Skills training & Youth with Disabilities Employment: The 3rd cohort of 100 young beneficiaries benefited from the training (Psychosocial, mindset, entrepreneurship, agricultural, followed by 5 months of apprenticeship training). We also included the annual Youth Football tournament for all 16 villages to make it more fun and encourage participation in YAM. In addition a further 40 Girls plus 26 Youth with Disabilities participated in the short courses 15 days PFP Forestry training in Mafinga. Last year FCWC YAM funded 50 Girls to participate. So we have almost doubled the project plan requirement for girls to receive this training
Both the Sewing school and Carpentry School are equipped and up and running though inevitably we will face teething problems. The sewing graduates’ skills were sufficient to dress Geoff and Vicky Fox plus Laura & Nathalie from Deaconess who were all present in their new attire for the occasion!
Probably our biggest challenge for 2024 will be getting Youth with Disabilities placed with Employers. We succeeded with the first 3 Youth with Disabilities with the PFP Forestry project in Mafinga but we still have a long way to go. Mufindi Tea Company have shown a lot of interest but not so far Liptons (formerly Brooke Bond, Unilever and then Eketerra) as they only recently took over so the decision making has not been delegated to those in Mufindi.
Disability Rehabilitation: Perhaps the biggest achievement of all by YAM to date is the assessment of a number of children and youths with Disabilities with subsequent treatment and rehabilitation at INUKA and beyond where referral was required in Mbeya, Iringa, and Moshi.
1st Cohort, 20th March 2023 for three weeks, 25 children and 36 youths with disabilities attended rehabilitation and treatment at INUKA. They included 11 youngsters with disabilities who were referred to Mbeya and KCMC (Moshi) hospitals for specialist treatment
2nd Cohort, 10th to 23rd July 2023, 11 children + 42 youths attended rehabilitation for 2 weeks. 11 were required to return to INUKA again.
3rd Cohort. 5th to 18th December2023, 21 children and 3 youths with disabilities attended rehabilitation for 2 weeks. The total 24 is of the 47 identified needing treatment. Of these 24 there were 10 new patients and 14 who received follow up treatment at INUKA hospital.
With all of these three cohorts many of them were provided with supportive devices including wheelchairs, toilet seats, stand and corner chairs, standing frames and walking frames in addition to medication and other treatments.
Piglet distribution: The first 2 cohorts of 180 young beneficiaries received 360 piglets (2 piglets per beneficiary) plus piglet vaccination and starter food during the last couple of years with this continued for the 3rd Cohort of 100 beneficiaries this year immediately after their Agricultural training. Unfortunately 15 piglets died so only 185 piglets were distributed to this latest cohort. (total so far 545 piglets). We aim that this project will, to some extent, revolve to help purchase other livestock, equipment and inputs for beneficiaries.
Annual Event: also a highlight was held in September, this time to help break down barriers faced by People with Disabilities (our previous events tackled HIV awareness/stigma and the problem of Teenage pregnancies) and the event coincided with the opening/handing over of the Igoda Village Clinic so the turn out for the combined event was huge. Guests of honour were the District Council Chairman, Festo Mgina & District CCM Chairman, George Kavenuke leading a District delegation of 8 DED representatives, 11 Mufindi District ward councillors (not just our 3 wards), and all the 16 villages were represented including village chairmen (past and present), VEOs, WEOs, 8 Primary and Secondary school headmasters and of course FCWC trustees (Mona-Liza Lottering, Nico Fox, Geoff and Vicky). Nico, Zilipa, and Adam (Luhunga ward councillor) introduced FCWC and its achievements. We surprised ourselves at FCWC as to how much has been achieved over the decades. Peter Fox was present to hand over the Igoda Clinic having overseen it’s construction! Also our partners TAPCAP, Uni of Iringa, INUKA hospital, Along with 159 VCPCs and 441 young people/beneficiaries. Geoff and Vicky Fox were presented with Certificates of Appreciation from Igoda village and the District for this and many other clinics, HIV/Aids Care/Treatment clinic, Mdabulo hospital renovation, libraries, school classrooms, girls hostel for Luhunga Secondary school, doctors & teachers accommodation etc., funded by many sponsors, and Vicky was gifted a goat that was immediately christened Yvo in recognition of his support for the Igoda Clinic!
Improving Lives and Livelihoods: Step by step we are moving in the right direction and FCWC is having a huge impact in improving lives and livelihoods in Mufindi District in so many respects, with HIV/Aids testing, Counselling/Treatment Clinic at Mdabulo and renovation of Mdabulo hospital, Clinics in Ibwanzi, Chogo, Lulanda & Igoda and numerous other examples of tangible support, but also the less tangible support such as Mona-Liza keeping an eye on the ICV and filing returns to ensure we don’t fall foul of TRA, Nico assisting with HR and liaising with authorities, the Deaconess Foundation, Helmi Neuvonen, and Mufindi Friends in Finland: Riitta, Dr Leena & her team of HBCs, Johannes coordination of donors with expenditure and fundraising support especially from the Berglar Foundation who have been a mainstay for FCWC, Merck Family, Mufindin Ystävät, Yvo Vanderlinen, Sam Sofya, St Pius 10th Church, local churches in Mufindi, numerous individual donors, visitors with donations of consumer items, Marion’s infinite energy fundraising via OITW in the UK and also the other OITW trustees education sponsorship, INUKA hospital rehab, skills’ training, Chris with the Mufindi rainforest protection, Hans, Mona-Liza, and Peter with installing the Hydro funded by the substantial generosity of the Merck Family Foundation etc., etc. the list goes on and on…..) which is something everyone from all the supporting donors to those on the ground at FCWC should be proud of!
Foxes Community & Wildlife Conservation has now been running for almost 20 years!
Thank you, Bruce Fox
(FCWC & OITW Trustee)
VCPC – Village Protection Children’s Committee; PFP – Private Forestry Programme ); CCM – Chama Cha Mapinduzi – Dominant Ruling Party; DED – District Executive Officer; VEO – Village Executive Officer and WEO – Ward Executive Officer.