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How do you iron a flag?

“How do you think you iron a flag? Do you think 50 tubes of glue are going to be enough? Do you really think we need all those paint brushes?” I shouted to no one in particular and not really expecting any sane response. Packing for vacation school in Zambia is never easy and must be planned with military precision; every precious Kg is carefully considered. The suitcases are weighed, re-weighed, adjusted and then re-adjusted. We fill them to the maximum capacity that our luggage allowance permits with the generous donations of stationery and books. We manage to squeeze in a few clothes and on one occasion the freshly ironed school flag. 

Running ‘Vacation Schools’ is an absolute joy and an enriching experience, each one brings something special. I have been running 'Vacation Schools’ for six years and watching the children grow, being part of the community and the building of Shiyala School has been immensely rewarding. Even though it is holiday time, most of the village children have nowhere to go and Mothers of Africa offers classes on crafts, art, English, sport, well-being and a lot of fun. 

There have been many magical moments and amongst the highlights were giving the children a Google Earth view of their school and ‘the glitter explosion’ at the arts and crafts workshops. However, nothing compares to my very first visit to Shiyala. The stomach churning in anticipation, the brain buzzing with the ‘whatifs’ and the heart pounding in excitement.  Why was I so anxious? The reception of the children and staff is always overwhelming and the Mothers of Africa team is always warmly welcomed. We never want to leave and the goodbyes are as sorrowful as the greetings are joyous. However, one thing is certain: we will always return.

Yes, the flag arrived safe and sound, albeit a bit crumpled, and it was proudly hoisted at the inauguration ceremony in May 2018

We are looking for any Donations towards school stationery for the next vacation school in Spring 2019. Many thanks in advance for your help.

Janice Newport

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