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.
Arnold and Valerie Barrow leave in January for their fifth volunteering trip with Busega Scotland. As ever, their time in the period leading up to Christmas is taken up with fundraising.
A special coffee morning was held at the Stowmarket Salvation Army Corps on Saturday 24 November 2018. A delicious supply of produce was on offer, all freshly cooked so that individual items could be frozen for use at Christmas. Items for sale included cheese scones, flapjacks, mince pies, fruit tarts for the family, fruit and sponge cakes, chocolate slices, scotch eggs and a beautifully decorated Christmas Cake. Additionally, an artistic friend had created small, beautifully decorated snowmen and Father Christmases out of walnut whirls.
By 11am all the produce was sold! Tea, coffee, bacon rolls and toasted teacakes were also on offer. Valerie and Arnold are much indebted to family members, Paul and Pauline Ling, without whose magnificent efforts the event could not have taken place. Over 100 people attended and an amazing sum of £500 was raised, all of which will be used to support the children at the Mayega Children’s Centre and the centre graduates now undertaking further education in Mwanza. Many thanks to the good people of Stowmarket for supporting the work of Busega Scotland.
It was a big change and challenge when Monica and Masabuka left Mayega two years ago to start their courses at Nyakato College in Mwanza. Swopping rural life for college in the city would be a challenge for anyone, and early on in her studies Monica captured the situation beautifully:
‘I have been at college since January. I am progressing well but I feel like a stranger because everything is new in my eyes. I had never been to a city before and Mwanza is very different from the village.’
Our two young people adapted so well that the college principal has said many times what wonderful ambassadors Monica and Masebuka are for Mayega, and how he would welcome other students from the Children’s Centre.
Their success is also a testimony to the Busega Scotland Moving-on Project, and the practical, social and emotional support it provides. Pastor Deuli, his wife, Jane, Julieth and Kabula are always on hand, along with college staff, to help with any difficulties that arise.
Two years down the line, Nyakato students celebrated the end of their studies in a very joyful, musical and colourful occasion. Our other Moving-on students, and project staff, attended the event to congratulate Monica and Masebuka on completing their National Certificate courses. They have their final exams to look forward to and then will be qualified, respectively, as an electrician and motor mechanic.
Full marks to Busega Scotland stalwart Peter Hagenbuch, who has successfully completed extraordinary 50 miles charitable walks, in one day, on his last 20 attempts. How incredible is that. Intrigued, Busega Scotland’s investigative reporter caught up with Peter, and asked him a series of searching questions. Exclusively, here are the answers.
Peter, how did you come up with the idea and when did you start? I grew up in Canterbury and was inspired by a 50-mile walk from Margate to Maidstone. I didn’t do that one but when I became treasurer of Milton Keynes Guide Dogs we were looking for fundraising ideas. That was in 1982, and I raised £159 walking from North London to Milton Keynes.
How many long distance walks have you done and how much money have you raised? This year will be my 30th and I have completed the 50 miles on 25 occasions, raising £51,689.
What charities have benefitted? I have supported 68 charities; my interests and loyalties have changed over the years. This year there are five in my local area of Lothian, five in Central and South America, four in East and Central Africa, two in Asia and one in Gaza.
The ultimate question – why do you do it? I do it to raise money for charities with which I have a personal involvement, more than for the challenge. It’s always hard, so I feel I have earned my sponsor money. Walking 50 miles has a kind of perverse attraction for me! Not many people do 50 mile walks, at least not year after year. My friends and family, work colleagues and even people I have never met, seem to appreciate the effort I make and respond with touching generosity and words of encouragement which help me keep walking when I feel like giving up!
One of Peter’s charities is Busega Scotland and the walk from Newbridge, West Lothian to Callander in Perthshire will be on 24th November. Please support his efforts, if you can, at
The news this week about some of the younger children at Mayega is indeed heart-warming.
The Standard 7 exams at the end of primary school are critically important in Tanzania. They are a fork in the road. It is the end of school education for children who fail. A pass means onto secondary school. We have been waiting somewhat nervously for Elizabeth, Paschal and Yohana’s results. Safe kabisa, they celebrated with Grade B’s. All of the subjects were passed by each of them – Kiswahili, English, Social Studies, Mathematics and Science. Very well done to all the children. Mayega Primary School entered 74 children for the Standard 7 exams and an overall B was the top grade gained in the school. Yohana was one of three pupils to gain an A pass in Maths
Three things have been learned. 1. Our Mayega children are bright (which we knew). 2. Our Saturday teachers, Seba and Julieth, are making a difference (which we assumed). 3. All the other children will be inspired (which is what we wanted).
We can proclaim that the chance of Shida falling over at anybody’s door is mercifully receding.
Mayega’s bravest child has recently completed another 500 mile journey to Moshi, and has had the fourth operation on her right eye. It lasted 5.5 hours. Again, there was a nervous wait for news. A quote from Shida then said it all, ‘I can see Kilimanjaro with snow on the top’. How wonderful.
As ever, Leah (Mayega’s matron) was at Shida’s side sharing the fears, pain and joy. They have now made three visits to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and travelled over 3,000 miles in the process.
Busega Scotland relies completely on the compassion and dedication of our Tanzanian colleagues and on the generosity of our supporters. The initial target of £1500 to fund Shida’s treatment, and expenses, has been well exceeded. Together we can do so much.
Shida will travel back to Moshi at the end of January for a check up, and hopefully treatment can start on her left eye. As her sight improves we can begin to think about school attendance. There are no special needs facilities at Mayega Primary School, so this will be another challenge in helping a wonderful little girl.
It was a day of celebration for 5 of our former Mayega boys. They have grown into 5 fine young men and celebrated the end of their auto mechanics training at Kalwande College. We were thrilled that Hasan received a special college certificate for his work as Student President and for the way he had conducted himself throughout the past three years. The students have already gained a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering awarded by the Vocational and Education Training Authority of Tanzania and are now about to sit their final Diploma exam. We wish them every success.
The ‘Shindig for Shida’ has generated the highest ever total raised by Busega Scotland for a single event. Some fundraisers running over a number of days have raised more (such as the shop and sponsored walks) but the total raised for the Garmouth concert has passed the £1000 mark. We are stunned.
The event was headlined by 40 Elephants, a folk rock group named after an all female 18th century criminal gang operating in London’s Elephant and Castle. Our 40 Elephants were supported by other local musicians, young and old, playing a variety of traditional and contemporary tunes. Despite a foul, wet night the audience of over fifty were superbly entertained, and served stovies (a traditional Scottish potato based dish) and oatcakes to keep their strength up.
John and Christine felt humbled by the support of their home village. The efforts of trustees and supporters were remarkable, in organising a ‘Name the Whisky’ competition, a raffle, cooking and serving the food, donating the ingredients, and advertising the ‘Shindig for Shida’ far and wide, by posters and online. The Total Giving page has been particularly successful and is still open for donations at https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/shindigforshida
The most impressive thing about the event was the quality of the musicians – all local to the village of Garmouth. What talent, and what willingness to help a child many thousands of miles away. A video was made of the event, which Shida and her friends at Mayega will see and they will know that so many people are rooting for them. The evening was finished off with everyone joining in the Tanzanian national anthem, ‘Mungu Ibariki Afrika’! It was all so inspiring.