Yesterday we received a container through the Christian African Relief Trust. They are old friends of Mwandi Mission and had sent us a previous one in 2009. The truck actually arrived in the dark on Monday evening and got stuck in the sand outside the OVC. It had come from Beira via Mutare and Victoria Falls to Livingstone and then on to Mwandi. It was dug out before 0800h on Tuesday and was driven to just outside the chapel, where the unloading took place with the help of 9 members of staff and volunteers.
We had requested mattresses for the Mission Hospital and 103 were unloaded and stacked in the chapel. At the moment the hospital is undergoing major renovations. Ida is investigating now the costs and logistics of acquiring and purchasing new hospital beds in Zambia. There were a number of boxes for the Hospital Central Stores and some orthopedic crutches and sticks. Chairs and desks for the school were off-loaded into the Landrover 130 and driven to the school. We also borrowed the OVC truck to transport the other boxes of clothes to be stored until they can distributed through the local congregations.
We are very grateful for the generosity of all the unpaid volunteers in Britain who gather and pack the goods into containers and to those who kindly donate money and goods, as well as those who staff the charity shop where the takings help pay for running costs and contribute towards the sending of some containers.
From past experience we know that the goods sent help relieve people living in extreme poverty. Also with these goods, especially the aquaboxes, we have been able to directly help those who have lost their houses either through fire or flooding. The school furniture and school books have helped us to support development of education in all the areas of education run locally by the UCZ in Pre-school, Primary and Secondary. Under-resourced local organisations have also benefited. In the medical field the bedside-lockers are still used and greatly appreciated. The sewing machines will be used to good effect by the Formula Mothers Support Group. They raise a regular income by sewing for Mission Hospital and selling bags and tie-dye clothes and materials to visitors. There has been a poor harvest this year and we are prescribing food mainly beans and soya to those with a body mass of less than 19. The tins of food that were sent will provide a little more variety.