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Newsletter October 2015

 

October 2015

Dear Friends

It is with great pleasure that I hand the pen this month! This summer two of the trustees, Emma and Philippa and her son Jacob had the pleasure of visiting CINDI (Kansenshi) and being very generously welcomed by Phyllis and her family in Ndola.   Phyllis and Christopher had arranged a wonderful itinerary for their visit and they felt very well looked after and privileged to become briefly so much a part of their lives. I know you will thoroughly enjoy their report.

Before I do so, however, I’d like to remind you of the Gift Cards which are available on our website, the sale of which goes to help fund the continuing work of CINDI(K). Also, I’ve been hearing horror stories about big charities who sell on the details of their donors. I would like to reassure each and every one of you that your addresses are held only by myself and Anne Hogg – we never pass details on to third parties. If for any reason you no longer wish to receive our newsletters, you only have to tell me and I will take you off our mailing list.

Now, sit back and enjoy a trip to Nkwazi!

With love and many good wishes,

Sue Brice

Chair – Ladder of Hope Trust

What were your first impressions on visiting CINDI and Nkwazi?

Emma – It opened my eyes to see how little the people in Nkwazi had and how much they made of it – it made me see their resilience day after day in really difficult circumstances.  I was bowled over by the children’s exuberant welcome and their thirst for life.

Philippa – I had visited CINDI twelve years previously and on first impressions, felt that very little had changed. The children were different children, but it was still the same story, the same challenges.  At the same time it was so heartening to experience the joyful children’s singing and the beaming smiles of the CINDI guardians.

Jacob – As we drove into the compound, it felt like heads were turning, which became a familiar feeling – the children at CINDI seemed infinitely curious about me.  It was exciting for me to be among the hustle and bustle of it all, and sometimes slightly intimidating.

Philippa – It seemed to me too that the area that CINDI occupied had shrunk since I last saw it and then I thought that it was the trees that had grown…indeed true, but actually there has been significant encroachment of the plot, a common problem in Nwazi. However, Boyd, the school teacher is making a miracle vegetable garden out of scrub land.

Emma – I had such admiration for the people associated with CINDI, Phyllis, Christopher and guardians and the board members who give freely of their time and show such evident love, care and commitment.

Jacob spent four weeks assisting the teaching staff at CINDI, helping the children with their English and Maths and gave them opportunities to explore their creative talents.  

How did you find the CINDI community school?

Jacob – It was challenging at times, especially because of the language barrier.  However there were wonderful moments of connection where although we were obviously different on the surface, a mutual smile or a moment of humour showed that we are all part of the same human family.  It was frustrating not having much time to make a difference and realizing the true challenge that the CINDI teachers face.

A visit to CINDI(K) farm was high on the agenda!

Can you tell us about your trip out to the CINDI farm?

Emma – It took about 2 hours to reach there by car on a very dusty road, which soon gave way to a track with nothing but potholes.  However the new CINDI vehicle is much appreciated for this trip.  Many of the guardians make this 27 kilometre journey on foot and in a rickety boat.  The Guardians grow subsistence crops like maize, pumpkin leaves and spinach. They had just finished building a second shelter, when it was struck by lightening.  Luckily everyone escaped unhurt but it needs to be repaired.   One of the buildings used for storage and accommodation, needs a door as the snakes get in during the day out of the heat, which is dangerous for those returning at night.  Security is a big issue on the farm – there is a guard who lives there but occasionally does need time off and there is no one to replace him.

What did you do when you were there?  I know that there was an intention to start a project with the young girls to make sanitary pads – how did it work out?

Emma – I was so pleased that the girls and women at CINDI were so receptive to the workshops given the potentially sensitive nature of the topic. I was particularly grateful for the reassurance from Elizabeth that my lesson plan was acceptable. Since we have been home we have heard that the girls have enjoyed another opportunity to take part in another workshop. Which is fantastic as the intention from the beginning was that we intended to empower the girls to have the skills to sustain the project. Since coming home we have posted a parcel of underwear to the girls, but have not heard yet if it arrived safely to Phyllis

Philippa – Emma gave an excellent growing up talk to the girls with the help of able Bemba translators Elizabeth Mark and Phyllis.   Then we all got going on the practical bits – cutting out according to the templates and the different stages of production, all hand sewn culminating in an end product which the girls were rightly proud of.  They made 54 pads in all and we were delighted to hear that they have continued production after our visit.  This will enable these young ladies not to have to stay home during those ‘heavy’ days each month.

And our lovely friend Phyllis Bwalya?

Every where we visited it was evident that Phyllis’s is highly cherished and valued. Even when visiting the game reserve she was greeted by others so pleased to see “Mama Cindi”. Having visited the project we now have an even greater appreciation of how much time, dedication, energy and love that Phyllis and her family have invested in CINDI over a sustained period. As a result the project has not only survived, a tremendous achievement in itself given the challenges that face them, but it has developed.

After over 20 years of incredible dedication, compassionate, impassioned and sheer hard work, Phyllis is retiring in December. She will be able to spend more time with her family and devote herself to her market gardening, growing luxuriant palms and exotic plants.  With her huge wealth of local knowledge and extensive know-how, it is strongly hoped that she will maintain links with CINDI as a wise and respected Elder. From all of us at Ladder of Hope, we would like to thank her from the bottom of our hearts, as we are sure, do all the children whose lives she has benefited.

With love to you all,

Emma Owen, Philippa & Jacob Burden 

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