Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An update from Paul Glaydor, Mission Station Superintendent and Principal

We were able to pay March salaries!

I also made contact with J.J. Roberts Educational Foundation while in Monrovia. There are also two checks totaling 16,000.00LD to be picked up by next week. One is for salary support and the other is for scholarship for three students. Parents are still paying fees through ECO Bank. I picked up few slips while in Monrovia. Regular reminders to them concerning unpaid tuition are being done. We will be more aggressive on this when close to the 5th period at which time students will risk being sent home for unpaid fees.

We had first faculty meeting successfully last week. The teachers all overwhelmingly resolved to work along with the new leadership to move the school forward towards vision 2020. Relationships, discipline of students and teachers, academic excellence were focused. Occupying student’s day with meaningful activities was also highlighted. Weekly assembly programs, Joint evening services during weekends(Saturday & Sunday evenings) etc. were suggestions. Sandy Verduin (East Ohio volunteer) program (“Bible Beat”) was one of the specific programs adopted. Rev. Joe Giahque, head of the Religions Department of the school was appointed to help coordinate this program. It seems that we will have a new “team” to work with. Still looking forward with expectations.

The school is participating in the county sports tournament, the Inter School League for the first time. The good side of this is that the Mission and the school have been getting much publicity and exposure to the public. This, we anticipate will increase student population during the next academic year.

We still have School Board meeting ahead of us. It was delayed because I had to familiarize myself with activities of the school before making presentation at Board meeting. The School budget (considering the proposed increase in tuition) will be highlighted among other issues. I have been having some meetings with the D.S. on Local Church scholarship issues in advance of the new and realistic fees payment scheme We are trying to figure out a way through which the local churches will accept the new fees or at least collectively raise funds to increase support of these scholarship students should the school board approve.

The 6th and 9th graders are now gearing up for WAEC. Mock (demonstrative) exams will be administered the end of this month (April). Teachers have already completed drawing up mock exam questions.

Alvin is keeping up with records and acting as Business Manager. We are now in the process of preparing the monthly report of accounting for both GBGM funds and other income for March, 2010. The Guest House accounting will be ready hopefully by the weekend.

Cabbage has been transplanted and now bulging (see photos). More okra planted on newly cleared farm. Corn is being planted as well. More cassava planted and growing. We have harvested more palm oil (now two drums and half drums on hand). I just received a letter today from a “team” that is coming exclusively for Oil Palm at Camphor. Exciting. Still cutting bundles. Will be processing again this weekend. The soap making guy will be coming in next week. Foundation of the Oil Palm and soap processing house to which the Minnesota and East Ohio Teams donated will begin this weekend. We have concluded a contract for this. As a cost saving measure, we will use mostly local materials (dirt bricks, rafters, etc), but zinc roof with concrete pillars. Nelson has made an estimate of USD 2,900.00. I have also contracted with some villagers from Guehzeo town for under brushing the palm farm for the first time. Subsequent under brushing will be done by agriculture workers. Clearing for more vegetable plantation is on-going.

Although the chainsaw gave us so much trouble, we have not abandoned the Timber project. Since it is now a bit stable, we have located a new forest where the guys have prospected and got good results (lots of logs). We have already concluded a deal with the villagers there. The chain saw crew will be moving there by mid next week to begin felling and ripping. We expect to make about one thousand pieces (two loads) of 2 x 6/2 x 8 for further conversion to 2 x 2 and 2 x 4. Within one month. Transporting the timbers to Camphor or to market could be a challenge, but we are becoming more optimistic about providing timber for the last unit of the Guest House and other constructions on the Mission.

We were able to cross-cut two ovens of wood for charcoal making from our own farms (rubber and vegetable farms). Two ovens will probably make one hundred and fifty bags. We also purchased an old farm for wood to be cross-cut. From the volume of wood on that farm we should be able to make another three ovens.

TBA training began on Monday at the Clinic. This, Meliah (OIC) and Vic (Conf. Health Coordinator) said is advanced level for the last group of 35 that was earlier trained from 15 villages. Mary Davis, John Toe and Anthony have being running the TBA follow-up and inspection schedules. They (John Toe and Anthony) are doing HIV awareness throughout the villages. Health education and preventative health is being stressed by the clinic administrators. Vaccination of babies, prenatal and well baby clinical services are on-going. The quilts that were donated through the Board of Church and Society, Meliah said will be distributed among the TBA’s at the end of this round of training. Alvin withdrew funds for more vaccine. Good news! Bob Gibbs donated a new motorcycle to the clinic to enhance the outreach program of the Clinic to the TBAs.

The main campus of the Mission is being kept clean by the Service Department. The long awaited lawn mowers are now being repaired. I visited Othello today when I was in Buchanan and saw them dismantled and being reassembled. The old and torn-up frames and tires have been welded and reconditioned. The delay, he said was in getting the spare parts. One or two will be ready by this week-end he told me. This will increase the work capacity of the field workers. I can reassign a couple of them for thicker bushes while others use the mowers for the low soft field grass cutting.

I am in the press frequently about Camphor and the public is getting conscientized about happenings at the Mission, I can meet with the Superintendent and make a presentation to her and to see if she can assist in getting BRE or some local company to help with our road and some of the work on the Mission that needs heavy machine. This is one reason that we need this Camphor Mission Contact Group that I have proposed. These are the kinds of things this group can do for the Mission.