Christmas 2010 Newsletter from Jambiani

Pat’s trip to Zanzibar had to be postponed, so Janie joined Mark and Julie (Coley) for a very busy 10 days in Blue Lagoon. News of the appalling weather in the UK has filtered through to the toilers in sunny warm Jambiani…. Here is all the latest news of ZAP’s 5 key projects:

As usual, we got a rousing welcome from both teachers and kids. Porridge is now provided on 3 days a week.  A solution has to be found, however, for the language problem. None of the NS teachers have sufficiently good English to be able to pass it on to the children. We are looking into the possibility of ZAP sponsoring a teacher from the secondary school to give the ladies English lessons.
Mark undertook to be Daktari Pat’s Jambiani ‘locum’ and found Dr Hamza in excellent spirits – explaining that the clinic was now attracting patients from Paje and further afield. Hamza is delighted to have ‘our’ nurse, Wadhifa, to assist him and he says it has made a great difference to his heavy workload. Dr Hamza gave Mark and Julie a list of desired items of equipment and medicine which we hope can be brought out to Jambiani by ZAP supporters in February.
The Coleys were most impressed with the new Jambiani Community Academy and attended a computer class one day. Mark felt that ZAP needed to promote itself more prominently, and helped Mr V with a new notice on the door, and above each computer station. We have asked for ZAP’s logo to be painted on the outside, and ‘Sponsored by ZAP’ in a prominent place inside. The internet seemed to be working well, and more tourists are gradually filtering in as the high season approaches.  There was no time in our busy schedule to visit the Boarding House in Stone Town, but we had good reports of it from Nabawia, our old Librarian friend whose daughter and niece are both boarders.  Form VI is currently studying very seriously for big exams in February. Form IV has just finished theirs, with results expected in Jan/Feb. It was gratifying to learn that the majority of ZAP sponsored Form VI students (2009) have been offered University places, both in Zanzibar and further afield.
Julie paid a visit and reported a hive of industry as usual, with a sewing class in full swing. Since her last visit 2 years ago, Julie said she noticed a great difference in the standard and finish of the garments, with quite complicated styles now being produced. Khadija and her fellow teachers are in great form, and this project now runs itself, with some help from ZAP towards electricity and teachers’ wages.
By far the largest portion of our time was spent on this project which is at a key stage.  We had two long meetings with all the fundis, and endless talks with Mr Pandu and Mr Vuai, who is really ‘on the ball’ and very much in control. The first stage of a simple garage is almost completed – however the next stage of fitting it out with a roofed area, ramp, hoist, work bench, office etc. will involve some quite hefty costs and must be very carefully planned and monitored. We travelled to town to meet Juma Budda, the owner of the large Toyota garage where the ZAP mechanics are on work experience. It was a very fruitful visit, with Budda and his CFO, Mr Dadi (!) talking positively about a strong relationship between them and of treating the new garage in Jambiani (to be known as JFW Autoworks) as an ‘outpost’. In exchange for exclusive rights to supply tools and parts, Budda Auto Works is prepared to give help and encouragement, including occasional technical assistance for very tricky jobs. Since they have never done this with anyone before, and as the Budda garage has a high profile, enjoying a good reputation far and wide, we couldn’t really ask for more. A formal Memorandum of Understanding between us is currently being drafted.
Two of our fundis (Amour, deaf electrician, and Mrisho, plumber) got married recently, are settled back in Jambiani. All of them are actively recruiting assistants from the community (we gather there is a very long queue!) and Mohammed the RAC Engineer is opening up a new workshop in the village – this to be not only a business, but also a training school. They have all grown into delightful, responsible and enthusiastic men – it is hard to believe that before they began their training they had no job prospects – ‘no nothing’ according to Mr P. We feel very encouraged and gratified to think that the idea of the ZAP funded JFW is turning out so well, and also have complete confidence in Mr Vuai’s ability to manage the business side of things. They fully appreciate what ZAP has done for them, and thanked us and our supporters over and over again for turning their lives, and the lives of their dependents and families around.

ZANZIBAR ACTION PROJECT is a Registered Charity in the UK No. 1108030