees and uniforms. Masanja from Makangale has just graduated with a Diploma in Journalism and hopes that Pemba Support will support him at degree level next year. Renatus will start an English course in January

Volunteer trips are a vital part of Pemba Support. Three groups travelled to Pemba over the past 16 months and worked tirelessly to bring about success in the projects. Oct 2012: Tom and Carmel (10 week stay), Jane and Neilus. Feb 2013: Sandra, Maria and Pat. Oct 2013: Jane, Tom, Neilus and Pat.

PSTz (Pemba Support Tanzania): This group was set up in August 2011 to work in partnership with Pemba Support (PSI) in identifying and managing projects. The idea was excellent but problems dogged its progress. Attendance at meetings was poor. It lacked leadership. Writing a constitution and registering the group became a nightmare. Despite a last-ditch effort to rejuvenate the group in Feb 2013 it slowly ground to a halt. But, on the positive side, these meetings enabled us to make many contacts and forge enduring friendships and Maua has been an initiator of three excellent projects.

 

At home:

Fundraising is a necessary feature of the organization and an ever present challenge but it is also a way of publicizing our work and encouraging new donors. The main fundraisers were the golf Classic in Lahinch, the walk on the Flaggy Shore, New Quay, pitch and putt in Liscannor, blood pressure monitoring at Supervalu, Ennistymon, Night out in McDermott’s Bar, Doolin, Carol singing in Ennistymon, Flag Days, Church Gate collections etc. Thank you to all who raised further funds through PWC postal survey and signing Revenue Tax Back forms. We encourage more generous people to donate through monthly direct debits and we are constantly looking out for volunteers to be part of the PWC Postal survey.

2013 also saw the very successful visit to Ireland of Fr Mathias March 3rd to 26th. He spoke at lots of gatherings, raising awareness of what Pemba Support is doing for his beloved people and thanking people for their generosity. Many thanks to his hosts: Kimmage Manor, Sandra, Jane, Cait, Mike King, Pat and Neilus.

www.pembasupport.org ran into trouble during the year and had to be re-established. Thanks to Neilus and Mike McKeon for all their time and effort in making this possible.

There has been serious discussion regarding the future of Pemba Support after December 2015. To be very practical, at the moment, it seems inevitable that PSI needs renewal but, on the other hand, this gives us two years to achieve great things and, who knows, where the Spirit will lead us! He has wisdom far beyond ours.

 

Finally:

I would to take this opportunity to thank:

•All the volunteers for their commitment, fundraising efforts, hard work and co-operation

•All donors big and small, sponsors, supporters and people who helped with organization of fundraising events

•The priests in Pemba on whom we depend a lot. They always welcome our volunteers with open arms despite many pressures and frustrations.

•The donors of gifts that we brought to Pemba during the year and those who donated prizes for fundraisers.

•Clare FM, The Clare People, The Clare Champion, The North Clare Local and parish offices for assistance with publicity.

•Our loyal committee members, especially Secretary Neilus and Treasurer Sandra for their work

•Fr Derek for giving us the use of the Nuns’ Chapel for meetings.

 

Pat O’Doherty, Chairperson, ‘Pemba Support’ (CHY 19162) -  January 10th, 2013