Report from St Timothy Foundation Chair of Trustees

Due to the support of individuals and PCCs across the Pewsey Deanery we have managed in 2023 to continue to support The St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School in Nzara and the ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School, Nzara with £9,000 donated twice per year (January and July) for teacher’ salaries at the schools.  One of the student teachers returned to Kampala to receive his degree and graduation paperwork; the costs were funded by The St Timothy Foundation.  Similarly, travel costs were covered for the Ugandan teachers leading the academic program at the school to return home once per year.

A legacy of £6,000 given to The St Timothy Foundation enabled a new Microfinance Project in Yambio and extra finance to be injected into the Microfinance Project in Nzara.

Each received £3,000 at the request of the donor.  £100 was initially lent to each woman to begin a business in 2010 and then increased to £200 in 2011.  It has not been increased since and therefore has not been inflation proofed.  As inflation continued the value of the loan reduced and the number of ladies supported by the system reduced.  Hence £3,000 will help a greater number of ladies to be given the chance to start their own businesses.  Getting a small business up and running for these ladies is very difficult.  Between 2009 and 2022 the average inflation rate was 71.2% per year.

Microfinance recipient Yodita is selling rice, sugar, eggs, fish and pest in Nzara market.

The Budget for 2024 that we have agreed with Archbishop Samuel Peni for teacher salaries is as follows:

  • The St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School 15,000 US$
  • ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School 3,000 US$
  • Magbondo Nursery and Primary School, Yambio 4,200 US$

To enable secure collection of the money from the Kenya Bank in Juba an additional 600 US$ (300 US$ twice per year).

In total 22,800 US$ which translates, at an exchange rate of 1.25 US$ to the £ is £18,240 ie £9,120 to be paid twice in 2024.

Looking to the future.  The St Timothy School has a waiting list.  There are 1,045 pupils in attendance and 33 staff. Classes need to be split as some have 100 pupils within them, but there are no facilities to do this.

There is also a challenge in providing water to the school.  At present 4 women take water to the school each day from the local borehole about 1 kilometre away.

Each day, 1,600 litres are taken to the school – 1,000 litres for drinking and 600 for cooking.  The children are in school from 7am to 3pm.  More water is needed.  At least 50% more is needed. And this excludes flushing toilets and washing hands….. (the people eat with their hands but are unable to wash them before eating).

So, as you can see, there is a great need to continue our giving but also to increase it to solve the challenges ahead.

In summary, taken from the Administrator’s report, the schools in Nzara face challenges:

For St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School in 2024:

  1. A borehole to supply water within the school grounds and to be connected to the places of need.
  2. Classrooms – due to the high population of 100 pupils in each classroom there is a need for 11 more classrooms to divide the pupils into two classes of 50(A and B).
  3. Desks/Benches – There is a need for more for the pupils.
  4. School requirements eg Female Hygiene Kits for girls from primary five to eight, exercise books, pens and school bags for the pupils and school uniforms.  It is hard for some parents to provide these for their children due to high prices of commodities at the markets.
  5. Untrained Teachers – funding for one person to attend a 3 year teacher training degree course.
  6. St. Timothy Secondary School Nzara – This Secondary School is going on very well and the entire community of Nzara County are happy about it, but the challenge is that there are no classrooms for the students to study in, they are just studying under mango trees and when it is raining in the raining season, it is interrupting their learning. The school is entering its third year with its intake primarily from the St Timothy Primary School. Secondary education is essential to achieve the qualifications needed to go to University.

The challenges for ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School Nzara in 2024:

  1. Classrooms as there are none.
  2. Trained teachers are required – there are none at present.
  3. Desks, seats and school resources for practical work are needed.

There are 444 pupils and blackboards are used by the teachers to write on but other resources are lacking.

The challenges for The St Timothy Foundation

Our main challenge is the ability to continue funding at the current level.  The Foundation is limited by:

  1. The number and profile of members – there are 9 active voluntary workers that meet regularly to plan fund raising events.  The number of voluntary workers needs to increase to provide cover for those whose health and energy are waning.  In other words we need to spread the workload so that no one member is overloaded.
  2. The number of Trustees is minimum at 3.  We seek to be a minimum of 5.  Ideally each Trustee would have a specific role eg Publicity and Communication, School Liaison, Administration.  None of these would be onerous if shared.  Trustee Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurance are in place.
  3. The regular income from donors.  Without an increase in regular monthly giving or an increase in ad-hoc donations, it will be difficult to maintain the current level of donations to Nzara or to commit to helping with finance for further challenges (as described above).  The Foundation currently receives around £660 per month from regular donors.  This may be difficult to increase at present in the traditional way of a set amount per month.  The alternative could be arranging a Lent Lunch, a Coffee Morning or a Tea Party to the benefit of the St Timothy Foundation once a year (or more often!).
  4. Knowing who to reach out to, in the parish communities, for support of any kind including, but not limited to, – financial, gifts of skill, venues to stage an event.

My hope is that this report will give you an insight into the challenges for the St Timothy Foundation and for the people of Nzara and Yambio, South Sudan.  Subsequently it is hoped that individuals/groups/PCCs may want to help the Foundation support the people as they struggle to establish a lasting peace and a community which engages with the world to build its life and economy.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above with me.   I would love to hear from you whether you feel able to help or not!

Reverend Ann Massey
Chair: The St. Timothy Foundation
February 2024