Planned and Postponed
By this date April 28, 2020 a joint team of eight members from Africa Education Partnership (AEP) and Kateri Medical Services, had expected to be in Nigeria, after departing from Boston on April 24th. Two board members from AEP, Peter Dewberry and Elaine Chagnon, were to be part of this team. The plans included visits to our original project in Gusau and then to the Kafanchan district in Kaduna State.
(See the attached map, Gusau shown with a red star in Zamfara State, Kafanchan with a blue star, in Kaduna State).
All necessary arrangements had been made, including vaccinations and Rx for medicines, letters of invitation from our Nigerian partners, visas, and plane tickets were in hand. However, due to the travel restrictions that resulted from the global pandemic of Covid-19, we had to postpone the trip. The decision to postpone was a huge disappointment for the whole team.
Purpose of Trip
AEP board members now have long-standing, personal connections with folks in Nigeria. Circumstances there are extremely challenging on a daily basis; especially with the spread of Covid-19, we look forward to the time when we can again travel to see our friends. Visits from board members and others are really very much appreciated by them.
Gusau, Zamfara State
Graceland International School: Our first project.
Board member Elaine Chagnon had planned to have seminars with teachers. Meetings with school staff to assess the progress, discuss future developments, and plan for anticipated financial needs were scheduled. We were looking forward to reviewing blueprints for the construction of a large dormitory to accommodate students from rural areas.
Rev. Peter Dewberry was looking forward to an opportunity to preach as well as to indulge his passion for photography, he anticipated bringing back loads of new photos to share with our donors. We will depend on our partners to provide photographs for now.
Kafanchan, Kaduna State
Kafanchan is a poor, rural area that depends largely on agriculture.
In Kafanchan, we had plans to rejoin the medical team for the yearly outreach after visiting the seven five school sites ( seven schools in all) within that district. All five sites have received funds from AEP for renovations, with several projects still under construction.
With the help of generous donors from First Baptist Church of Manchester and the Avon-Canton Rotary Club, AEP has been able to furnish funds to provide wells at two other rural schools, along with two additional villages. Lack of clean drinking water in Nigeria can seriously hinder access to education, as water borne diseases sometimes keep children out of school. Work is currently being completed at the four well sites, as storage tanks are being installed.
While we had looked forward to witnessing the dedication of these new wells, we can rest assured that many people will now benefit from clean water for the first time.
We will continue long-distance communication for plans to construct a new examination hall.
Mission trips are a highlight of our work. We receive as much strength and encouragement from personal contact with our partners, as we hope to bring to them.