During the last few weeks we've not been able to spend much time in the office; we've had lots of volunteers painting classrooms and helping kids with all sorts of activities as well as plenty of visitors wanting to look around the schools. The building project at Mfuwe Day Secondary School has been progressing and we are on the final push to be ready for the opening at the start of the new term at the beginning of September. It's been a busy and very rewarding month and there's nowhere near enough room in this newletter to tell you everything.

Behind the Captain Biggie's grocery shop is a rough track that snakes its way between the thatched huts and detritus of Mfuwe’s everyday living. After walking for five or ten minutes you’ll eventually come across John. He might be found sitting on a bamboo mat outside his house or perhaps struggling to make his way after a group of kids who have gone off to play football.

John is a shy five year old boy and rather small for his age. He is slow to smile but take out a camera and this all changes. Like any African child he’ll try to be the one in front of the camera and often gets lost under the feet of the village kids who all want “photo, photo”.

John was born with legs that finish above the knee and just one hand. However even his ‘good’ hand has the two middle fingers fused together. His brothers and sisters do their best to carry him around but they have their own agendas and soon he will be too big. John would love to be able to go to the shops just a few hundred meters away or join the kids at a nearby pre-school but this is an impossible dream without a wheelchair.

We are looking for a wheelchair tough enough to cope with the rough tracks around Mfuwe but small enough for John. Wheelchairs can cost anything between $300 and $750 with the really rugged types at the expensive end of the scale. If you would like to help us buy John his ticket towards a life beyond his tiny village please contact Project Luangwa or or make a donation through his Just Giving page.
Rebecca Packs for a Purpose
Pack for a Purpose is a website that encourages travellers to fill the empty corners of their bags with school supplies and deliver them to a needy cause in the country they intend to visit. When Rebecca Rothney, the driving force behind the site visited South Luangwa recently she did much more than slip a few pencils into a corner of her case.

Rebecca asked her friends and colleagues to donate items from pens to chess sets and managed to fill nine big bags and cases with a total of 188kg of goodies to split amongst the schools in South Luangwa. Just collecting it all must have been quite a feat but imagine how hard she must have worked to get it all the way from America to Mfuwe. A big thank you to Rebecca and all her friends from Project Luangwa and the South Luangwa kids.

. . . and that brings us to one or two others who deserve a BIG THANKYOU
Most of you will already know about our Pilot Post Scheme where BA pilots bring reading books and school supplies out to Zambia a suitcase at a time and all free of charge.
But what happens at Lusaka? And how do we get the bags a further thousand kilometres to Mfuwe and the children?
This is where one very special man and a whole Zambian airline come to the rescue.

When a suitcase or bag reaches Lusaka airport Dave Seaman from Tours Africa takes over. As a very important cog in this operation he makes sure that the bag gets to Proflight Zambia. Proflight then put the bag full of goodies to their next available flight to Mfuwe that has spare luggage capacity. It all sounds so easy but without the goodwill of David Seaman, Proflight and all their employees this simple system would fail.

And it doesn’t end there. Sometimes guests coming to South Luangwa bring an extra bag full of school supplies. With prior arrangement we can arrange for these bags to be flown up by Proflight too.

So a HUGE BIG THANK YOU to Dave Seaman and all the Proflight staff who deserve medals for the part they willingly play in providing the South Luangwa schools and kids with much needed reading books and supplies. What heroes!
They're here at last and it's only taken a year!
Almost a year ago the Oxford University Press offered several thousand large brand new Oxford English dictionaries for distribution amongst the students, pupils and teachers in South Luangwa . . . but there was a snag, they had to be transported from England to Mfuwe.

Project Luangwa, in partnership with Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust launched a joint appeal for funds and within a very short time had raised 100% of the transport costs. It was an overwhelming response from our supporters.

But that was just the start . . . once packed and loaded the dictionaries travelled overland from the UK and safely reached Lusaka. As often happens in Africa travel arrangements became a little more difficult after that, but now, one year after the initial offer, we are relieved to tell you that 4000 dictionaries have arrived in Mfuwe. However with the schools closed for the holidays we were faced with a storage problem. Once again Robin Pope Safaris came to the rescue and all 4000 are now safely stored in a spare office at Nkwali. Distribution will take place when the new school term opens in September.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.

. . . and finally
We've been so busy that we hardly had time to note the anniversary of our move to Mfuwe. It's been a great first year, made even more special by the people we've met and the new friends we've made, both visitors to South Luangwa and in the local community. Thank you everyone.

Visit our website for more info www.projectluangwa.org. To donate simply click here.

If you shop online you can support PL by going through www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/projectluangwa

Project Luangwa is proudly supported by:
Robin Pope Safaris, Flatdogs Camp, Shenton Safaris, Kafunta Safaris, Croc valley

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