Andy returned to Penyem in April 2018 to finally launch the Malaria Medication Programme. The visit also included a whole village meeting on the Saturday of the trip. The meeting was probably one of the best initiatives taken by NTF recently. It was good to have an honest exchange of views of everyone.
During the meeting it became clear that the villagers dis not fully understand how NTF operated in Penyem. Over the years NTF had ‘given’ the village many things. These included the ambulance, the funding of the school, the salaries of the Health Centre staff. The misconception or misunderstanding of the villagers was that since NTF had ‘given’ these things, they should be free to the citizens of Penyem. During the meeting it was made clear that although NTF had ‘given’ these things, the villagers also had to contribute by paying a little to use the ambulance, or a small fee for schooling of their children. NTF could not fully fund projects that required constant refinancing.
In particular the situation involving treatment for Malaria was a topic of discussion. Andy made it very clear that the malaria medication was not free and they had to pay – just like they would if they went for treatment at Brikama hospital or anywhere else for that matter. The difference would be that if they could not pay the full amount, they could pay part of the cost and the remaining amount would be classed as a loan.
This seemed to be well received and fully understood by all who attended the meeting. Some came forward with meaningful questions and suggestion and a healthy debate took place. The villagers asked to make the meeting an annual event so that everything was transparent and in the open.
The meeting concluded with a lunch provided by NTF which was FREE!
Our sponsors were again very generous by providing their sponsored children
and families with sacks of rice. Andy delivered 63 sacks of rice personally to the families and their were scenes of great joy. Every family welcomed him into their compounds. It was impossible to stay with them for long – just a quick ‘Hello’ and photograph. Even so the whole process took 7 hours!
The village ambulance had at last had a replacement engine fitted. This seemed to be working OK but there will be an ever increasing maintenance programme needed to keep the vehicle on the road. This is a significant financial drain on NTF. The ambulance had a new respray and new signage – courtesy of Brunel Signs of Corby.
The sponsorship programme for 2018-2019 in now complete. We are delighted to say that we only lost the support of 3 sponsors from our list and we were able to substitute these sponsors with new supporters. The list for the next year is not closed and we welcome sponsorship applications up until December 2018. We particularly are seeking sponsors for older children and sponsors for our Bursary fund that supports students wishing to follow further education courses. Please see our sponsorship page for further details.