As 2017 rapidly marches on, a news update is long overdue. The last time I wrote was over the Christmas period, when our family was heading towards Namibia, by road. We all returned safely, 4,500 kms later, we enjoyed our roadside view of Africa so much that we’re already discussing a longer trip through Botswana and to the Cape next Christmas.
Work at HOPE in Zambia has been busy and sustained so far in 2017, but no new big initiative that I can break to you in this newsletter. There is still lots going on though :
As part of our DREAMS Innovation Challenge grant from the US Dept. of State we went through a 3 day exercise to asses our organisational capacity. This looked at the policies we have in place; our financial checks and balances; how well we deliver and measure our programs; and how we plan for the future. We’ve done a lot of work in these areas over the last 18 months – it’s vital in order to win new funding. Although HwwZ is one of the smallest charities to be awarded funding under DREAMS, I’m very very pleased to be able to share that the team reached an aggregated score of 90%. They’ve all worked hard to get to this level. We will over the next 12 months add further capacity in areas identified during the appraisal.
We are busy preparing for the HOPE volunteer Corps who will be joining us in Zambia in July. We’re amazed that Zambia was such a popular destination, with 41 people joining the trip. The volunteers will be helping to improve a government preschool in the Mtendere area of Lusaka. HwwZ will take over the day to day running of the school later this year, bringing the same excellence in early childhood education that we’re currently delivering through over private The Learning Tree (TLT) preschool in Kabulonga. At the TLT we have filled places for 15 pupils so far, with free spaces for Orphans and Vulnerable children, alongside the fee paying children.
I’m currently making my way back to Zambia from Zurich, Switzerland. The SwissRe Foundation run a Resource Award each year, where they invite social entrepreneurs to pitch for funds to expand their ventures. We applied on behalf of Clearwater Farms, to expand use of our aquaponic farming methods among a cohort of smallholders around Zambia. Sharon co-opted the children to pray for Dad’s trip, and I’m sure for that reason alone Clearwater went on to win the award this year. It brings coaching over 3 years, prestige and exposure, and some funds to support the expansion of Clearwater along social entrepreneurial lines. Very exciting. Further details at : www.resourceaward.org
Thank you all for your support for the work of HOPE in Zambia. We look forward to meeting up with many of you face-to-face when we visit the UK again, in June