The MK collaboration with the Sumbawa not for profit Yayasan WeSAVE has gone from strength to strength over the last year, despite the constraints of COVID – 19. Although we have not been able to visit, or bring any of their member to Perth for training, much has been achieved.

Our fund raising for the collaboration has now raised thirty thousand dollars, thanks to a ten thousand dollar donation from the Owen Francis Foundation, and two very generous private donations. These donations have enabled us to pay a deposit on some land, and begin the construction of our first school. The land and school are now in use, and are a hive of activity.

We had done the ground work for this project over the last few years, when we looked at several pieces of land and worked through the pros and cons of each with the WeSAVE team.

This land use assessment training set the parameters for what constituted a suitable site, through consideration of cost, access, utilities, and a range of environmental factors.

Because of these extensive on ground discussions, we were very confident when they told us they had found a site.

The joy of modern communications has allowed us to share in the process with regular video updates of progress. WeSAVE submitted detailed costings for all work and materials, and then in their usual fashion achieved a bigger and better building with the money we sent through. The MK training in project planning, management and accountability are evident in the detailed records and receipts we receive covering our contributions, facilitating acquittal of the donations.

The WeSAVE video updates showing legions of volunteer young people carrying materials to the site, and hand batching and carting concrete for pouring the floor are heart-warming. We are about to send up the next building payment which will see doors and windows added and the walls plastered. More than just a school, the site is evolving incredibly quickly into the sort of education precinct we have so often visualised. A quick video tour sent through recently showed extensive vegetable gardens established, fruit trees being planted, animal husbandry of goats and small livestock. We saw an upgrade of the grey water system under construction. Within the new building several classes were underway, with young women not only learning, but leading and teaching.

A well has been sunk and a pump installed, and discussions are now turning to the design and installation of a renewable power system for the site. The building has been constructed with a reinforced concrete roof in preparation for the addition of a second story when time and resources permit

In short, we now have our first Millennium Kids School. It is abuzz, and waiting for the opportunity to host exchange classes when we can get there. We will continue to fund raise for this group, as they are so inspirational, doing so much for so many with so little.

Wayne O’Sullivan

Yayasan We SAVE Partnerships Lead

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