On 17th May 2019, around 6pm, we managed to load 2 boats in Ibo, one with 350 family food kits which had been flown into Ibo Island and stored at Ibo Island Lodge. We spent the night on one of the small boats, and started the following day, 18th May 2019, around 2am, reaching the mainland at 7am, around the same time the boat from Pemba arrived with a further 800 family food kits.
Yesterday, 5 days after cyclone Kenneth struck, I managed to speak to Quissirua, the General Manager and heart & soul of Guludo Beach Lodge. The elation of finally hearing his voice soon turned to utter horror as he described what had happened when the cyclone hit and the unthinkable aftermath he and his family, and tens of thousands more, are now living through.
Currently we work in partnership with 5 Primary Schools to provide school meals for 1,000 children alongside 5 School Farms.
Crimize School is at a distinct disadvantage; they are on the coast, sandy soil, little fresh water with scorching heat and hungry warthogs and monkeys to contend with. Yet, the community has taken these challenges in their stride and surprised us once again with their creative solution to these problems.
The new school farm is inside the shell of the old school building! Perfect! They have carried in good soil and have been lovingly watering their crops by hand. The result - a green oasis with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables. Incredible!
Today was the ceremony were we handed over the Lumuamua Primary school to the Government. The school has 3 classrooms, one double toilet and a water catchment system so the children can drink safe water while at school. The ceremony was wonderful; dancing, singing, smiles, enormous pride and satisfaction.
The Nema team, along with Carlos (an very talented chef from Guludo Beach Lodge), ran a training day for a new Women’s Bakery Association at Nambija. Carlos taught them how the oven works and how to make bread. While the Nema team started training the group on how to start selling the bread and earn an income with their new business.
The ladies in Naunde have been doing a great job baking bread and working together to gain some money and some dignity. Like everyone here they are impatient for great things are not quite sure how to get there.
Step by step we’re trying to show them.
“Now we’re sure, when Nema make a promise, they will deliver us great things”: Lumuamua school director yesterday when we handed over the school to him.
The success of the soap company in Ningaia made us think we should reproduce the opportunities for the ladies in another village, without taking away income of course. So, in my “spread the love” campaign of trying to support equally all the villages in our area (despite the increased fuel costs), we decided that Nacatuco would be the lucky winners of the next opportunity.
Nema currently supports 5 schools in the school feeding programme (locally called matafome: kill hunger). In total for 2015 there are 997 children in these 5 schools receiving a nutritious meal every day, encouraging school attendance, giving them a much more balanced diet and giving them energy and brain concentration levels to enhance their studying. This is a proven development intervention which gives these children a much better start in life and a greatly improved chance of future success.
Empowerment and opportunity are the key to sustainable development. Asking the local chief for nominations, and following on from the success of the soap project, we found a group of 10 ladies in Naunde who wanted to be part of the next women’s enterprise project: bread.
There aren’t a lot of good, trustworthy drivers out here so finding one is so exciting. After driving tests with a few lovely guys who burnt the clutch, reved into the red (if we had a rev counter that is) and couldn’t find second gear, we found Abudu.
It was my lovely predecessor, Marieke, who started off the process of buying the motorbike ambulances. Now we have 2.
Last week 3 women gave birth on the road on the way to the hospital. That’s not good. We would not accept it in the “west”, why should ladies here have to go through that pain, risk and indignity? They shouldn’t.
Matafome means “kill hunger” and that’s exactly what the enhanced maize, soya and sugar mix called CSB does. It also encourages children to school as they get fed and helps with concentration and intellectual growth as well as physical growth. For a relatively small amount of money, £50 per child per year, each of the 1,000 children in the 5 schools we support gets a meal every school day and additional support for the schools to become more self-sufficient with school farms and income generating opportunities.
We received this lovely letter from Anfai, one of the Nema scholars who is starting medical school in Pemba this month.
My name is Anfai Antumane, son of Antumane Anfai and Dia Anli, I am a 20 years old natural from Guludo Village, Macomia district. I was one of the Nema students at Escola Secundaria Padre Paulo de Macomia during the year 2008 to 2012. The present letter was written to thank Nema Foundation for all support given during my years as a student, an unforgettable opportunity I was given to pursue my studies which I embraced.
The hole for the biological waste from the maternity unit, started by the scholars’ community service, is nearly complete. This week we have reverted to traditional gender roles in the Nema team, the men mix cement and the women fetch water. This will mean disposal of all maternity and clinic waste in a safe and hygienic manner.
These are the ladies of our new enterprise. In the garden of Alima’s (far right) house we are going to build a oven, the ladies will make bread to sell at the market and support weddings and parties with cakes and breads. We love projects that empower local people and create an independent future. These spirited and funny women are looking forward to their new project.