Important News

Dear Supporters of Mpongwe’s People,

Over the past few months, the trustees of Mpongwe’s People have been thinking and praying over the future of the charity and have decided that now is the time to bring our formal partnership with Mpongwe Baptist Association to an end.

In Nov 2007, a small group left St. Cleers Chapel for a 3 week working trip to Mpongwe to help in the building of a guest house. Wanting to support the community a more sustained way, we set up Mpongwe’s People (initially known as Tuesday’s People) to partner with the Mpongwe Baptist Association.

Over the past 15 years, we have raised over £150,000 to support the community and surrounding area. In the mission hospital, we have renovated most of the wards and the kitchen. We have built and renovated guesthouses, the workshop and poultry project, all with the aim of helping to provide a sustainable income for the MBA. We have developed significant and long-lasting relationships with the local communities, including through sewing projects in which local women have formed co-operatives to gather and produce school uniforms etc. We have helped to support local Pastors with training and transportation. In more recent years, our work has concentrated on the Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s Project, which has seen over 300 children provided with uniforms, equipment and school fees and supported local caregivers to assist and look after them.

Many people have visited Mpongwe over the years, as part of the November working parties, or to conduct a medical elective in the mission hospital, or in the case of Steve and Ann, to live and support the community for 5 years full time. Mpongwe has a very special place in our hearts.

We have realised over the past few months that this kind of partnership requires time and relationship, and with our changing home and work circumstances we feel we are no longer in a position to best support the MBA. Friends of Mpongwe has always been run by volunteers, many of whom have given hundreds of hours to bake cakes, sort scrap metal, organise fundraisers and administrate the charity. The changing circumstances of board members means that sadly we have come to the decision to end our partnership.

It is our sincere hope and prayer that as we pull out, the local churches will rise up to continue the work. For those who support Friends of Mpongwe financially on a monthly basis, the bank account will no longer be active after the end of April 2023, but you are welcome to close your direct debit earlier. We have committed to supporting the OVC programme to the end of 2023, but we are currently about £2000 short of being able to do that. If you would like to support that aim, you can do so through our website.

In the summer of 2023, we hope to hold an event in Somerton, Somerset to give thanks for our partnership with the MBA, and to celebrate the work we’ve been privileged to be part of over the last 15 years. We will keep you updated about that event. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do feel free to get in touch.

Covid Response

For the past few weeks we’ve been raising money to assist with the Mpongwe mission hospital in handling the pandemic. Thanks to everyone who has given, we’ve managed to raise over £4000 towards the hospital’s covid response. Below is a picture of the first oxygen concentrator being unboxed by one of the nurses at the hospital. It is now fully operational and working well.

Currently the hospital has not got many covid patients, but with vaccination levels quite low they are preparing for another wave as the rainy season approaches. We are ready to buy additional equipment and supplies for the hospital but are just waiting to hear on the ground exactly what the next requirements will be. Thank you so much for giving so generously!

Banking Update 5

Dear friends and supporters, just a very quick note to say thanks for praying and it looks like everything is back to normal with our account now. In the end it was a fairly straight forward fix satisfying the bank that we are adhering to strict standards (which we are). Hopefully this was not too disruptive and those of you who give regularly will not have been affected, but feel free to get in touch if you have any queries.

Banking Update 4

Dear friends and supporters, last time I wrote to you about our bank account, I had hoped that all the issues had been resolved. Unfortunately, it seems like we are still struggling with some of the administration of our account. It’s possible that for those of you with direct debits set up to support the OVC work may have payments returned to you.

Please be assured that we are doing all we can to adhere to the regulations regarding raising funds and transferring them to our partners in Zambia. It seems that international charities are under much stricter scrutiny these days.

I will try to keep you regularly updated through this blog, and please do pass this message on to other supporters. We’d also really value your prayers to resolve this issue, and also for the continuing work in Zambia.

Tim Miller (chair of trustees)