School started in September with a great turnover of up to 226 students and with a step up to primary level 6 class. All students have now been registered and are eligible to sit for final national primary school examinations.
A prize-giving day was held to congratulate last year’s top students and to encourage the current students. They received books and crayons and contributions towards their fees.
Africo has engaged ARDERI, a local NGO, to start a market gardening project. This includes training women and men on farming methods and how to manage their group co-operatives. Land was donated by one of the village Chefs de quartiers, Mr Nadaka.
Africo provided seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and equipment, these costs will be recovered gradually through subsidized sales of the proceeds back to the mine.
The Kisankala Women’s committee conducted their 2nd workshop over two days in early August. This was a follow up on their earlier workshop on vision and mission. Over 50 women went through the process of working on an analysis of a problem tree, objectives and an activity plan. The women have created their own theatre group which will be used to sensitize the community on various social issues. Participants were entertained and educated on the perils of early marriage at their inaugural performance at the end of the workshop.
Kisankala village, with a population of over 3,000 people, is essentially an artisanal mining village. The majority of the population lives in makeshift tarpaulin shacks and the rest in more permanent mud block housing. Maintaining hygiene and sanitation standards is extremely challenging, as the majority of the population are transient and therefore do not focus on sanitary and hygienic conditions around their own environments. The villagers also had no access to clean running water.
Africo supplied Kisankala village with a potable water source from a communal water point in November 2007. In September 2008 Africo encouraged the establishment of a Hygiene and Sanitation Committee. The committee consists of 15 women and 5 men and was launched at a short ceremony attended by the Chief of Kisankala village, the Kisankala Village Development Committee and the Head of Nurses in Kisanfu municipality. Africo provided wheelbarrows, shovels, gloves, dustbins and t -shirts to the committee for weekly community clean ups. The committee is working hard at mobilizing the general population to participate in these clean ups and the results are now visible. There is also ongoing sensitization on the importance of the construction and usage of toilets.enlarge
Venue: Kalukundi Site Meeting Shed
Participants: Swanmines, AMOCONGO-NGO and Kisankala Community
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Swanmines has a dedicated programme that deals with community health. Swanmines worked with the Kisankala Village Health Committee to discuss the importance of raising HIV/AIDS awareness and, after consultation with the KVDC, the date for the event was set for 5th December.
About 75% of the Kisankala village population consists of transient inhabitants, the majority of whom are artisanal miners. The risk of having casual partners is evident and even with poorly resourced health facilities, one of the more common infections reported monthly are Sexually Transmitted Infections. The need to urgently address the HIV prevention awareness was thus identified. The Kisankala Village Dev. Committee was in full support of the program. Swanmines also involved all its site employees, several of whom are resident in the village.
Kisankala Village Dev. Committee
Swanmines thus engaged AMOCONGO, an NGO based in Lubumbashi dealing with People Living With HIV/AIDS to be the facilitators for this campaign, and this was complemented by an excellent theatre performance from Groupe-Nzembela which stole the show.
Nzembela in action
Swanmines also organised to have IEC (educational) materials which included T-shirts, posters and brochures which were used to emphasize the theme messages.
Veronique showing illustrations
Distribution of brochures
The topics covered included: defining HIV/AIDS, modes of transmission, the ABCD of HIV prevention, knowing ones HIV status and Living Positively with a sero-positive status. Emphasis was also placed on the role the community has to support people living with HIV and that Swanmines will adopt a non-discriminatory policy with regard to HIV. Employees found to be HIV-positive will still retain their employment. The key speakers were:
AMOCONGO – Veronique
Health Committee Heads - Baraka and Evelyne - Swanmines
One of the key topics was Condom Education and Promotion. The Groupe-Nzembela did an exemplary education skit and demonstration on the subject. A total of 1220 contraceptives were distributed to the participants.
There was a question and answer session which kept the crowd attentive and encouraged their participation. Participants giving the correct response were awarded a T-shirt and a gift pack of cards.
A few participants came forth and did a Voluntary HIV Test which was very encouraging; however due to time limitations we could not test the crowd. Future arrangements will be made to enable this service.