Feb 2021

Hello ,

"Corona is here to stay" is something we often hear here in Zambia. There are no vaccination plans yet and it will be a huge operation in a big country like this. That is why for the time being, we will have to live with corona in Zambia. So far, many organisations, including us, have temporarily slowed down our work. But we have noticed that the fragile local economy has taken a beating.

In other words, we need to find ways to get back to full speed work. Fortunately, Jacana already works mainly with individual entrepreneurs and less with groups. Still, there are times when we have to present a project to communities, so that everyone gets as much equal opportunity to participate as possible.

For example, this month we started a new water project in Vizenge (a village 50 km from Chipata). For this project, we will install partly sponsored pumps at families.

We start by asking permission from the chief and headmen of the area. After that we invite people of Vizenge for a village meeting. As soon as the first 10 people arrive the meeting starts under the leadership of Ivy (our new employee). People who arrive later, wait under a big tree. Fortunately, it is not raining. When the first 10 are informed, they go to Moses, one of the drillers. Moses shows them the rope pump and solar pump and answers all questions about pumps and manual drilling. Ivy repeats the meeting to the next group and so we rotate several times and have a village meeting in a responsible way.
training business
After the meeting and the explanation about the pumps and boreholes, the interested people are interviewed individually. In this interview, people indicate in what way they think they can expand their business if they have water all year round. The most fantastic ideas pass by. We select people with good and realistic ideas and invite them for the business, financial and marketing training, in groups of 10 participants. Each participant sits 1.5 metres from the other. Unfortunately, group work is not possible, but two people sitting 1.5 metres apart can discuss things with each other. Every now and then, you hear: "1.5 metres!" because humanly speaking, we like to sit close to each other when discussing a subject.

During the training, everyone makes his or her own business and financial plan. Some people can hardly write and they need help to put their ideas on paper, which is why there are always two trainers present who can assist the participants individually. In this case, the trainers also have to observe the 1.5-metres distance and face masks are very important. Fortunately, it is warm in Zambia, all windows are open and there is sufficient ventilation. Nevertheless, we regularly have to remind each other: "Wear your face mask".
In this way, Jacana can carry out programmes in a responsible manner. Fortunately, in Vizenge we had access to a reasonably large room where 10 people could sit one and a half metres apart, but this is not always the case. When the room is smaller, less than 10 people will be able to participate in the training and the training phase will take longer. For Jacana, health and safety is important for both participants and staff.
group work training
In villages far from the city, we also notice that people do not believe in corona. They think it is something for the city and not for them. As Jacana, we have to continue to set a good example and make people aware that if they are not careful, they too can be infected.


New employee

Since 1st of February, Jacana has a new employee: Ivy Mwankotami. Ivy has a lot of experience in working with people in villages. Ivy is a fast learner and a hard worker. Even before she completed her first month at Jacana, she already spoke to Chiefs, conducted village meetings, facilitated business and financial training, like if it is her second nature, and even monitored the work of drillers. Needless to say, we are very happy to add Ivy to our team. Welcome Ivy.

Ivy monitoring a borehole
As of December 2020, Pious Nyirongo, has unexpectedly left Jacana.
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