First of all I would like to thank you for your generosity over the last year. This means so much to us. Sarjo is still very busy. He has just come back from a two day training in pepper sauce and is off again in a few days with three solar driers. We are now only concentrating on areas where we have had the most success. These are food preservation and hygiene, solar driers and starting up sewing machines businesses.
We have two trainers who travel with Sarjo when he goes on trek and as a team they can teach women how to preserve anything they grow from mangos to cassava.
Solar driers are still very popular. We have supplied more than fifty so far and have a long list of villages waiting to get one. People are hearing about how effective they can be at reducing hunger. In one village the people were arguing over the use of the drying frame so they decided to change the system. They cleared a plot of land and started growing only food to be dried in large amounts. They also built a store in which to keep the dried food. When this is needed they have to pay a small amount for it to cover the cost of storage. This is working very well so we tell other villages about it and now quite a few have taken up the idea.
I am still sending out sewing machines but unfortunately it is very difficult now to get good hand machines. This is a shame because these make very successful businesses for the women, which bring in good money. In the last shipment I sent there were six electric and only two hand machines. The people who need them most are those who live a long way up country where there is no electricity. If any of you can help in this respect I would be very grateful.
On the domestic front, Sarjo and Abi have a new baby boy called Dawda. Ousman is now three years old very wise for his age. He speaks fluent Jola, some Woloff and some English and he has a fine sense of humour.
Thank you again for your support and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Barbara and Sarjo's Trek Reports and experiences.