Monday, April 25, 2005

Sunset on the Zambezi River between Namibia and Zambia Posted by Hello

Peter teaching proposal writing. Posted by Hello

Email Number 7

April 2005
Windhoek, Namibia
Email Number 7

Hi Everyone,
This will be our next to the last email - one more coming probably on May 10 or 11, just before we return home. That one will feature our last trip and we hope will have nice landscape and animal photos, and hopefully some portraits as well.
This one will be a bit shorter than our others, (aren't you glad?).
We just spent a week in the north and northeast doing some training and program evaluation. We were in Rundu in the Kavango Region, and Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Region. Both of these places are very different from the rest of this country - both are located on major rivers and there is much greenery. Wildlife include hippos and crocodiles which of course you don't see in the rest of desert Namibia!
Just to prove that we do work, we have included a photo of Peter teaching proposal writing to a class of caregivers (for orphan and vulnerable children). Most of the rest of our time in the north was spent doing grassroots program evaluation, and "light" strategic planning. Never the less, we were able to get one small group going after they had stalled for the past two years, so we are pleased with that.
We visited a clinic in Katima and here is a sad story and sad commentary as well. The clinic has only 1 person, a nurse (Ellen). Ellen told us that morning she had seen18 patients - all children, and most with malaria. The only problem was that Ellen had run out of medicine and the Ministry of Health has not given her any more. Pretty hard to treat these problems without any medication. Do you know that 160,000 people die each month around the world from malaria alone? Also no money to give out mosquito netting. The worst of all is that Ellen told us about a child who came in with a fever of 4o, (104). In addition to not having medication, she couldn't call an ambulance because the phone bill was not paid by the Ministry of Health since they had spent the budget on "other things". This clinic is located quite far from town - too far to walk. Hopefully the child survived, but it is easy to understand how these 160,000 people die each month from malaria. Malaria is preventable with netting, long sleeved clothing, etc. But all of that takes money. Ellen also told us that one of her patients was a 5 year old who weighed 22 pounds!
Well there wasn't much we could do, but we did write a letter to the Minister of Health, and hope that some action will take place. It is pretty frustrating.
On this same trip we brought 5 gallons of paint that we were able to get donated which will be enough to paint the outside of one of the kindergartens that we evaluated. We will give 5 gallons each also to 3 more kindergartens. Sometimes just freshening up a place makes it a bit more cheerful.
The goat project is going very well thanks to those of you who have helped, ($50 per goat). With your help we have bought 10 goats, and CAFO will also buy 9 or ten, so that with the goats the project already has, there will be enough milk now to feed all of the 72 orphan kids in the project. This program will be used as a model. Soon, we expect it to be income generating, and not just self sustaining. This is one of the best things we have done with your help. THANKS!
Here is a nice story. On our last trip to the north, we met with a small group, (the woman was related to the King) who needed some small grant to fence in a "mahangu" field. (Mahangu is a grain, kind of like corn which is mashed into a gruel or porridge and is a staple of the north.) To find this woman in the village, the directions were as follows: Drive to the village. Look for a yellow telephone on a pole. Look across the street for a tree and there in the house would be this women. Well, these directions actually got us there. Unbelievable! While talking to her we told her that we were surprised that there were no basket sellers on the road side. She said all of the women were busy in the mahangu fields but she would try to find us some baskets. That was about 6 weeks ago. Last week, a man walks into our office asking if there were "two white guys around". We said no. only 1 white "guy" and 1 "women". He was carrying a plastic bag and jokingly we asked if it was filled with money. He opened it up and there were some beautifu baskets which we were happy to buy. End of story.
End of email. You'll be hearing from us in another 2 weeks and then you'll see us in person after that.
Peter and Hinda

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Orphan kids in class at Witkop Posted by Hello

Goat Project at Witkop Posted by Hello

Orphan children at Witkop Posted by Hello

Giraffe at Waterberg Plateau Posted by Hello

Leapord cub at Africat, Okinjima Posted by Hello

Cheetah at Africat Foundation, Olinjima Posted by Hello

Our Luxury "Lapa" at Okinjima Posted by Hello

Email Letter 6 From Namibia

April 13, 2005
Windhoek, Namibia
Email Number 6

Dear Everyone,

We will be home one month from today! Amazing! We are anxious to see all of you again, but when we are about to leave we will also feel sad about leaving new found friends. We suppose we should get used to these conflicting feelings, but even after doing this for the past 4 – 5 years, we still miss you when we are here, and we will still miss them when we are there.

In this letter we will share some of our recent personal travels and some work stuff as well that we are particularly proud of and also a way for any of you to participate in a neat project in a not very expensive way. More about that later.

For those of you who follow our journeys on a map, next week we will be off to the north again, but this time much more east to Rundu in the Kavango Region, and to Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Region. Rundu is on the Angola border and Katima Mulilo on the Zambia border. We will be doing some training, planning, and evaluations of small grass roots projects. This trip will be many many kilometers: One day to get to Rundu, another to get to Katima Mulilo, a day and a half in each place and then back again. Whew!!

Last week we went to the Africat Foundation at Okonjima, about 250 kilometers from here. We stayed in very beautiful accommodations, (photo enclosed, taken by Hinda) and had wonderful experiences with leopards and cheetahs, (photos enclosed) and also porcupines and honey badgers as well as kudu, giraffe, and other beautiful wildlife. They kept us pretty busy. We arrived at Okonjima at 10 a.m. ; had coffee; lunch at noon; went to see leopards at 3, (2 cubs and a mom); dinner at 7 (Oryxx); porcupines and badgers at 9 p.m. in a “blind”; cheetahs at 6 a.m. the next morning, and then a nice brunch and home. Not much time to rest, but very interesting. We learned much about these animals, especially the cats and they are really quite beautiful. Namibia has the world’s largest population of cheetahs, and also quite a large number of leopards as well. These cheetahs can become quite tame, but certainly not the leopards. The cheetahs at Okonjima are fed daily and are in about a 150 acre enclosure, while the leopards are in a 10,000 acre enclosure and are self sufficient. In fact when we found them they were feeding on a duiker carcass they had dragged up a tree.

We also spent a couple of nights at the Waterberg Plateau, a 60 km by 20 km plateau about 250 km north of Windhoek. Very beautiful also, and this time we stayed in government accommodations and as you would suspect, the government does not do as good a job as the private Africat foundation at Okonjima. So, is there something to capitalism after all?

We want to tell you about some good and interesting things at work. One of the things we were asked to do was to help CAFO develop a fundraising and marketing plan which we did. Here is what has already happened: The bank of Windhoek just donated N$25,000, about $4,000 US, and the BOKOMO company of South Africa is just about ready to donate cereal product to us to distribute to the orphan and vulnerable children programs that CAFO works with. The most important thing about this is that we helped them develop the plan, did a little teaching about how to write letters of request, etc., and now they are doing it themselves. Remember, you can give a man a fish every day, or you can teach him how to fish. For us, it is the latter that we try to do.

We brought the US Embassy Public Affairs Officer to Rehoboth to visit some of our programs. He usually just stays in his air conditioned Windhoek office and is a nice, but kind of reserved and stiff. After a few hours he had 2 kids on his lap reading them stories, was donating twice as many books to the 3 programs than he originally promised, had agreed to personally give a basketball clinic to these orphan kids, and other things as well. Here is the email we received from him today:
Dear Nicolette, CAFO is doing fantastic work and I cannot say enough about Peter's golden heart. I put a good word in for CAFO to the Ambassador and agency heads at this morning's meeting.
I look forward to seeing the children on Friday. Will yours be the name on the small grant we will give to pay for transportation?
Regards, Stan
How’s that? Hopefully this will be a long term relationship for CAFO and will provide them with a lot of future benefits.
When we were still in the States, several of you were kind and generous enough to donate some money for us to use here with CAFO. We want to tell you what we have done and even offer you a chance to help.
We visited a program about 75 km from the nearest town. No electricity, no hot water. There were 72 orphans living there in dormitory style housing. And there was a soup kitchen for them for 3 meals a day, and also a very small school for grades 1 – 7. The school has 2 teachers. This whole program called Witkop (White Hill in Afrikaans) is located on a very large farm. The Witkop program is run by a Lutheran church in Rehoboth. On the farm there are 18 goats and the goats are used for milk for the children, and occasionally for meat.
With your help, we have purchased an additional 7 goats ($50 each), and we got CAFO to match our/your donation to buy another 8 goats. So now there will be 33 goats. Still not enough for all of the needs, but a nice increase. And remember Stan, the guy from the US Embassy? Well, he is going to try to get the embassy to donate $3,000 - $5,000 so that Witkop can buy more goats and not only meet their need, but also become self sufficient and sell milk and meat and “kids” – the 4 legged ones – from time to time.
If you want to buy a goat for $50, or half a goat for $25, let us know and we’ll tell you how/where to send your money. We think it’s a great idea and can keep on going. Goats procreate you know – right?
Check out the photo of the kind of goats they have. Kind of cute aren’t they?
Anyway, that’s all for now. Be well and peace to all of you.
Lots of hugs and kisses,
Peter and Hinda