THE LONG AWAITED WALL FENCE- A COMMUNITY EFFORT IN GARDEN
For the last four of the six years our organisation has been in existence, we have been in dire need of erecting a new wall fence around the YOFOSO Centre in Garden, Zambia. And for the last two years, it has been my worst nightmare, especially during the rainy season as my thoughts have always been, “what if the wall fence collapses while the children are busy doing one of our programmes?”
Such thoughts will now be things of the past, thanks to the children and their families and our friends in Canada at Spectrum Community School. The wall fence project has taken off and hopefully in the next six weeks it will be completed. The Children and the families made very beautiful bags, which were sent to Canada and sold to help fund this project. Our friends in Canada, apart from selling our bags, have also pledged to fund-raise the remaining bigger portion of the funding.
This project is also proving to be fun for the children and youths who come to the Centre. The demolishing of the old fence, the transporting of the blocks from a vendor who is just a stone throw away from the Centre, and the fetching of water from a nearby communal water tap is keeping everyone busy every weekend. We are working on this project every weekend because that is the time the people constructing it are free. They have just charged us a fraction of what they would normally charge for the work the are doing.
Apart from securing our premises, the wall fence will also enable us connect tap water to the Centre. Currently, we draw water to drink from the communal tap, at a fee, and when we want to wash clothes, laundry, water is drawn from a shallow well in the neighbourhood. Although we have water pipes coming to our premises, the local Government water utility company stopped supplying water to our community about 8 years ago. However, in the last one and half years a community based water utility company has taken over the supplier of water, and they are the ones that even operate the communal tap. We have not been able to connect water in this period because doing so would have made the running of our programmes very difficult, as we would have now been forced to supervise the drawing of water by the locals. The wall fence will make it easy for us to work out a separate time schedule for the families of the children who come to our centre and indeed the other, to come and draw water.
The wall fence will also make it possible for us to promote a green environment at the centre, as we are now going to plant grass and flowers at the Centre. We have always planned to do this but the lack of water knocked this exercise out of our programme. The fence will also keep out unwanted company as at present anyone can trespass and do whatever around the premises. This is most pronounced when we have our literacy programme in the evenings. The safety of the children can now be assured.
Of course, I should mention that the children who do not participate in our programme are always welcome at the YOFOSO Garden Centre.
Author: Mulenga Mulenga Cliff