In late September the trustees had the opportunity to consult with two friends of the charity who are active in the UK corporate sector on ways to develop our social media marketing and fundraising capacities. The importance of platforms such as Twitter and Instagram was discussed in marketing our partner programmes to a potential new set of donors. We are still in the early stages of this investigative discussion and will keep you informed as to how the Board decides to move forward.
We were happy to receive positive news from Southall Trust in August that they have granted £3000 to support SSF activities in eSwatini. This is the fourth time that this small grant making charitable organisation has funded BASED UK supported activities for which we are very grateful.
Thank you again to those who completed our online survey. Some of you expressed an interest in volunteering in administration, fundraising or managing social media and we are grateful for these offers. The Project Focus section of the Newsletter allows us an opportunity to go into further detail about the programmes we support and we hope this edition responds to some of those survey requests. There is still one more week left to complete the survey. We would love to hear from you. Please click on the link
to share your thoughts with the trustees
Setsimbiso Sebunye Foundation (SSF)
Pre-primary community schools in eSwatini
have been closed as the emergency laws on COVID-19 require that children under the age of 10 be kept away from public gatherings such as weddings, funerals and schools. It is hoped that schools will re-open next year and teacher training at Levels 2 and 3 is ongoing. Our partner programme, SSF is planning to maintain the number of schools at its current level over two years (2021-2022) in order to strengthen existing capacities and work with the school committees. School health inspectors have visited 9 of our community schools and passed their hygiene procedures and standards; SSF is looking forward to inspectors visiting the remaining ones. Finally a workshop with 35 community school teachers was held, studying the guiding principles in preparation of re-opening of schools. Social enterprise activities were added as part of the training such as local production of liquid soap, vegetables and liquid organic fertilizer. The sale of these products will help the teachers generate money during this period when incomes are down, and unemployment and poverty
rates across the country are so high.Your donations not only assist the growth of the pre-schools but also social enterprise activities supplementing their economic capacities.
Below cabbage and lettuce crop ready to harvest in one of the school grounds in eSwatini
In addition to the daily curfew from 10pm to 5am which is in place throughout Honduras, the aftermath of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, which struck Central America in November 2020, continues to impact on the quality of economic and community life. Projections suggested that over half the population were living beneath the poverty line during 2020. Nevertheless Bayan programme staff have supported 39 of the 71 community banks (55%) to resume their meetings. These village banks meet every 15 days (49%), weekly (41%) or monthly (10%) with local bank officers residing in the same community where cases of COVID-19 have been very mild. In addition programme staff are endeavouring to motivate community banks to resume their meetings using biosecurity measures according to the learnings of the 55% of banks above. Under current circumstances, Community Banks are being encouraged to lend their capital at a low interest rate and to offer some flexibility in their repayment plans for the borrower so that they do not fall into default or bad debt. Your donations towards the strengthening of Bayan's Community Banks are furnishing them with new IT capabilities and projects serving the whole community.
Below are before & after images of a Community Bank lighting project in the village of Piedras de Afilar in the department of Atlántida from funds set aside for service activities
Mongolian Development Centre
Most activities in kindergartens employing the “Hidden Gems” course materials (for children ages 2 to 5 years old) in Mongolia
are currently online. The materials focus on developing moral capacities and include children’s workbooks, a teacher’s manual, parents’ manual, display material with quotations, pictures illustrating moral capabilities, and a CD of songs and stories. There are variations in capacity across kindergartens, especially those in rural areas which lack internet connectivity. However teachers in Sanshan province have created ways to involve pupils online and have been sharing their learning and resources with fellow teachers across the country.
Progress in material & display development has been evident in the use of pictures drawn by the teachers themselves rather than relying on generic images over the internet. This has allowed teachers to portray more of the cultures and colours of Mongolia showing traditional costumes and stories relevant to Mongolian life rather than generalised content.
BASED UK has joined Mongolia Development Centre's Facebook page (see image below) to keep updated on developments in between our quarterly Zoom calls. Your donations are greatly assisting the MDC team in developing more creative bespoke material suited to local culture.
Below a young pupil working on her moral education exercise book, and some other workbook examples