My three months at FAME began on April 10th, 2019, ostensibly having two broad purposes: spiritual and practical assistance to the Dunlop family.

Briefly speaking, the spiritual aspect involves leading a weekly bible study for the older orphans, taking morning devotions whenever required, and speaking scriptural messages of encouragement to the students.  This is a true delight and privilege given me by the Lord as He encourages me to use the gifts He has bestowed.

The practical assistance is multifaceted.  It was obvious that what was needed most were controls and improvements in the daily operations in such a way as to bring resilience and reliability.  There were several areas of focus:

  • Reorganize the maintenance workshop
  • Map all avenues of water flow in the compound (water from the borehole, water harvesting, sewage)
  • Map electrical lines
  • Reorganize storage and usage of supplies

While my initial focus was with the maintenance shop and the personnel, the primary focus is water as it is the single most valuable resource given by the Lord here.

Maintenance

I began in the maintenance area with an explanation to the three personnel of the objective and means of organizing the workshop. Without explaining the full theory I impressed the use of “5S” as the means of improvement.  This has 5 steps:

  1. Sort, 2. Set in order, 3. Shine, 4. Standardize, 5. Sustain

We began by removing everything from the workshop and transporting everything to a temporary area, dividing the items into “keep” and “discard”.  This is the first “S”.

The shop walls were then repaired and painted the results of which showed the personnel had begun to have ownership and pride in their workplace – one of the aspects of ensuring resilience going forward.

The next step will be having the personnel decide where everything should be stationed, how it should be organized for ease of use, and how to account for everything.  This will involve using “shadow boards” for tools, storage cubbies for larger supply items (pipe fixtures, electrical fixtures, etc), small bins for small items (screws, nails, etc.), and labelled shelving for paints. There will also be work tables for carpentry, paint mixing, and welding.

This is the second “S” – a place for everything and everything in its place.

Once this project is completed, these principles will be transferrable to other areas such as general stores, food storage and use, etc.

Water

The harvesting and storage of this valuable resource are problematic.  The existing infrastructure to harvest rainwater is antiquated and in need of replacing and redesigning.  When rains come there is much water lost due to the antiquated system.

A determination is required of all areas of the catchment.  An investigation of a better method of harvesting, coupled with the piloting of the new method is required.  Further, a mapping of water storage from the harvesting and proper plumbing of this water are needed.  Several times during power outage, water in living areas was unavailable yet in plentiful supply in the existing storage tanks.

My intention is to begin this project with the catchment assessment.

Mapping of the Piping

Using a schematic of the compound layout, my intention is to map all lines from and to all areas.  This will involve my availing of a local resident who was present when the lines were first installed.

This will then be used in the water issues mentioned above.

I intend to offer progress reports as these focus areas are worked on.  The caveat is that what takes one minute to achieve in the west takes 10 minutes here because of the lack of ease in obtaining resources to complete even the simplest of tasks.

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