More help from children

I have read with interest in Footsteps No 12 about involving children in development work. I, too, think it is a good and important thing to consider. I would like to share with you what we have done on our programme with children.

Christian Rural Service is a programme of the Church of Uganda, helping people to improve their well-being. In most cases we have been concentrating on working with adults, but neglecting children. This year I have tried to involve children aged    5-12 years. We were raising eucalyptus seedlings for our afforestation programme. A group of twelve children filled over 5,000 pots in two days.

We enjoyed working with them and would encourage others to include children in their development work because..

  • they are easy to talk to
  • they are very fast workers, once given clear instructions
  • they are careful in carrying out tasks they have been given.

Each member’s efforts are important, and the contribution of children in development, however small, should be appreciated.

Titus Ayome, CRS - Madi/W Nile Diocese, Arua, Uganda

Tapeworm eggs

As so many before me, I would like to congratulate you on an excellent, very helpful and, above all, ‘human’ publication! May your inkwell never run dry!

I was interested to read the comments on composting toilets in the September issue, as I share this interest. A major disadvantage of these toilets is, I believe, that the heat of the composting process kills off all germs, eggs, etc, except for those of the tapeworm (after one year’s composting). As these are then ‘planted’ in the soil, I have heard that their presence makes the fertiliser unsuitable for use on plants designed for human consumption. I would welcome comments from both yourselves and readers on their own experience in this area.

Duncan Levinsohn, Solbacha L9, 573 97 Tranas, Sweden.

Editor...Richard Franceys agrees, saying that tapeworm eggs can lie dormant and revitalise after a 3-6 year period.

Spanish request

Congratulations on Paso a Paso. We work in five rural areas of Argentina with integrated projects combining literacy, home gardens, radio stations, social development and community development. Do you or any of your readers have material in Spanish for our radio stations? We would very much appreciate useful material which we could broadcast.

Jose Benito Bongarra, Centros Comunitarios Rurales Evangelicos
Tinogasta 5850, (1408) Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hairy, fidgety Cuban sheep

Congratulations to Paso a Paso for its practical recommendations. The community where I live is called ‘Paz y Esperanza’ and we are all farmers and children of God.

I was very interested in the article about small livestock breeding and the benefits this brings to those who carry out this activity in these difficult times. We left our home in Ayacucho (where there are many terrorists) and have lived in the jungle area of Peru since 1984. We breed Cuban sheep with hair not wool. Their pasturing is difficult because you need to look after them all day and they are very fidgety. The alternative of a corral is suggested in Paso a Paso. In this way people could be free on study days and Sundays. The family gardens would also produce better!

Silas S Leiva, Paz y Esperanza, San Martin, Peru

The Fast Detection Method

I would like to say that Footsteps is of great benefit to my friends and myself. Here is a simple idea some farmers in my area have developed that we would like to share with others round the world. Do you have our problem of sometimes not knowing where your chickens, ducks or guinea fowl are laying?

Keep the bird confined for a few hours and then put some pepper on the vent. Let it go immediately. It will start running to the place where it is laying. You can use this method for all kinds of birds. We call it the ‘fast detection method’!

Raphael Y Ali, Catholic Agricultural Officer, PO Box 1, Tuna, Ghana

"Jesus, Master Carpenter of Nazareth, you have, through wood and nails, worked out man's full salvation. Use well your tools in this your workshop, that we who come to you in our rough state, may be changed to a truer beauty by your hand. Amen"

This beautiful prayer is above the entrance to the training workshops at CITC (Christian Industrial Training Centre), Pumwani, Nairobi, Kenya

Missions Supplies Limited

Mission Supplies is a company staffed by committed Christians, seeking to help Christian workers overseas obtain equipment cheaply and quickly. We are non-profit-making and can supply a huge range of over 50,000 items at cost prices.

Solar panels are one of the many items we supply. Research is continuing in this exciting technology, bringing new possibilites and lower prices.

Dr Graham Fry of Mulongo, Zaire - one of our earliest customers - writes...

In 1985, we had a very sick young girl in our ward of 70 patients. Light was provided by one small, flickering lamp, and in this poor light, despite her grandmother sitting beside her, sadly no-one was aware of the girl’s death for over an hour. Following this episode I vowed that we should try and supply solar power to the hospital as funds allowed. The first six small portable units were an absolute miracle of technology in supplying power for the dark recesses of our hospital. They’ve worked exceptionally well ever since. Since that time, we’ve been able to order large panels for elsewhere in the hospital and, recently, a solar microscope. I have no hesitation in recommending the use of solar power in isolated hospitals where it is essential to provide light for adequate nursing care. Certainly the use of these units in Mulongo has made a tremendous improvement in the quality of life for the people.

The use of solar energy brings many applications which are helpful to individuals overseas in situations where there is either no power supply or supplies are erratic. We supply all kinds of solar units:

  • small battery chargers
  • solar radios
  • various sizes of lanterns (fluorescent and dome)
  • solar heating panels
  • solar pumps
  • solar fridges

Though many are expensive initially, most will be in use for many, many years with no running costs. We are often asked whether computers can be run from solar energy. Because of their high energy consumption, they cannot be run directly from a solar panel, but they can be run from a 12 volt battery which is charged from a solar panel.

For further details of solar units or any other item, please write to:

Mission Supplies, Alpha Place, Garth Road, Morden, Surrey
SM4 4LX, UK Fax: 081-337 7220.