go to link John had a highly enjoyable evening with the Rotary Club of Aberlour on 20th February. He presented on Mayega Children’s Centre and the Mayega Water Project. Before the talk, John was chatting with Tim Dolan, who is a graduate of Edinburgh University. At one of Tim’s graduations, the first President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, was also in attendance. To the best of Tim’s recollection Mwalimu (the teacher) was receiving an honorary degree. Nyerere is a controversial figure but still venerated by many in Tanzania. He is credited with creating the political stability that the country still enjoys. Dr Dolan had a distinguished career himself, in the brewing and distilling industries. It was a pleasure chatting to him.
Question: What came from the fusion of the creativity of children in a Tanzanian orphanage, with the skills passed down over the centuries in a small Scottish woolen mill? The answer – the Mayega Shuka. If that isn’t enough, the design came from children who had never used paint and paintbrushes before and, to the best of our knowledge, there are no other woollen shukas produced anywhere else in the world.
The project arose from the generosity of two Busega Scotland trustees who underwrote the production costs, so presenting no risk to the charity. The shukas are £95 each but made of pure new wool, are top quality and only 4O have been made . All profits from their sale will go towards caring for the children at Mayega Children’s Centre.
What can a shuka be used for? Thought of going to a fancy dress party as a Masaai or, more mundanely, use one as a bedspread, car or picnic blanket or even a table cloth. They are large The (197 x 158cm) and the most unusual of presents.
Shukas are available from the Knockando Woolmill online shop, by looking for Busega Scotland Shukas at https://www.kwc.co.uk/
or for local customers, John and Christine have a stock.
THE MAYEGA SHUKA – YOUR FOREVER MEMORY OF MAYEGA CHILDREN’S CENTRE.
Water is needed to sustain life in many different ways and is absolutely essential to develop a vegetable garden at Mayega. Although so close to Lake Victoria, the rainfall is sparse and unpredictable leading to a sandy, arid environment. However, Busega Scotland is nothing without ambition and with piped water and a fence, the Mayega Teaching Garden is taking shape. The land was secured through careful negotiation by Arnold Barrow and Ernest Damiano (Co-ordinator of the Mayega Water Group) with the village authorities and we have been granted a 25 by 15m plot, adjacent to the Children’s Centre. Training Garden? The plan is to teach the children horticulture as a life skill and do something similar with villagers, in collaboration with the agricultural extension service. The District Water Engineer, Mohamed Yamlinga, is also talking about trialling simple irrigation techniques – watch this space!
Arnold and Valerie Barrow completed their very successful trip to Tanzania on 17th February. The couple were able to complete a project that has been a long time in the planning. The fantastic (and quite emotional news) is that Mayega Children’s Centre now has its own water supply! The pressure seems fine, the water clean and available from 3pm to 9pm. With the storage tank kept full, this means a round the clock water for the children and staff. Busega District Council was responsible for bringing the mains supply to the village and Busega Scotland has funded the connection into the Centre. The news gets even better! Busega Scotland has also used its funds to connect up Mayega Primary School, so that they have a standpipe also. A small but significant step forward for the 850 pupils.
Walking 85 miles over the wild and rugged landscape of the Speyside Way is no easy matter – especially for 60 and 65 year old ordinary mortals, Cenzo Main and John Carney. So, training has to be done. On Saturday 18th February a modest 7 miles was completed, including an ascent the 294 feet high Binn Hill (that sounds more impressive than 89 metres!). The codgers were accompanied by Jenny Wallen, Peter Anderson, Islam Mahmoud and his talking Egyptian dog, Marley. You can guess who was the fittest, although he does have two extra legs!
The walk is to raise funds for Busega Scotland’s Family Support Project (already helped 110 families) and for the Moving-on Project (12 young people in college this year). It is possible to donate online at www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/oldcodgers
Please support the walk if you can.
John and Christine attended a dinner at Elgin Rotary Club on 8th February and made a presentation on progress at Mayega Children’s Centre and on the village water supply. The Rotarians were delighted with what has been achieved in Tanzania and we are working together on a two phase programme to improve water and sanitation facilities.
Phase 1 – toilets for the primary school, and washing facilities and vegetable garden for the Centre.
Phase 2 – sanitation facilities for villagers and an associated health and hygiene education programme.
The Carneys have been visiting other Rotary Clubs in Moray to seek their support and special mention must be made of the Mayega Water Group in Busega District, who have done fantastic work on the ground to bring a mains water supply to the village.
Many thanks to Vito. John and Christine were in Edinburgh recently to meet Vito Longi, the proprietor of the Jolly Ristorante on Elm Row. The Jolly is the first restaurant to join Pizza Aid, whereby for every ‘Jolly Pizza’ sold Vito makes a donation to Mayega Children’s Centre.
Vito selected the ‘Jolly Pizza’ as his best seller but it has recently been over taken by a peperoni pizza. While tempted to make a ‘switch’, John and Christine kept to their vegetarian principles and stuck with the Jolly, which is an onion pizza!
Vito presented Christine’s great nephew, Sean, with a full Busega Scotland collecting can and was assisted by chef, Salvatore. Sean also learned some of the Jolly’s pizza secrets. He helped to retrieve a Jolly Pizza from the wood fired oven and couldn’t believe how hot the oven was.
Vito’s Pizza Aid commitment has interested Edinburgh’s principal newspaper, the Evening News. They sent a photographer along to the pizzeria and John and Christine were later interviewed by a reporter. We are hopeful of a near full page spread in the paper.
Many, many thanks must go to Vito for his generosity, as the donation in the can amounted to £74.80. Magnificent.
Vito repeated his straightforward motivation towards helping the Children’s Centre – ‘everyone needs a chance in life’ and has now moved on to filling his second can.
Debbie and Robin Hill, who made a return visit to Tanzania as Busega Scotland volunteers last summer, have a converted barn in Shropshire. When they aren’t using it themselves they allow family, friends and former work colleagues to stay but don’t make a charge. The Hills publicise the work of Busega Scotland and guests are delighted to make contributions towards its work.
Robin said folk using the barn are ‘eager to support a charity without large administrative costs and salaries, and where they know that the use of the money in Africa is properly audited and accounted for’. Their generosity raised £1,155 for Busega Scotland (including Gift Aid) during the last financial year, as well as comparable amounts in the two previous years.
If that isn’t enough, Robin and Debbie are busy planning a quiz night at Leamington Irish Club on Saturday 7th April. The facilities are free of charge, so all money raised will go to Busega Scotland. The Hills will be delighted to provide further details (01926-424332) to anyone able to attend or would be willing to provide a raffle prize. It is hoped that Christine and John will be able to link up with the quiz night via Skype; they’ve already sent some questions for the round on Africa.