2023

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

2022

There has been a lot of disruption to the timing of events this year but they have all taken place.  The St Timothy Foundation has worked tirelessly with at least one event every month to raise funds.  In the midst of this the Lambeth Conference, delayed from 2020, finally took place.  The timing of the visit from Archbishop Samuel Peni and Bishop Richard was after the Conference, in August.  They came during a very hot, dry spell of weather!  They met many supporters from across the Pewsey Vale Team and were introduced to potential supporters in the Savernake Team.

Donations were made for Desks and Chairs for the Secondary School which had begun under the Mango Trees with unqualified teaching staff and for Amoxycillin to be bought at the Medical Centre.

The St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School continued to receive the funds for qualified teachers and for the student trainee teachers in Kampala.  They are expected to qualify in December 2022 and return to Nzara to teach at the St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School for at least the next four years.  They will be awarded their graduation certificates in June 2023.

2021

Students at Kampala International University have returned after a period of lockdown.

Funds for a reconditioned laptop for one of the teacher trainees to borrow has been sent to the Diocese of Nzara.  

Due to high inflation the funds of the Microfinance have reduced in value and the numbers now receiving loans has dropped to 32.  Extra funds have been sent with a request for further details of the projects that will need finance.

St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School continues to receive funding for the qualified teachers.

The two trainee teachers also continue to receive financial support.

During the times when Covid restrictions were lifted the St Timothy Foundation held a small number of events.  We are thankful that the generosity of our supporters enabled us to continue the level of giving already established previously.

2020

Two new qualified teachers from Uganda for the final two years (P7-P8) of St Timothy’s School are to be funded by The St Timothy Foundation this year.

The first students from St Timothy’s will sit their Primary Leaving examinations this year and those that pass will be eligible for secondary school education.  There is no current provision for secondary school education in Nzara.

There has been a request for a new borehole to be made close to the school and linked to taps and latrines to improve hygiene and convenience.  At this time funding is inadequate to connect the borehole to taps within the school compound but we hope a borehole will be constructed at the school gates by AquaAfrica for easier school access.

Unrest that began in 2013 officially came to an end in 2020.  Covid has also meant a loss of time in education during periods of lockdown.

The first Covid lockdown began in March 2020 in England and event fund raising was suspended.  

Despite Covid preventing social gatherings, The St Timothy Foundation was able to meet its commitments to funding St Timothy’s School and the sponsorship of the two student teachers.  Thanks be to God!

2019

St Timothy’s School has 1,018 students and employs 14 teachers and four supporting staff.  The new Two-classroom Block was dedicated to Claudia Calam, the first Chairperson of The St Timothy Foundation.  

The completion of the new classroom block enabled an extra year to be added for older students – P7.

Also, in 2019 the Diocese of Nzara received a grant from a companion diocese in Iowa.  This grant funded a further six classrooms.  450 pupils were accommodated in these new buildings and a new year group – P8 added.  This is the final year group for St Timothy’s Primary School for transition into secondary education.

Diawo Nursery and Primary School now has 515 pupils and 10 teachers.  These children continue to be educated under the mango trees and in the church.  There are no blackboards or desks and benches.

The Girls’ Hygiene Kits were finished and arrived in Nzara so training could begin.  A training video was made and translated into Zande to make it easily understood by all.

Teacher training continued and the two students worked in St Timothy’s School during their university holidays.  The students were given two reconditioned laptops to help them with their studies.  Both students passed their assessment tests at the end of Semester one in this first year of undergraduate study.

2018

St Timothy’s School now has 1,007 students spread across ten classes.  There are 14 teachers, three cleaners/cook and two security officers.  8 of the teachers are trained.  It is the trained teachers that The St Timothy Foundation provides the funds for salaries.   The untrained teachers are supported by the parents of the pupils.  The results from the examinations continue to be good.

The new two-classroom block in memory of Claudia Calam was completed.

Four further classrooms for Primary 3-6, one store and one office are being constructed by another “well-wisher” in conjunction with the Diocesan office in Nzara.  Two further classrooms are also needed for the top two years ie Primary 7 and 8.  So far, there are no sponsors for the extra two classrooms.

Further requests from Nzara include:

  • more benches for the increase in number of students
  • a Borehole to be within the confines of the school
  • a shortfall in the amount of rice parents have been able to give for the nursery class breakfasts
  • more trained teachers
  • more materials for the students.
  • two people to be sent to university to train as teachers every two years

Teacher training continued.  Two trainee teachers have completed their one-year foundation course at Kampala International University in Uganda and will begin their undergraduate teacher training in January 2019.

The community in the Vale of Pewsey started a project to make 100 washable Girls Hygiene Kits to help older girls who were missing days at school because of their menstrual cycle.  

Bishop Samuel sent the following message,

Greetings to you in the name of Christ, Amen. On behalf of the pupils in St. Timothy Nursery and Primary School, their parents, State Government, the church, the teachers and on my own behalf I want register our appreciation for the great support you are giving to us to push us towards development. Development starts with Education, Education is the key to this development, quality education is with trained teachers, Thank you for providing this to us, in the years to come Nzara will bring out leaders who will work for peace in the country.

As you may be aware, the peace process is still derailed. The economy is collapsing, more than half of government aided schools and other departments have closed as salaries are not paid for many months. What you do really means a lot.

May God bless you.

Thank you

Bishop Samuel Peni

The insurgence that started in 2013 with the LRA has continued to cause disruption to the people of South Sudan to the present day.

2017

St Timothy’s School has continued to grow and now boasts 924 students.  There are 11 teachers of which 6 are formerly trained and qualified to teach.  One of the five untrained teachers was sent to Yei for Teacher training.  However, due to civil unrest the training institute has been closed indefinitely.  Attempts were made to transfer to train at a University in Uganda but the entry requirements are more stringent and are difficult to assess from work already done elsewhere.  Sadly, this trainee did not continue.

Despite the famine in Nzara, caused by civil unrest, the pupils’ parents are committed to contribute towards porridge and rice to be cooked for their children in school.  They have been able to bring maize and rice to make the porridge throughout the year. They have also been able to bring sweet potatoes and cassava for breakfast.

New latrine blocks were required to facilitate the large increase in pupils.  These were provided as separate toilets for girls and boys.

A new two-classroom block was begun.  It is hoped that it will be completed in January 2018.  However, there are 5 classes meeting under the mango trees so additional classrooms to the ones being built are requested to keep up with demand. 

A request to sponsor two young people at Africa Renewal University for formal Teacher qualifications has also been made to further improve the quality of teaching.  The administrator has requested a laptop.

Diawo Pre-Primary and Primary School has continued to progress. There were four classes this year, with teaching by three untrained teachers.  The School Administrator visited the school to monitor progress three times this year.  The numbers of pupils is 63 (29 boys and 34 girls).  This is lower than last year because of the unrest and parents concerned for the safety of their children keeping them at home. 

2016

uring 2016 through donations and fundraising events The St Timothy Foundation has continued to support St Timothy’s School and Diawo School in Nzara providing free education to an increasing number of children.  In 2016 this has risen to 700 children.   

The St Timothy Foundation funded a large number of new desk/benches for the pupils.  These were made locally thus providing employment and income for the community.

The security wall begun in 2015 was completed.

A project to support two local people in formal teacher training has begun. 

The St Timothy Foundation has also increased the grants to the popular and effective women’s microfinance project in Nzara to enable women to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient.

The Foundation received photographs and reports from trustee Robert De Berry, Ms Brenda Rice and the Reverend Mark Windsor after a visit to Nzara in March 2016.

2015

A project began to build a stone security wall around the perimeter of St Timothy’s School, to replace the wooden fence that had been destabilised by ants, and increase the safety of the 600 children terrorised from the increasing number of motorcycles driving through the compound.

During 2015 through donations and fundraising events The St Timothy Foundation has continued to support St Timothy’s School and Diawo School in Nzara.

The St Timothy Foundation has also increased the grants to the popular and effective women’s microfinance project in Nzara to enable 42 women to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. 

The Foundation received photographs and reports from Bishop Samuel Peni (Nzara diocese) when he visited Pewsey in 2015

The St Timothy Foundation provided training and equipment for 16 new Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) plus refresher training and updated equipment for 20 previously trained TBAs. 

In March 2015 a new borehole near St. Timothy’s School was completed to provide St Timothy’s and Diawo Schools, the health clinic and the community with reliable, clean, safe water.  This borehole is now serving about 500 families that have an average size of 7-12 members each.

David Gough relays a story from his South Sudan visit. “As we walked on the outskirts of the town we came upon a boy drawing water from a dirty pool on the track.  Some of us spoke to him to discover that the nearest borehole was one mile away and he was bringing water back for his mother to cook dinner.  Unfortunately, this is all too common in the water scarce communities in impoverished remote rural locations of South Sudan.  It is good to know that the community in Nzara now has a reliable supply of clean, safe water.”                                        

Photos below show a crowd of local people standing around the pristine pump. 

2014

St Timothy’s School grew to 389 students with six teachers and six classes.  Two classes are meeting under the mango trees as there are only 4 classrooms.

A project to install a borehole to provide reliable, safe and clean water to the community of Nzara was begun.

During his visit to Nzara during June 2014 St Timothy Foundation trustee Robert de Berry became acutely aware of the inadequacies of the water supply to the community. Water was having to be collected in large, heavy plastic containers and carried on the head to the clinic and schools up to 8 times a day. Queues at the pumps and wells are long.

The St. Timothy Foundation teamed up with Fields of Life, another charity already engaged in a project drilling boreholes for water in South Sudan.  David Gough, the Fields of Life development manager negotiated their contractor to drill a borehole to supply St. Timothy’s School, Diawo School and the medical centre in Nzara plus the surrounding community.  The expected outcomes are access to safe drinking water to the pupils and the Clinic, improved health of the pupils, enough water for each day, a reduction in the burden of fetching water from very far places.

A grant was given for 30 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to receive training and medical kits, plus refresher training for 36 existing TBAs.  In 2014 it was recorded that one out of seven pregnant women in the South Sudan area died due to pregnancy related causes.