Monday, 19 September 2016

AGM 2016

It's that time again.  Where does a year go?!

Join us, virtually or in person, for our Friends of Chitambo AGM:

When? Saturday 1st October 2016, 2-4 pm

Where? The Community Room, Penicuik Library, Carlops Road, PENICUIK, MIDLOTHIAN, SCOTLAND EH26 9PE:

It has been a very exciting year and we look forward to telling you all about it.

Contact Jo Vallis, Chair, for information on joining virtually:

Meantime, a huge thanks to all our regular supporters over the past year.   Mwabombeni mukwai (very well done).  You are making a real difference.

Hope you can join us

Monday, 12 September 2016

Elephant & Baby take 2!

The Penicuik re-run of the Elephant & Baby event (Sunday 11th September, at St. James the Less Episcopal Church) was highly successful. CLICK HERE FOR THE FLYER

Edinburgh GP, Dr. Bridget Innes, gave the sermon, which was on her medical and baby elephant conservation work in Zambia.  This was as part of a world celebration of creation and fauna.  Her talk fitted perfectly  with the theme and was very well received.  It was followed by a Fellowship Lunch in the church hall, in aid of our Friends of Chitambo emergency radio appeal.  As usual, the St. James congregation gave very generously and also enjoyed their soup to the accompaniment of Bridget's colourful slides.

Dr. Bridget gives the sermon
More sermon
Fellowship lunch 1

Fellowship lunch 2


 Thank you very much to all concerned!

Heady stuff

On Monday 6th September, 2 Friends of Chitambo Trustees (Jo and Agnes) took up the opportunity to meet UK Ministers for International Development, who were visiting Scotland.

The meeting was organised by the Network for International Development Organisations of Scotland (NIDOS):

This was a valuable opportunity to hear directly about UK government plans for ongoing Overseas Development Aid (ODA).  It is heartening to hear that they remain committed to  ringfencing 0.7% of GDP for least for now.  It was also good to hear that global links are encouraged and that, in Wales, each NHS Board has appointed a Champion for this.  It is hoped that Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland will follow this example.

The Scottish Goernment has announced a fresh round of Small Grant funding for international development:

We are in talks with top Zambian and Scottish emergency care/medical experts about extending our current Small Grant project on 'Strengthening emergency care communications in Chitambo District'.  Please see our conference poster for some preliminary results: CLICK HERE FOR THE POSTER

The Zambian Ministry of Health (MOH) is enabling access to the free national shortcode for health (992) to all Chitambo District citizens, so that they can call for help free  of charge in case of emergency.  This is a huge step forward for desperate people in this remote, rural region.

Building on the project would entail, for example,  strengthening the current emergency care resource centre, established by this project, at Chitambo Hospital; monitoring the uptake and usage of the shortcode by the community; contributing to improving the emergency radio infrastructure, as far as possible; and providing simulated call handling and first aid training for clinical staff and ambulance drivers.

More soon.

Summer Street Fair 2016: Best stall award!

Great news!  This year we won the 'Best stall' certificate at the annual Penicuik Street  Fair (27th August 2016), awarded by the Penicuik Community Council!  Great publicity for our fast growing little African charity.

The day dawned bright and clear as the usual 4 stalwarts (Margaret, Gillian, Agnes and Jo) gathered in the Penicuik precinct to 'man' the stall.  This is one of our main fundraising events and it is a lot of work:  assembling the goods; transporting them to the site early enough to secure the best table slots; serving all day on the stall day; clearing up afterwards; and distributing the many raffle prizes far and wide.   We advertised for volunteers to help with future events and obtained a couple of notes of interest.  Meantime, heartfelt thanks to the current trusty team.

Raffle prizes included donations from successful local businesses: Giovannis Bistro; The Best Seller; and castle Warehouse.  A HUGE thanks to them too.  We really value your support and it is making a big difference in remote and rural Chitambo District, Zambia.

Proceeds are going towards a high frequency digital radio for Mpelembe Rural Health Clinic.  Please see our contribution to the Penicuik newsletter for details: CLICK HERE

This article has, amazingly, attracted a large scale donation from someone with Zambian connections.  They wish to remain anonymous but a HUGE thanks to them too.  This will really help the emergency radio cause, and will save lives.

Stall setting up
Team Chitambo (L to R Margaret, Gillian, Agnes, and Jo)
Ba Agnes displaying her Zambian crafts


Penicuik Hunter and Lass (Town Principals) support Friends of Chitambo
Jo receives the 'best stall' certificate