One of the benefits of using a Skype typed conversation for the weekly UK-Nigeria meetings was demonstrated this week. For despite not being present (and because I was invited in my absence) I have been able to look at the archive, catch up with the news from Fantsuam Foundation, and consequently write this blog!
Firstly, the Dadamac team welcomed Jim, the new VSO volunteer. Jim will be helping John Dada develop the site at Attachab over the next 6 months.
Having visited Attachab and met the village chief on Monday, Jim told us all that he is currently drawing up a plan/map with the assistance of two of his team members: namely, Sambo and Markus from Fantsuam. Jim also has an additional team member, Rhoda who lives in the Attachab village.
One of Jim’s first intentions is to start a mulch/compost pile on a large scale using all the organic compounds he can source which will then be used to aid the planting of seedlings.
The team were impressed to learn that Jim had already rigged up lighting for himself using a 12 volt battery which he recharges by putting into the car for a day!
However, he noted that the real issue for him now is finding 12 volt bulbs which are readily available in Canada but not so accessible in Kafanchan.
Kelechi ,the Fantsuam Academy Director, told us that: “I have a setup at my place with four 15Watt lamps, (AC), 12 volt battery , 45Ah.it gives me close to 8 hrs, when I am draining it big time”
Jim suggested that the old batteries no longer in use by zitnett would still power a few lights for months. As he pointed out....recycling at its best!
Pam shared with the group that one of her initial surprises on visiting Nigeria were the pigs on the back of motor cycles ( being taken to and from the market!) and then asked Jim what his was to which he replied:
“My biggest surprise I guess was the sophistication of some things like FF and the utter lack of other like power”
John then went on to give the team a Sickle cell update:
- He reported that FF had had a successful screening of 401 children the previous day at a village called Jere.
- This was following by an additional 250 children who were screened in Kagoro on the Saturday.
- The screening team moves to another village on Monday.
I reckon that at this rate another temporary halt may need to be called by the laboratary in order to give them a chance to catch up again. The good news is that John and his team have made an excellent start to achieving their goal of screening 6000 children.