2012 has been an exciting year for Village Project Africa! We have continued to see God at work in the village and are so pleased to see programs continue to blossom and grow. We are so excited to see what He has in store for us in 2013!
Here are a few highlights of the exciting things that have happened and continue to happen in the village:
- Heritage Academy will add 6th grade curriculum in January 2013, and accept enrollment for a new preschool class, bringing our enrollment to approximately 600 students. Our children are healthy and happy, and they are learning. Each term we see the test scores improving. Recently the teachers gave their testimonies to some visitors. We were inspired as they told, one by one, how God had called and led them to Heritage Academy. Our school is a safe, loving, Christian educational environment.
- 41 students graduated from Heritage College this month with a degree to teach early childhood education. We started Heritage College two years ago with this African proverb in mind: “Educate a girl and you educate a community.” Of the 41 graduates, 11 are girls from our village. These girls now have hope for a brighter future not only because of their education, but also because of their association with our Godly teachers and staff.
- We will break ground in the coming weeks for the expanded clinic. Recently, another parent died, the father of three of our dear students. We see this much too often. Now our community has another widow and more fatherless children. At the funeral, we saw fear in their eyes because their future is so uncertain. But our Village Project community will walk with them through these darkest days. The death of this father is another affirmation of the priority to expand the clinic and improve the health care available to our community. Thank you, Church at the Crossing, for partnering with us.
- Grace Community Church is growing. We see attendance of over 30 adults plus children on Sunday mornings. Pastor Joseph and Pastor Isaac will begin teaching the congregation from the books that we used to teach the pastors’ classes. Pray for them as they spread the Word and disciple believers.
- The agricultural program is growing and prospering. Two greenhouses and the surrounding land are planted with vegetables. We have 4 cows and more on the way. The chickens are producing eggs and meat. AND the bees produced the first honey! This farming program is providing nutritious meat, eggs, dairy products, and vegetables to our school children and employees. It also provides employment in the community and a small income to the school as we sell extra products in the market.
- We are getting electricity!! This project was initiated by the parents of our Heritage Academy students, and is a partnership between parents, local community, and VPA donors. Parents each gave 100 shillings and one of the neighbors is allowing the power lines to go through her farm to help reduce the cost. But it was not enough. VPA friends joined together to finish the project, and we will soon get electricity. This will allow opportunities for evening meetings and classes, as well as expanded curriculum such as computer training.
- The new multi-purpose (cafeteria/auditorium/church) building is almost completed and is already being used for school and community meetings. It is the only building in the area that can hold such large groups. Recently, we held a parent meeting with over 250 in attendance, who fit comfortably in this beautiful building. In addition, we are completing new classrooms and administrative offices to accommodate our growing enrollment. Often children tell us what they like best about Heritage Academy is “the buildings.” We smile at their answer, but they really love to have a good place
- Our child sponsorship program continues to grow! We now have over 150 children sponsored and hope to have even more sponsored by this time next year. The education, nutrition, and healthcare that sponsored children have received this year have been absolutely transformative for so many children. A new online system for sponsorship will be rolled out in 2013, so stay tuned. We hope that even more children will find sponsorship—we have close to 500 children waiting for a sponsor!
We are so thankful for each of our supporters and the way you have come along beside us in so many ways to continue the work God has laid out before us. We look forward to continued and new partnerships in 2013!
We hope each and every one of you has a blessed and happy new year!
Love Changing Lives!