Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Many Days Later - post script

So, it's Tuesday afternoon and I've been back almost a week. I must confess that I would be happy to get on a plane this afternoon and go back for six months. Twelve days is just enough time to begin to see things. I think that six months would be a good period of time to be able to actually do some good and begin to get the ball rolling for change.

There is so much that we here in the US just take for granted -- Clean drinking water, accountable local government, opportunities for advancement, health care, broadband internet, the list goes on. We are so spoiled. And there are days where we are blindered to the rest of the world.

The task at Hope Village is daunting -- complete the community center/sanctuary -- it needs a roof, floor, windows; build another building to house the pre-school -- make the building blocks from the sandy clay ant hill on the property and fire them and then actually construct and finish the building; feed 352 children every day; keep the faith; evangelize; do AIDS prevention education; counsel at-risk families; purchase land for the agricultural outreach and to grow vegetables for the school and orphanage while teaching best practices for subsistance farming in the village; reach for self-sufficiency. Financial resources are limiting factors. The group that has been funding the school has cut their funding in half and that shortfall is being difficult to make up.

The chicken farm outside of Lusaka is one bright spot on the horizon. When it is in full production it should contribute about 10% of the fixed costs for Hope Fellowship Ministries -- school and orphanage -- a giant step in the right direction of a sustainable revenue stream, but they need to do much more.

I see a need for them to hold local government accountable for stupid stuff like maintenance of the 2.8 km road to the village which has the mother of all potholes from one end to the other. When queried about it there was just a shrug and a "there's nothing we can do about it". They pay property taxes and get nothing in return. I find that maddening.

I've mentioned a goat dairy operation which could provide another revenue stream for both dairy and meat. The South African boer goat would be ideally suited to the climate in Zambia. And provide an opportunity for someone with expertise from here to go and do the knowledge transfer and help make a difference.

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