Volunteers Arnold and Valerie Barrow are about to embark on their sixteenth visit to Africa and fifth trip to Tanzania on behalf of Busega Scotland. I think we can safely say that the continent has got into their blood. The Barrows will use all their experience carrying out a work plan addressing current issues and priorities at Mayega Children’s Centre and in the Moving-on Project.
The work at Mayega is well defined around water and construction. Also, one job that the Barrows have made their own is the first of the year’s bulk food shop. Non-perishable goods are bought in Mwanza and transported to the Children’s Centre, providing supplies for four months.
We have six mechanics graduates in Mwanza learning to drive and who will need to find employment shortly. Arnold and Valerie will be supporting this new phase in the young people’s lives. There are also a couple of young ladies in Moving-on, with whom the Barrows will explore future plans and career opportunities.
Valerie is particularly good at getting alongside people. Valerie writes, ‘Packing is nearly complete and as usual we will be taking a range of craft materials to use with the children. We are pleased with the educational progress being achieved by Mayega children but there is still much scope to encourage them in constructive and creative leisure time activities. We are now very much looking forward to renewing our contact with children, young people and staff and greatly value the promise of prayer support by many fiends as we aim to make just a little impact on the lives of these young people’
Arnold adds, ‘As in previous years, we have agreed with John and Christine Carney a full work programme which we are committed to achieve over the next month. Family members, friends, neighbours and members of Stowmarket Salvation Army Corps have once again been extraordinarily generous in providing financial support for our work with over £3,000 have been donated this year. We treasure the trust shown in us to use the resources wisely and will be providing written feedback to every supporter, accounting for the monies donated and setting out what we have been able to achieve’.
John & Christine wish our loyal volunteers another enjoyable and successful visit.
In an article on 21 December we announced that the Mayega Water Project had been awarded a grant of over five thousand pounds from the Rotary Club of Elgin and Rotary District 1010. This is to allow construction of a kitchen at the Children’s Centre and increase the number of standpipes in the village. The water group members have been hard at it buying materials for construction to start. There must be a ‘shout out’ to group co-ordinator Ernesto Damiano (also Headteacher of Mayega Primary School), District Water Engineer Yamlinga Mohamed and Engineers Tumbo, Senzota and Gagala for their outstanding commitment to the project and to the community. The bricks for the kitchen are being made at the Centre and construction is due to start in about one week’s time. Arnold Barrow will act as the on site ‘client representative’ for Rotary and Busega Scotland. He will provide progress reports on the kitchen and installation of the standpipes. This bit needs to be progressed quickly, as digging trenches (by hand) for the water pipes will get progressively more difficult during the dry season.
It’s back to school time in Mayega with the new school year starting off in January. Like everywhere else, it is important to look your best when you meet your school chums again. The pupils from the Children’s Centre have been to the local town of Lamadi to buy their shoes and uniforms. The boys and girls enjoy the change of scenery and bus ride to and from.
Saturday teaching has re-started with Seba going weekly and Julieth twice a month. Seba concentrates on the older pupils and Julieth the younger ones. The main purposes are to improve English language skills and promote a learning culture. Volunteers Arnold and Valerie Barrow will be in Mayega later this month and they are very committed improving the educational and social life of the Centre. This will be their 5th visit as Busega Scotland volunteers.
In Scotland, Tanzania and all over the world, Christmas is celebrated in many similar and in many different ways. Although a young organisation, Busega Scotland is developing its own traditions.
One of the most rewarding, is a clothes shop for the young people at Mayega Children’s Centre. In many countries going to the shops, and buying clothes, may be exciting but it can also be taken for granted, as it can be a very familiar experience. This is not the case for children at the Centre, who come from very poor backgrounds and ‘going shopping’ is not part of what they would normally do.
Busega Scotland believes that having some money to spend, deciding how to spend it, and choosing the clothes you like is an essential part of growing up. In practice, this means a mass exodus from the Centre in the week before Christmas, hitting the shops in the local town of Lamadi and having lunch out. The faces in the photographs tell the story.
Christmas is also an expensive time for our ten Tanzanian staff, who we do not forget. Their Christmas bonus says thank you for hard work in the year gone by, allows those ‘little extras’ to be purchased and the holiday to be celebrated.
Busega Scotland wishes Happy Christmas and a good New Year to its supporters, staff and trustees. Thanks everyone for their help and support in 2018, as we look forward to exciting times over the next 12 months. Asante sana.
Busega Scotland is once again thanking St James’s Place Foundation for a very generous grant, that will support young people in the Moving-on Project. The Foundation had previously supported Moving-on and a further, very welcome £1000 has just been received. John was happy to accept a cheque from Andy Lees, who has a Partner Practice with St James’s Place Wealth Management and is also a Busega Scotland trustee.
In Mwanza, we have six motor mechanics students about to graduate with national vocational qualifications. It is clearly helpful if mechanics have driving licences, so our trustees agreed to use the St James’s Place grant to fund residential driving courses. This will maximise job prospects, and allow a quicker transition of our young people to independence. In order to recognise this ‘crossroads’ in their lives, the mechanics were asked, and have agreed, to pay back modest sums to Busega Scotland and so cover part of their driver training costs. Welcome to the adult world!
The mention of driving brings to mind further excellent news. Earlier in the year, our Family Support Project supervisor, Mr Alphonce Kagezi had a motor cycle accident and sustained a broken leg. We were delighted to receive a photograph of the now recovered ‘King of Igombe’ – a lovely early Christmas present. Busega Scotland has supported Mr Kagezi throughout his recovery.
The work of Busega Scotland relies on the hard work and generosity of many people and organisations. Some money is raised to be used in very specific ways.
In Mayega, the two thousand villagers were without piped water until early 2019, when the Mayega Water Project connected up the mains supply. The water project is a collaboration between the village, Busega Scotland, Busega District Council and the Rotary Club of Elgin.
We are delighted to announce, that the project has been awarded a grant of £5688 from the Rotary Club of Elgin and Rotary District 1010, to construct a kitchen at Mayega Children’s Centre and complete the installation of standpipes across Mayega village.
The provision of these simple services is having a transforming effect on the lives of youngsters at the children’s centre, the primary school and local families. As well as being time consuming, there are risks in collecting water from Lake Victoria; the disease bilharzia is endemic, and attacks from hippos and crocodiles are possible. The water at the lakeside is also dirty.
To raise money for the project, a Valentine Gin and Prosecco Night will be held at Johnstons Woollen Mill in Elgin on Friday 15th February. Hosted by Elgin Rotary Club and Busega Scotland, there will be drinks, a buffet, auction, raffle and musical entertainment.
It is the generosity of Elgin Rotarians and Johnstons, in making their venue available, that supports colleagues many thousands of miles away in Tanzania, who are themselves dedicated to improving the lives of villagers in Mayega.
On 23rd November, Busega Scotland trustees hosted one of their flagship Quiz Nights at the Drouthy Cobbler in Elgin.
Fourteen teams took part, and in addition to the regular quiz there was a Heads and Tails, a Hairy Bottle and Raffle to entertain the crowd. Andy Lees and Mike McClafferty fronted the event, and most teams were relieved to avoid the booby prize for last place – tubes of Smarties (such delicious irony!). The smiling picture shows the team from Alba Place, who said they had a great night and were delighted not to finish bottom! The winners were the ‘Only here for the Beer’, who, unbelievably, had only a team of three against other tables of four.
The Quiz Night raised funds for Shida, the nine year old girl at Mayega Children’s Centre with severe sight problems. The £718 will pay for further treatment, and give a very brave little girl a chance of a bright future.
Busega Scotland has hosted many previous Moray Quiz Nights but the total raised this time is the highest ever. Many thanks to all who made the event possible, and took part.
On 24th November Peter Hagenbuch completed his 30th long distance walk. Here, in his own words, is the story of his latest walk
“I set off from my workplace at Newbridge at 6am. By the time I got to the Forth Road Bridge (6 miles) it was daylight. I walked past Rosyth and through Crossford and Saline (18 miles). Just north of Saline I stopped at the Shieldbank Coffee Shop. The wife of the owner is Swiss, which I liked because my dad’s parents were Swiss and I lived in Switzerland for two years (40 years ago). I walked on through Coalsnaughton (26 miles) by the Ochil Hills. By the time I got to Alva (29 miles) it was dark. Onto Stirling (34 miles) and Bridge of Allan where I stopped at the Jam Jar coffee shop. The staff there were lovely; I went in feeling tired and discouraged and they cheered me up!
Then my friend Colin appeared with soup and coffee and food. I didn’t expect him to stay but he remained with me for the rest of the walk, another six hours, and then took me home! He took my heavy rucksack off me and gave me a jacket when I got too cold. Without his help I might not have been able to finish. For the last few miles I listened to some of my favourite worship music which took my mind off the walking. I reached Callander (50 miles) at 3.25am – 21 hours and 20 minutes. For me the challenge is as much mental as physical – to keep walking for that length of time.
My sponsorship will be divided between 18 charities. At the time of writing I am approaching £1800 raised so there will be at least £100 for Busega Scotland.”
The proceeds will pay for eye treatment for Shida – the 9 year old girl who arrived at Mayega Children’s Centre earlier this year virtually blind. It is still possible to contribute to Peter’s fund for Shida at https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/peterh2018busegascotland
It is difficult to imagine anyone more devoted to raising funds for good causes than Peter. Hats off to him, to Colin and to Peter’s many supporters.