The last couple of weeks have been a time of restlessness for us at RHO Appleseed. We have known for quite some time that we were going to have to move from our current rented building, but we were hoping to stay through June. Unfortunately, our landlord has not been reasonable. After destroying our swing set, taking away all of our play area and raising the rent by 60%, we had had enough. So, we have had a parting of the ways and will vacate the building at the end of this month.
This realization has left me and Mary with very nervous feelings, neither of us sleeping very well. Ken seems to hide his stress better. However, finally it seems that things are looking up. We have made an agreement to purchase land and will be finalizing it very soon. This is the plot of land we initially saw last year. The owner has agreed to allow us to complete payment over the next year. So, fundraising will be a huge priority! In the meantime, we have been granted permission to use a small church to conduct classes that sits at the base of the land that we will purchase. Some classes will be in the church, while others will be conducted outside until we have buildings built. Zambian schools are closed for the month of April, but we have stayed open to serve breakfast and lunch 3 days a week and have continued with choir and soccer. School will resume at the church building on May 6th.
Designing the new school is very exciting. We have plans to build a school for the future. It is our goal to have the kitchen, bathrooms and administration building completed by November. We do not have a cost estimate yet, but we will start clearing and leveling the land next Saturday. We are researching alternative building methods and materials and plan to build a school that utilizes innovative, green technologies. We hope to be a model for other Zambian schools and homes.
The next year will be very challenging, but also very exciting. Please follow our progress!
Ken and Joy Hoffman. See the'Who We Are' page.