We would like to wish all our project supporters a very happy new year!
Another exciting year in Mgeta has passed. During the year we have continued with the school yoghurt programme at Nyandira primary school.
We have also started at a new school, Tchenzema primary school, after a request from the school itself . The participation in Nyandira is unfortunately still low, but in Tchenzema eager teachers, school board members and village leaders are driving the programme forward. The aim for 2015 is to further increase participation in both schools, but special attention will be placed at Nyandira. We have been working continuously to increase participation here, but will do a new evaluation on how to arrive at a satisfactory level.
The school goat project at Kikeo primary school is doing well as always. In the spring we also supported Lukunguni primary school with goats after their headmaster applied for assistance.
They have received 10 goats and the whole village have learned a lot about goat keeping as a result of the school goat programme. Several of the goats have already had kids so it seems the goats are really enjoying their time in this beautiful village far up in the Uluguru mountains.
Right before Christmas another round of goats were given to vulnerable youth in Mgeta, this time in Bunduki village. The youth which had previously received goats were the ones leading this round, showing both how much they have learned from being part of this project and their eagerness in passing their knowledge on to others. Some of them are also trying their hand at small business and are taking up micro-loans we have made available in a new pilot micro-finance project. One of the members has for instance started rearing chicken.
Four of the oldest members got funding from Norway and the chance to continue their education in January 2014.
At Kibaha vocational training centre two of them are studying agriculture and livestock keeping while the other two are studying tailoring and design. The times they have been back to visit in Mgeta they have shown great new knowledge which they gladly pass on to the other members. The goal for the future is that more of the members will be given the opportunity for further studies, and to learn a craft, which will benefit both them and their community.
Some of the other young goat keepers are part of a new sewing group, which makes small handbags and clutches out of used yoghurt sachets. In this way waste from the yoghurt bags is reduced.
Learning to sew using a sewing machine is a valuable skill they can use for the rest of their life, and not least making these handbags provide them with an extra income as they are currently sold to visitors to Mgeta and elsewhere. As the quality of the bags improve the future goal of the group is to be able to sell the bags to tourists and people interested in the work they are doing in Mgeta.
As in 2013, this year we also wanted to promote the importance of drinking milk to the local community. First, in May/June, several days of promotion were done by Twawose.
With the company of a pick-up with big banners and lively music, Twawose and their invited guests of village leaders, primary school teachers and primary school pupils, visited five villages, in addition to Morogoro town. Information was given, speeches were held, and plenty of yoghurt were distributed to the audience, many of which were trying goat yoghurt for the first time. Wednesday the 24th of September we also celebrated the world school milk day in Mgeta. Pupils from Nyandira and Tchenzema primary school were in charge of the entertainment and they sang and danced in front of over 1000 people who came together for the day. The event turned out to be a great success and many people are already looking forward for next year’s celebration.
This year we have also had a lot of visitors from Norway. Besides the two student groups from the Norwegian university of Life Sciences (NMBU) a school class from Moss Waldorf school also visited Mgeta, staying for several days and visiting many of the vulnerable youth.
We are greatly looking forward to the new year in Mgeta, where we will continue to focus on the many activities we have initiated. We are also working on improving our blog and translating the content into English so that more people are able to get the information and are able to follow our activities as they are updated.
Happy new year from us, and a big greeting from beautiful Mgeta!