Thursday 14 January 2016

A New Year
Grade 3, December 2015

In Zambia a new school year start in January. At the end of last year we said goodbye to our Grade 3 class and wished them all the best in their new schools. This week we have opened for the children to begin their next year in school. This is always done with a little bit of uncertainty – Which children will come back? How many new children will there be?
This year is no different.
Patricia, Anna, Juliet, Diana, Zamiwe
We have a new teacher joining the Staff at Taonga School this term and although she has a lot to learn and adapt to has made a good start.
So far the children have been in school for 3 days and I have enrolled over 30 new children and taken applications for a further 30+.  Registrations usually continue for a few weeks at the beginning of term but I already have full classes.
The other issue facing us this year is that due to various economic issues the number of children claiming the parents don’t have money is increasing. I know it’s a very real problem for the families here as the exchange rates are working against them and the price of everything is increasing. I do find it slightly frustrating however that many of the parents can find money to go to the bar.


At home the boys have had a good Christmas. I was in the UK for two weeks which was nice seeing lots of family and friends but not having to do too much travelling around. I arrived back to find a new boy. Don explained in his newsletter last week “ Our latest case is
desperate – a 14 year old boy called Masauso.  Born HIV+, he had meningitis as a child which left him mute, though he can hear and see and responds to kindness.  He is almost unbelievably malnourished, and arrived wearing a plastic carrier bag as a nappy.  We were called as an emergency but told he was fine except he could not talk.  However he really needs 24 hour care and we are simply not able to do this.  In the meantime the other boys have rallied round and been fantastic with him, caring, bathing feeding and changing him, but we have had to call some larger charities to come and assess him to see if we can make a plan for his future care.

Masauso has a lovely nature and is very affectionate. He has now been moved to a hospice. It is not the best setting for him but at the moment seems like the only place as they can provide the nursing care he needs. We are still looking at places in special needs facilities for him, but so far have drawn a few blanks.  
All of the other boys went back to school this week. We have also sent 3 of my previous students with them. Joas, Christina and Hope were in grade 3 at Taonga School last year. They started on Monday and so far are loving their big adventure!

At the beginning of this week we said goodbye to Memory. She has got a scholarship to study at African Leadership University in Mauritius!! We are all very proud of her but the house seems far too quiet! 
Airport Goodbyes

Thank you for support and prayers throughout a difficult 2015. It is easy to focus on the disappointments and difficulties through the year but we have also had some great achievements. To finish the year I was told that Joseph, who was one of my first Taonga pupils to go elsewhere, got well above the national average in his end of primary exams. This is a great achievement! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all your news Abigail. Love reading it all. Good to see you at Christmas, and see you when you next come home. Take care, and hope Emma's clothes fitted! Love Sarah x