- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: February 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Everyday Problems at Casa de Sion

Everyday problems at Casa de Sion


We had our weekly staff meeting today and here are the typical kinds of problems that came up:


The village of Chutiastancia is about 15 minutes from our headquarters and very poor.  Last year we started the Mothers & Tots program there where we give out formula and incaparina (a nutrient dense soy formula we give to pre-schoolers).  A volunteer team repaired the roof on the community building as a good-will gesture and to provide a dry space during the rainy season.  This program runs about $1000/month and includes a meal for all who attend.  In addition we bring medical and dental teams to the area.  Mario, our director, gave us word that the governing committee is now renting all community buildings and wants us the pay for using this space ½ day a month.   Vicki said to ask the committee how much the rent was and then remind them of the value of the products we give out each month.  And if they don’t think it’s a fair exchange then we have a long waiting list of communities begging for us to come to them.  When I added, to remind them about the roof that we repaired—in exchange for using the facility—Mario said that all the metal sheeting was gone.  Stolen.

                When Vicki went to the monthly distribution, she found an entirely different story.  The governing committee had sold the building and had taken off the roofing that our volunteer team had purchased and set it aside for us.  They also told the women that they would have to construct a new building.  We are hoping an upcoming volunteer team will help with this project and that the community will donate a small parcel of land for the new building.   Meanwhile we’re winging it.


And then there is the saga of the chicken house.  It’s been going on for 3 years.  A volunteer team built the hen house and afterward several locals told us that the chickens would be stolen in a day unless someone was there to guard them.  It took us awhile to adjust to the fact that many would bit the hand that feeds them (or more literally their children).  So another volunteer team started a casita (small house) for a couple to be guards.  The team got about halfway through and left the money to pay to finish the house.  But before we could do that, a neighbor (our former guardian) broke into the locked chicken house and stole the remaining supplies and tools.  We started again and finished the house.  We hired a guard and got laying hens.  About a month later we were getting eggs after 2 + years of frustration.  On Christmas day the guard took off for a few hours without telling anyone and when he returned all the chickens were gone.  Everyone in the community knows who did it but unfortunately no one saw him.  So we ordered more hens and we learned today that they are to arrive tomorrow.  But Mario told us that the couple now living in the casita are gone for 3 hours each Sunday for church.  I thought I was going to pull my hair out.  It seems like a no-brainer—they cannot go unless we have someone else there to watch the hen house because the fox lives on 30 yards away…..

We ask for prayers and inspiration because giving eggs out to the many children we feed would be a great nutrition boost.


And then there’s the problem with the school next door.  Last year the teachers went on strike for reasons that I don’t remember and Roy, our accountant, warned us that they were getting themselves into trouble.  To discipline the teachers, the muni  ( the local governing body) transferred them to a distant outlying school instead of Los Robles where they live.  They probably now spend half a day riding buses back and forth to work.  In sympathy for the teachers many local families pulled their children out of that school.  Less than half the children are there and it’s posing problems getting out after-school program going.  Mario is hoping to be able to put the pieces together next week.
First picture is of the mamas and tots that still need a kitchen. The comite told them they would have to build it themselves which would be impossible. We are hoping to get a USA team to build it. The cost would be about $1000 for a small one without a cement floor.
Second picture is off the cinder blocks that the guy who bought the building bought. He bought our building and never thought about the mamas and tots he was depriving of a program.
Last picture is one part of our organic gardens. We have rebought the chickens, 20 this time, and they are already producing at least 15 eggs a day. We have made the building more secure and have tried to make sure there is always a guardian on guard.


These are today’s problems.  Next week we get another set.