New Developments at Make Me Smile
On July 8th it will be 9 years since Jojo died so Make Me Smile is fast approaching it’s 10th anniversary. I thought it was a good time to write and give you a personal update, it’s given me a chance to reflect on our achievements as well as think to the future. There are also some important developments at Malimba school.
Here is just a precis of what we have achieved so far:-
- Paid the teachers allowances for the past 5 years
- Sponsored Mary, originally a volunteer teacher, through her entire two years teacher training in Lusaka
- Built a school dining room, which is also used for community meetings and an extra teaching space
- Built a new school library
- Supplied the school football team with new strip
- Supplied laptop for computer studies programme
We are now delighted to tell you that the school has been finally recognised by the Zambian Government and therefore will receive some government funding. This would never have happened without your support and generous donations that have built up the school over the last 9 years and made it an essential resource for the local community.
This new development, along with the fact that an additional donor has been found means that, moving forward, we will be revising the style of support that we provide to Malimba over the coming months and years.
The pressure to raise enough funds to pay for the teachers allowances has lessened and instead we intend to focus on smaller more bespoke projects that will enhance life for the students. There is still so much that is needed. It is worth remembering that since we began our support of the school, staggeringly the number of pupils have increased from 250 to 500, this would never have been possible without your donations.
I know that Jojo would be so happy to see the great developments that have occurred.
Conservation was another subject that was close to Jojo’s heart and whilst living in South Luangwa she had to chance to learn more about this and the challenges that are facing those that are working to preserve Zambia’s wildlife. Sadly poaching is still happening, probably more so in recent years. We have decided to give some support to a dedicated team called Conservation South Luangwa (CSL). They do some amazing work and were recently named as a finalist for the Tusk Award for Conservation in 2016. You can view their website here.
I would very much like you take a look and if you have the time, come back to us with your opinions. You have all been so loyal to MMS and your opinions are very important.
More exciting new is that we are giving our website a new look, it will have a more modern look and feel and will be easier for us to manage. This will hopefully be happening by end of July, so we will keep you informed. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you and any thoughts you may have.
Kinds regards to you all and thanking you once again for your most generous support.
Jacqui, Andrew and the Make Me Smile