2016 has been a very eventful year for NTF. We started the year with hope for the Penyem Village Day Care and Nursery School. During 2015 we had been striving to find a sponsor to allow the cash strapped school to remain open. However by March 2016, we had to tell the village that NTF could not sustain the financial support of the school. We gave them 12 months’ notice of our withdrawal of funding support. In a meeting in the village, we agreed to make one final effort to find sponsorship. So, we returned to the UK to try to find sponsors for 7 of the classrooms at £500 each. This would raise enough to help us keep the school afloat. In December 2016, we returned to the village with the fantastic news that we have been able to find 10 sponsors. The school was saved! We were delighted to be part of the official naming ceremony of the classrooms and very honoured to be greeted by the Village Elders. It was also great to see the new dedicated road sign acknowledging NTF. This takes a prominent spot on the main through road.
During the December trip we were also delighted to deliver numerous gifts and sacks of rice to sponsored families. A sack of rice is one of the greatest gifts that a family can receive. In 3 hours, in 42C of heat, we personally delivered sixty 50KG sacks of rice to the compounds of sponsored families. This sort of work is very draining on our ageing bodies but also so rewarding. We were happy to let some of the youths of the village do the carrying of the sacks!
Earlier in the year, we received some fantastic donations to allow us to further our work. We are so grateful! Our Health Centre sponsor, Imerja Ltd. UK. has continued to support us. Corby Phoenix Rotary Club have also been key to our work. However, there have been some magnificent individual efforts. It is not fair to mention them as a £5 contribution is equally valuable as £500. However, a timely £1000 donation from Spencer Court News in Corby and £450 from long-time supporter, Eleanor Springham allowed us to fit a reconditioned engine to the village ambulance. We also received a donation of £2200 from Northampton School for Girls towards our developing Bursary Fund.
All of this is superb. However, the most important part of our success is the regular support of our child sponsors. In 2016, we lost 3 sponsors but gained 5! We are also thank all those who give cash donations as these contributions allow us to fund other new and ongoing projects, such as fuelling of the village ambulance and medicines to allow access to all of the villages.
We are saddened to announce that one of our teachers suffered a stroke recently. Famara Jarju has been a loyal teacher at the school. To meet him in his current state of health in December was upsetting. However, at least we were able to give him an NTF wheelchair and a sack of rice for his family. We look forward to 2017. We have renewed confidence with the school sponsorship and look forward to developing new projects now that the funding crisis seems to be solved!
Child sponsors please be aware that we will be in touch soon in the New Year to ask you to renew your sponsorship for another year! Thanks everyone!