27 December 2016
This comes with our thanks, and our very best Christmas greetings to you all as we remember the birth of the one who changed the course of history more than 2000 years ago. We are thankful not to be much caught up in the commercialism that is typical of the affluent world, especially as we are reminded that most Zambians will not have a special Christmas dinner, but will celebrate simply by going to worship on Christmas Day.
The end of the year has been somewhat unsettled for us due to challenges we now face relating to the legal status of Limapela Development in Zambia. We may need to register as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) if we are to avoid paying tax on donations, but PBOs in Zambia may not charge their beneficiaries fees of any kind. You will agree that the first alternative is untenable, but the second goes against the Limapela philosophy that everyone should pay a little for what they receive. We have long believed that we should make every effort to reduce the dependency syndrome that is so prevalent here in Africa. Obviously ideals cannot always be achieved, so we need to be ready to compromise and explore other options.
Last month I enjoyed a rather tiring but fruitful four-week promotional tour in Australia and New Zealand. I was warmly welcomed by the Rotary District 9710 Conference where I was one of the guest speakers. This year’s Limapela-Rotary project, spearheaded by my great friend Desmond Woods in Canberra, is to raise the necessary funding for a new ablution block at Luyando Community School. Please contact us if you would like to contribute to this. Your donation will be matched to 50% if made through Rotary. My special thanks go to my wife Alison, who reluctantly but competently manned the fort here in Zambia while I was away — not an easy task!
We are grateful to the New Zealand Government for their recent grant of NZ$ 35,000 made through the NZ Head of Mission Fund in Pretoria. This grant is for improvements to our agricultural infrastructure, and for agricultural training.
Our schools have been settled, and we now await the National Examination results. It has been a pleasure to see our IT programme at Limapela Cedric’s begin to flourish, and we are grateful to some members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane Planetarium for donating two laptops loaded with educational software especially for schools that do not have Internet access. These are being used at Luyando.
The Kafakumba Singers have been preparing The Rising of His Star, a new Christmas musical that I have written for them this year. They will present it in several venues this month. They have been a joy to work with. A number are quite vulnerable, so providing a safe haven for them is important.
— Matthew F. Raymond, trustee