WEDNESDAY 7TH DECEMBER 2016
THIS WEEK'S MEETING
Maleny Hotel at 6:30 for 7:00pm with Guest Speaker Rae Guyder on Interplast.
Apologies to Bernice before noon on Tuesday.
7th Dec 14th Dec
Duty Officer Malcolm B Jim A
Assist DO Mike G Chris B
Registration Ric T Bill H
Fellowship John W Roly N
SAUSAGE SIZZLE ROSTER
Bill Hankinson (Leader) Keith Rogers Andy Shouteten
MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
The guest speaker was CL talking about her trip to Ebenezer.
She gave an excellent and powerful talk starting with the big picture and introducing us to the geography, history, social dynamics and economy of Zambia - this was followed by a most evocative description of the Victoria Falls and Zambezi river before she focused on the purpose of her visit - the present development, challenges and possible future of 'The Ebeneezer Trust' with its children's village, primary school and produce supportive farm - all inspired,guided and developed by the late Ranji Chara.
There are many appalling statistics that relate to the poverty stricken existence of much of Zambia's population. So many women who can't get work turning to prostitution and gathering in cities such as Livingstone where they catch and then spread AIDS. Half a million children orphaned by parents dead from HIV/AIDS and so many of the children also infected and so few adults to help them. A government that just doesn't have the money to cope with such catastrophes.
One of the most powerful aspects of C.L.'s talk was that her calm and quiet manner whilst listing such terrible facts, without histrionics or emotional emphasis, allowed our own imaginations and emotions to be involved. What follows are C.L's own notes for her talk.
Ebenezer Child Care Trust March 2016
Zambia borders the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi and Mozambique to the east, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west.
Zambian demographics - 2014:
• Life expectancy at birth: 49yrs male, 53yrs female
• Infant mortality rate 76 per 1000
• 46% of the population is under 15 years
• 28% of households have electricity
• 49% of women are employed
• Over half a million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS
• 83% of the population live below the poverty line.
Causes of poverty in Zambia:
• Demographic pyramid
• Incidence of HIV/AIDS
• Brain drain
Originally known as the Old Drift crossing, Livingstone owes its existence primarily to the Victoria Falls and was established as a staging point across the Zambezi River. The town is named after Dr David Livingstone, the first European to see, name and publicise the Falls who first sighted the Falls in 1855.
Livingstone was founded in 1905 at a safe distance from the then swampy banks of the Zambezi. In 1907 it became the capital of what was known as Northern-Western Rhodesia. In 1911 it became the capital of Northern Rhodesia, what is today called Zambia. In 1935 the capital was moved to Lusaka but Livingstone retained its “Tourist Capital”.
Zambia is divided into 10 provinces and 105 districts. Livingstone is in Southern Province and was until early 2014 the capital of the province. Choma is now the capital and administrative centre. Choma is 186 km from Livingstone. The move of all government provincial offices to Choma has disadvantaged Livingstone as not only by making interaction with the offices difficult but also by reducing the employment opportunities
Lying 10km to the north of the Zambezi River, it is a tourism centre for the Victoria Falls and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Victoria Falls. The impact of this move to Choma is the chances of employment are now largely restricted to tourist sector. Jobs requiring higher qualifications are scarce.
Livingstone is a transit city. It is the first stopping point in Zambia for tourists, goods trucks, and others. This results in increase in the sex industry, higher levels of HIV/AIDS, drugs and unemployment. Women also come from surrounding towns to be part of the sex industry. Many are trapped in a poverty cycle.
Victoria Falls – the smoke that thunders
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. The river is mostly in Zimbabwe but a part meanders through Zambia. It also stretches through Angola, Namibia, Botswana, and Mozambique.
They are the largest falls in the world and are 1708 m wide (one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls) and vary from 80 m to 108 m high (twice as high as Niagara Falls). At peak flow roughly 700 million litres of water flow over the edge per minute. Falling 100m, the spray rises 500 m in the air.
The river is on a basalt plateau that has many large cracks filled with weaker sandstone. The largest cracks run roughly east to west with smaller north-south cracks connecting them. The falls have been receding upstream over the last 100,000 years, eroding the sandstone-filled cracks to form the zig-zag chasms which are called the Batoka gorges. The original Vic Falls was 8 kms downstream from the current falls. It has cut through seven subsequent gorges to be where it is today.
Ebenezer Child Care Trust
Ranji Chara a Sri Lankan grandmother arrived in Livingstone in 2001. She saw the plight of the huge number of orphans and street children and decided to do something about it. Initially she set up a feeding program for street children. She soon realised that more was needed.
Now, 15 years later, the Ebenezer Child Care Trust houses 30 children plus 20 toddlers and babies. Rachael who came to Ebenezer as a teenager is now working with the Elephant Rehab organisation. She is the first Zambian female to work with elephants.
The ECCT Primary School was established in 2005 and currently educates over 340 children in classes kindergarten to 7. The children in the Children’s Village and primary school are orphaned and from impoverished homes affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.
ECCT also runs a 40 acre farm to grow food to help feed the children in the Children’s Village and Primary School. When there is an excess of produce it is sold to provide income for ECCT projects.
The farm was purchased in 2009. It’s located 12 kms east of Ebenezer Children’s Village in the Libuyu District, where the soil is more fertile than closer to Livingstone.
In a nutshell the project will construct a school to provide student, teacher and workers education and skill development opportunities as a strategy to reduce the incidence of children orphaned or abandoned as a consequence of HIV/AIDS.
The land for the school on Nakatindi Road is 150m x 140m ie 21,000 sq metres or approx. 5.2 acres or 2.1 hectares
It is proposed the new school will be for years 5-12 with the existing school for Nursery-year 4. The rationale for this change of use is sound. The record of students who graduate from Ebenezer Trust School and then enrol in government secondary schools indicates in general, their grades and their behaviour deteriorate. For example of the 10 girls who have moved to government secondary schools 8 have become pregnant. Also one of he top boys in the Ebenezer Trust School started and continues to drink since attending a government secondary school. He is also failing his exams. District Education Board Secretary and other Department of Education staff confirm the general pattern of behaviour, high drop out rates, and low grades in government schools. They also confirm many girls become pregnant. The Joint Working Group is still accessing the feasibility of this proposal.
Grant Aided Status with Ministry of Education.
There is strong support for the construction of the primary plus secondary school from stakeholders. Both Livingstone City Council and Department of Education District Planning Section are keen to help in anyway they can.
The Board has approved a student enrolment of up to 40 per cent paying students. There is not only a financial benefit in having paying students, there is also a considerable social benefit. By having a mixed student population the stigma of vulnerable and orphaned children is reduced. These children will also develop social networks and connections within the wider community, which will provide them with greater support and opportunities post secondary school.
The construction of the school will involve disadvantaged and vulnerable youth through the involvement of Youth Community Training Centre. YCTC will work with ECCT and the builders to organise work placements in plumbing and metalwork, bricklaying and plastering, carpentry and joinery and in power electrical.
The project is almost at a standstill after Ranji’s death. It is anticipated Ranji’s replacement, her daughter Jeevani Perera, will be in place as Director within a month or so and things will be set in motion once more.
Chris R-S gave a very appreciative vote of thanks.
FUTURE MEETINGS & EVENTS
Maleny Street Carnival
Club Christmas Party at Bill and Marlene Hankinson's.
Board Meeting at the Masonic Hall.
Board Meeting at the Masonic Hall.
Maleny Hotel at 6:30 for 7:00pm with Guest Speaker Des Harms on Onsite Sewerage.
WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES FOR DECEMBER
6th Chris & Jocelyn 12th Jim & Elaine Roly and Kerry Neiper 17th Lionel & Judy
BIRTHDAYS FOR DECEMBER
11th Jim Atkinson 15th Robin Thorne
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
A POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE
This little gem was printed in the "Federal Gallery" the journal of the "Association of Former Members of the Parliament of Australia."
The Joy of Committees
Oh! give me your pity, I'm on a committee,
Which from morning to night
We attend and amend, contend and defend,
Without a conclusion in sight.
We confer and concur, we defer and demur,
And reiterate all of our thoughts,
We revise the agenda and frequent addenda,
And consider a load of reports.
We compose and propose, we suppose and oppose,
And points of procedure are fun;
But though various notions are brought up as motions,
There's terribly little gets done.
We resolve and absolve, but we never dissolve,
Since it's out of the question for us.
What a shattering pity to end our committee,
Where else could we make such a fuss.