The air has a smell of autumn in it here in Bergen. A new school year has just begun with all the excitement and anticipation that it brings with it. On Nyenga, they just had a vacation of two weeks and they now embark on the third and final semester of this school year.
The construction of the next two school houses are on schedule. The upcoming 5th class will have a separate room when their new school year begins, the principal will have an office and hopefully we will see the first outlines of a library!
The number of pupils will increase slightly as we add on further classes. Today 100 students from the neighborhood attend the school. Our hope is that everyone who starts will complete their schooling at New Horizon with the basic skills and knowledge they need for their future. In October, Norwegian teachers will educate the teachers in alternative educational methods. All parties are looking forward to that.
Ruth, the manager at Nyenga, and Florence, the caretaker of the girls, came on a 10 day visit to Norway. This was a great joy for us and for them a big occasion. This was their first time traveling with passports and by plane all the way to Europe. There were great and intense days. The tour started with meeting? volunteers in a Christmas tree forest in Farsund and continued with good results with friends of Nyenga both there, in Stavanger and Bergen. We visited all the Nyenga support schools and concluded with an inspiring strategy seminar on an old fishing village on the last weekend. We summarized what we have achieved since 2009 and set a course forward. In Farsund, we took a trip up to the lighthouse at Lista. It was Ruth and Florence’s first encounter with the sea and thus a new way of looking at the horizon. The concept of the lighthouse and what it symbolizes, followed us throughout the week. It was a vision of making Nyenga a”Lighthouse” in the area: a center for development and innovation for the benefit of those who live there. The passing of knowledge will be as important as the application of funds for investment and operations in the future. We are convinced that health, education, the focus on establishing businesses in general and small measures in the nearby environment is the way to go.
Six young people in the area received funds from us to complete their education. One of the boys has just finished high school and the three girls have completed the first year of their university education. Isma, one of the three boys, has completed his Bachelor at Makerere University in Kampala and wants to go onto study for his Master’s to participate in what may become Uganda’s oil industry.
We are fortunate to have so much and varied expertise to support us in our network and are fortunate that many want to contribute to this work. Thanks to all of you! We would especially like to mention Ragnhild Lundberg Tveit who is working as a volunteer at the health center this fall before she goes back to her studies in medical school. In late September, Andrea Svarstad joined her for three months.
Apropos: We would like to remind you of the Christmas market on Møhlenpris on the14th and 15th December and the opportunity to buy a Christmas tree with meaning! More information will follow (now also in English) and be posted on Facebook. If you have products we can sell at the market we will be pleased to hear from you. Please contact us.
Before Ruth and Florence returned to Nyenga we asked them what reflections they had made during their stay in Norway. “Everything is so organized,” they said. The light also fascinated them in both the morning and evening. In Nyenga the sun rises and sets at the same time and place all year round. We have tried to explain our seasons to them before and it seems it only sunk in now. There was a small ‘aha’ moment of how important and difficult communication is when the frame of reference is different.
Light the candle and enjoy the fall evenings! Our newsletter with updates from Nyenga will be coming in time for Christmas.
Greetings from the Board of the Foundation Nyenga
Anne Grete Kjørrefjord , Per Kristian Erdal , Kathryn Bousman , Fredrik Harloff and Anne -Mette Hansen Tjønn.