Latest from Monze

Jute Williams

It has long been overdue, but at last Health Help International Zambia has been recognised as the only organisation in Zambia which has working equipment and trained staff to facilitate the production of Braille literature.
This has won the confidence of UNICEF which has commissioned HHI to print school syllabuses and text books in Braille for grades 1-7. These will be for use throughout the country and further funding will follow for books to cover grades 8-12.

Our three blind trainee students Bright, Franks and Busiku, who are currently being supported by HHI, are delighted with the challenge and have already started the long process of printing, collating and proof reading the pages.

proof reading

They are being overseen by the HHI sighted printers.
All three young, blind students are enjoying their apprenticeship with the printing department, and are also making badges by the thousands for schools and youth groups. These are being sold for as much as £1.20 each!

badge making

There are no badge making facilities in Zambia either, and so the recent receipt of a badge making machine from the U.K along with all the components has given this department another advantage. It is possible to make badges with out sight. I have tried it with my eyes shut and managed it…slowly.
Unfortunately, there has been a recent set back to all this good development and that happened on April 2nd at 4.30 a.m. Thieves broke into the home of Bright and his friends and their recently acquired household goods were stolen along with all their food. Being blind they were helpless and even though they have a sighted helper, a young boy, they were unable to prevent the loss of many items. However, we thank God that no one was hurt and that they can continue to help fellow blind Zambians through their skills in producing Braille.
Germination of tomato and cabbage seeds has been 100% and transplanting has taken place at the HHI Isca farm. The first batch of point-of-lay hens are  arriving at this moment and settling into their newly built, brick chicken house. Eggs should be available almost immediately for selling at the HHI shop and within the Monze community. Eggs will also be served with ‘nshima’ (the staple Zambian diet made from maize) in the recently opened food outlet. The making and selling of meals is the culmination of much work and planning resulting from last year’s Harvest initiative. We know that with the recent food shortages following the flood damage, this facility will be well received by many vulnerable people.


There is also good news to report from Dr Craig Oranmore-Brown and the Mercy Flyers. They  have received a substantial grant from Cordaid to fund a gynaecological outreach programme for the next 3 years. Medically this is much needed in Zambia and we are so pleased that Dr. Craig and his wife will be able to deliver this service. However, Dr. Craig has recently reported that Monze Mission Hospital is not coping at all well as it is short of drugs and staff. He is pleased that the HHI clinic is there to provide for the community but he has strongly suggested we do more to provide drugs and equipment to a UK standard which will attract   patients from hundreds of miles away. We will certainly be looking into this desperate situation and helping to the best of our ability.
Further HHI medical news to celebrate is the qualification of Dr. John Phiri who started his training way back in 2000 as a clinical officer in Mpongwe Hospital which is where Ron first started the work of HHI and met John who was 20 at the time. With sponsorship and support through HHI, John has now graduated and is a qualified doctor. This is a fantastic achievement and what is even more special is that you can meet him at our supporters evening on 9th May when he will be addressing our audience and talking about the medical needs in Zambia. Do come and help celebrate John’s success.

Finally with all these exciting new projects up and running it is important that our infrastructure is reliable, which it is sad to say is not normally the case in Monze. Electricity and water supplies are nearly always switched off for some part of each day.
A generator is now on site and able to supply electricity when there is none and continue the important work of HHI. There is even a solar panel on the ambulance so that our audiology equipment can work in rural areas without electricity.  Likewise a water storage tower has been erected within our compound, kindly funded by Caerleon Rotary club and other loyal supporters.

water tower water tower water tower

Now, medical treatment, food preparation and even having a shower can happen each day without interruption.
This is welcome progress and we thank you all for providing these ‘luxuries’!