LETTER FROM JOMO SIMBAYA
10.3.2021 we studied the following letter at our Teams-meeting:
Thanks Mr. Pertti Koivunen and greetings to you.
First of all, we would like to thank all members of Isenge club dotted allover the globe,
for the great work you are going in our community. We are also sincerely thankful to Tapani and all Finlanders who started with us before Isenge club was formed.
Jomo and Pellina are a couple that started the school we are overseers of Doers Bible Church
and this therefore makes us to be overseers of the school.
When we started the church in 1992, God spoke to my wife Pellina that we should start caring for the vulnerable children, orphans and the like. This is how we started a school using church building.
The coming in 2007 Tapani, Salukangas, Tuulas, Anjas, ollis just to mention a few. We told them about the children having no school building. They understood our problem but wanted to know if we had a free community land. The land that did not belong to an
individual. We told them we had ten (10) hectares of land for the community where they would have services such as health, school, police and others facilities. This is how they agreed to help us building a school.
The first project, was a borehole
that was done in 2009. The school and two teachers houses were completed and handed over in 2012. We called the school VESILAHTI COMMUNITY SCHOOL because the Vesilahti school children and their parents of vesilahti in Finland contributed a lot for its existence.
As you can see its now more than a decade that we worked with Tapani without any problem.
Being the overseers, we make sure that all things are properly done we have the responsibility of employing and also firing of workers when necessary. We make
sure that all properties of the school and community are well looked after. This is why in some cases some of the articles are kept at our house for security reasons waiting for Selma and Tauno fund house to be completed.
Administrative protocol has
not been followed by Tapani despite telling him several times. The head of an organisation is and will always be the channel of all communications. Tapani has been working closely with our juniors completely avoiding us as a result our juniors have been doing
anything they wanted. This has brought confusion and misunderstanding in our work. Juniors have had no respect to us as their bosses, Tapain now is their boss.
This is why we have said NO! enough is enough to this kind of administrations.
should respect us just as we respect him. He has really made us look as if we are thieves and unresponsible by telling juniors to remove all equipment from where they are to school. Are we so stupid that we should not take care of the equipment that you people
donate to us?
Are you there just to us throw money anyhow which you also need?
Moreover when we give our hearts should not be there. Our hearts can only be there if we have lent the people we have given because that still remains our property.
Finally Zambia our motherland is a Christian Nation and we are Christians. When we talk about God no one should be offended. Tapani tells us not to talk about God. We tell him we shall always talk about our loving God. He is the pillar that holds are lives.
We live, move and have our being because of Him. We cannot do anything without Him. We love Him we shall always thank God to whatever you are doing to us may the good Lord bless you thank you.
PERTTI KOIVUNEN´S ANSWER
Mr/Mrs Simbaya and other Village Council Members
In spite of the answer that you get from key persons of Isenge club here I would like to write some thoughts. I think that it
is fair to state that the results of cooperation within the years have been great, looking even more splended and exemplary when we think of the limited resources which were available for the common projects. I will not go to details for two
reasons; the history not familiar well enough and secondly I do not see it necessary, because that was handled in other messages.
During my working time I learned something about functionality of organisations
and would like to share my experiences and perceptions for the best of our partner project. It might give you as head of the council and council members some ideas for your daily activities and our cooperation in developing your village. At least
I hope so.
At my working time I was happy to have independent, active and skilful people in my team. It makes life of the boss easier and leaves time to consider decisions, think of the guidelines and plan future.
In other words, the tasks and responsibilities were delegated to people, who were nominated and best for each work. In this way the team was much more flexible and effective. I have understood that you are running a successful farm, which, I guess
keeps you busy alongside other tasks and responsibilities.
You have good people there, Steven as IT specialist and Christine and two others teaching and running the school. For sure also others, but
with my short participation to Isengeclub I'm not fully aware who all are there.
Especially for the time being there are travelling limitations, here also limited meeting possibilities etc. making money collection and running
of Isenge project much more difficult. Luckily we have modern communication lines available, even web page. I have also seen the difficulties which Tapani sometimes has with money transfer.
Conclusion is that in this
more difficult environment everything must be streamlined; large scale topics and daily operational decisions and doing clearly separated and authorizations determined. I'm only refering to operations where Isengeclub.is involved.
me typical upper level tasks for Village Council within our cooperation are e.g. long term planning, coordination of building projects in terms of costs calculations and schedules, possibly needed contacts with society, supervising conditions and maintenance
of existing infstructure. etc. It is also important that Council assures staying of good people.
On the other hand clearly daily tasks can be performed by the people in charge. I mean issues like IT equipment, school books
and equipment, school childrens' food, electricity and data line costs paying, to mention some.
My recommendation is that in regular meetings makings, money usage, proceedings etc will be discussed. In other words,
review of previous meeting period, processing of coming period. Difficult to say which would be suitable interval of meetings. You will find it in practise. Anyway, in this way you will always be updated and do not have burden of daily issues.
I have understood that you feel difficult to use word godchild. Even if that may be normal English expression for a child, who gets special care and attention of
other person I would
recommend that we try to find a circular expression for that. Most of my worklife I used to be in international company with worldwide activities. It is typical that this kind of companies want to behave neutral as to religions. Just to mention I and my wife
belong to a minority Christian congregation. Our boys, now 47 and 44, went to a Christian school, which is very much different from public schools.
In hope of good and constructive partnership.
MESSAGE FROM ISENGE CLUB DISCUSSED AT CLUB´S TEAMS MEETING THE 17TH OF MARCH 2021
Chairman Jomo Simbaya
Five Pumpkins Farm
P O BOX 72970 NDOLA
This letter is based on
the discussions at Isenge Club members Teams-meetings in March 2021
This letter will be a long one because I have to try write things that have happened also in the past as we have experienced them. Looks like that we remember some of
the cases differently.
We had our first visit to Zambia October 2007. Mr London Mwape was welcoming us to the village and there was the inauguration of the Meeri Salokangas Health Post. We visited also the school opposite to the health post and the
church. During that visit me, and I believe most of the group had no knowledge about a school that was working in a church. Our plan was to continue work with those services already serving village people at Isenge. Unfortunately happened something that we
could not accept and we had to consider what to do in the future: to end in Zambia and move somewhere else. Our aim was to help all people at that neighbourhood and we found out that Mr Mwape preferred his own family. That we could not accept.
group of ladies suggested us that we could continue work with them and we could trust that there is not that kind of corruption in our co-operation.
Borehole was done and opened in 2009, thanks also to the pupils of Lempäälä
lukio, the name comes from those letters LELU. This borehole is already history and new one is done, it´s name could be TANE because that person mainly helped in building that. From our side we nominated Mrs Jere to be the manager of
the new borehole because she lives next to it and can easier follow the use of the borehole.
Then 27.2.2012 was the inauguration of the Vesilahti Community School: school building with two big classrooms and office, big toilette for boys and girls and
two houses for teachers nearby the school. This project was done well and we had large ceremony at the school.
Then we had an idea to build a new health post at this part of area because Meeri Salokangas Health Post was about 3 kilometers from the place
where we were now operating. We got a new container, our duty was only to send it Zambia. That was a big, hard, difficult and expensive task: over 8000 euros, K210 000 nowadays money. We were donated also big number of hospital equipment and our pupils discussed
in Lusaka with the Minister of Health about the delivery. At this case nothing went as it was planned: we got finally container to Zambia, but it is not a health post but a small shopping mall because looks like nobody new that the Zambian state build a new
health post with good services nearby Isenge village. Shopping mall is working but according to our information it has not brought significance help at our work at the village.
Vesilahti pupils began also a project where a group of women was given 200€
and they bought some materials like seeds and chicken to help their families living. We saw that this somehow worked while visited the village afterwards but we have no official information about this. We hope that there are in every family several chickens
and different root vegetables to make everyday nutrition more versatile.
We have also made it possible that Mr and Mrs Simbaya managed to visit Finland and especially Vesilahti December 2013, their daughter Miss Nambaya was asked to visit Finland April
2017. With the help of Henrika group we educated Miss Nambaya and she has been a qualified nurse already for 2 years. In our minds the idea was that she could be a nurse working at the village health post but also in this case nothing went according to our
wishes; we did not know the local system and looks like we were not the only ones. Anyway one person has got a profession.
Vesilahti pupils bought also silver bowls, pretty expensive ones. Many people are still asking how those things have helped the
development of the Isenge village. I should know myself the answer, but I do not. In one message Pellina wrote that what is given is given and do not ask afterwards. We do. We learned too much from those Bishop Mwape times and there is always a lack of money.
There was also a nice idea to get fresh milk to the school pupils. That is why Vesilahti pupils gave money to buy Emilia-cow. Emilia died at the birth and the born bull calf was given to Mrs Pellina´s family who had well kept Emilia till the end of
From the beginning we have seen that there is some committee working at the village. It was also at Bishop Mwape´s village. We were sitting outside and listening stories read by different members of the committee from the paper. We found
it good that there is some co-operation between people at the village and looked like there are some signs of democracy. How those commitees work we cannot know? At our www page there is a special page also for this Executive Committee but the only thing that
we have got to publish is the list of the names of the Committee.
Here in Finland we have soon local election. There is one candidate at the age of 18 who just last weekend mentioned at an interview that people over 60 should not be making decisions
concerning school matters or youth! I had an idea to be also a candidate at that election and I am 63. In Zambia the overseers write “Tapani has been working closely with our juniors completely avoiding us”. Who are those juniors: I have tried
to ask the age of Christine without any result but if person has a child at the age of 25, how old she can be? Junior? I just hear Christine is 54.
Year 2017 began our co-operation with the Gofore Ltd. More important than money is the help of experts
that we get from that company to build internet connections and develop the digitalization of the village. Finally we manage to get at the village a person that understood things concerning computers. Vesilahti Community School might be the only primary school
in whole Zambia that is equipped so well with these modern materials.
Tapani told us that he does not understand your problem at administrative protocol. All what we do is public. We try to put all information at different channels as soon as possible.
Everyone can see and follow, also ask and give good opinions, clues or comments. Used money and receipts are also seen and our work at Selma and Tauno Fund and at Godchildren-project (Kummioppilas) are supervised by the Central Finnish Police while we have
to show them the accounting concerning these fields.
Do you think from your side that we should first send all information concerning school and computering to Mr and Mrs Pellina and then wait what will happen. We remember early summer 2019 when we
were told that electricity has been off about 8 months at the village. That day Mr and Mrs Kolu organized a coffee service for night paddlers here at Vesilahti. From that date we have had money to pay electricity. These things have to work, not only to be
based on administrative protocol. Has electricity worked there recently? There must be always someone who is responsible, the protocol does do nothing.
What means that “our juniors have been doing anything they wanted”? “Juniors have
had no us as their bosses”. What all does that mean? What wrong they have done? July 2020 Mrs Jere said that it would be good if there could be new boards in classroom. I have seen the original ones and I know they were terrible. We baked
korvapuusti, same weekend we went to Narva market, sold korvapuusti, got money Christine told was needed, send money to her, she went to shop, send us photos and receipts immediately. What was done wrong?
Bad behaviour can never be accepted and we wish
you can talk all that kind of problems through.
Then you wrote Tapani “has really made us look as if we are thieves”. Have to apologize if you have got that feeling but why you have to act against all what should have happened at school.
Gofore Ltd bought a copy machine and school materials and especially certificates for pupils have to be printed before the end of school year. Nothing could have been done because materials were carried elsewhere. Here were actively sending information about
papers we needed, but we got nothing because they could not do it. Looks like staff from school dare not to tell us that they could not do it because copy machine was not there. You did not tell us anything? You prevented school making its work. You have to
understand that we need copies of those certificates that we can pay certain costs we have promised. Here this part of protocol is followed officially by the Finnish Police, whom we have to report these actions.
It is good thing that people look carefully
after all bought materials but like during the last school break teachers had no entry to use computers. How they can learn to use computers at the lessons when they cannot even touch them? We should try to activate teachers to use all these new equipements!
The following sentences are too philosophical for us to understand: ”Moreover when we give our hearts should not be there. Our hearts can only be there if we have lent the people we have given because that still remains our property.”
God. All written is unfortunately again just misunderstanding. Religion is a private thing. It is good to hear that people largely in Zambia seem to trust in God and we all hope that it step by step begins to show also at the way how the state looks after
its citizens. “Tapani tells us not to talk about God.”- that is totally wrong, I have never written or said so. As we wrote, religion is a private thing but when we are working with the Gofore Ltd that is an international company working in countries
where there are Muslims, Hindus, Christians people from all possible religions, we do not deal with politics and religious matters. We have to respect that they have to respect people in different countries from different backgrounds.
teachers from the school. Here in Finland that kind of action should need really tough justification. Tapani asked once the reason but did not get clear answer.
This is really pity that we have to use a lot of energy at this kind of conversation. This
time could have been used also to prepare some good things for the children of the village.
We were chocked also to hear what happened there on the Youth´s Day. Pupils could have had something different during their school day, but no! Mrs Jere
told us that she had informed Mrs Simbaya and Mrs Simbaya´s information is opposite. Anyway if you just had any time to follow our published information there was a mentioning about this Youth´s Day. Only children were suffering!
“The head of an organisation is and will always be the channel of all communications.” So thousands of our messages should have been send through Mr Simbaya. You must be joking! We do not have even his phone or whatsup contact number. World is
changing and gives in our hands many new ways of communications. Mrs Pellina wrote also at her WhatsApp-message that also at school when Tapani was still working, all information went through him. A joke again, it would never have succeeded. There are plenty
of people working with different skills, things and responsibilities must be devided. Then it might work. People have to communicate, give information to each other, be open and honest.
The God I trust understands what I have written. All people are
equal, those who need help must be helped, everyone´s opinion is valuable and accepted although it is not always perhaps the right one. Democracy is a very difficult system to live, dictatorship is very easy. My God prefers democracy and human rights,
understanding and forgiveness.
How to go on?
We have pretty good possibilities to continue to the future if the Executive Committee does not find it impossible. We have to try to make things even more clear and open to everyone. Responsibilities
have to be very clear and promised things have to happen without delay. In the near future also the Head teacher should get a phone from Gofore like at the moment Mr Sokotela and Mrs Simbaya has. They have to use phones also in their mutual relations.
Vesilahti Community School
Godchildren (Kummilapsi) -project guarantees financially the work of the school many years ahead according to the principals that are mentioned at the national syllabus. Executive Committee has no right to limit
this syllabus. We have to guarantee that school can do its work without interruption. The aim should be that the Zambian state could give support to the schools but we cannot trust in that.
We recommend that the staff of school makes a year plan where
is written down all important events, exams, happenings that need special preparations and care. Things must always be planned well before the happenings.
It is understandable that Executive Committee discuss about things concerning the school but committee
has no power at the contents of the syllabus followed at school. School needs peace at its work. School must also actively inform about its projects. Well done planning it helps also at this matter.
The school is serving the pupils of the village, giving
them enthusiasm to learn new things, respect themselves and others and behave well.
Selma and Tauno left inheritance to guarantee that qualified pupils (according to primary school
results that are shown at the certificate) school fees are payed at Roma school and first year equipment that is demanded to begin the school.
Next time when we can visit Zambia, we will visit also Roma school. We check how the connections could be
more easy and clear also for us. We wait also some feedback from those students who are studing further and we want to plan that together with the staff from Roma school.
Great thing has been that people from Roma school could have taken part at the
computering studies at Vesilahti Community School. Gofore Ltd has been extremely happy that so many girls have taken part at the computering studies.
Actually work with Roma school is outside our activities with Executive Committee. In this matter Selma
and Tauno had initiative year 2016.
Computering and digitalization project
As long as Gofore Ltd is co-operating with us all communication with them must be done with the person in charge of computering and digitalization processes in
the village. That person only can make the purchases agreed with Gofore Ltd and also receipts must go straight to the person responsible to Gofore Ltd. All information will anyway be published at our www sites. Here in Finland we trust totally those persons
who are in charge concerning these things at Gofore Ltd and at Vesilahti Community School. We do not interfere the technical matters.
Selma and Tauno Fund House and Narva House
When decision to build S&T F House was done, the costs
were planned to be K113 000. My parents would have been chocked if they could have heard that suddenly we were asked to pay K153 000 more.
S&TF House is not payed by Isenge Club. One individual wanted to build it to honour Selma´s and Tauno´s
effort to support the children of the village.
We have a lot of contacts also in Zambia and we make always controls concerning different things. Till now our projects have proceeded well and we wish that also this symbolically very important building
could be also finished quickly and well. But not at any price and we know that the change of the local currency does not change all the costs concerning construction business.
At this building should come also the only library at the area, Hedwig&Alfred
König Library, room for village people “Haparainen”, where we hopefully have internet connection, room for responsible person at the area and storage.
We have a suggestion from the market to finish this building at good price and good
quality. We wish that also in village more and more people would do volunteer work so that when for instance there come materials to the village payed by foreign persons, lifting the materials on the ground from the truck, work could be done together with
village people with no charge, at least sometimes. These activities anyway should bring so much new life to the village and everybody should benefit of that.
We are waiting for recalculated plans. Anyway
one part of the project “VÄLIMÄKI CATERING” should be done quickly so that school lunches could be prepared at proper place not at the veranda of Selma&Tauno Fund House. We have understood that the surname Välimäki is a
bit difficult to pronounce, so we suggest to change the name after discussion with the person who is more powerful at this matter: name can be “PUUSTI CATERING”, because till now we have got most of the money collected for Narva House by baking
and selling korvapuusti and also the grandparents of lady Välimäki have name Puustinen, so this name PUUSTI would just be a great choice for this purpose.
Recently we have had problems in sending money abroad.
Using banking facilities is very expensive and takes a long time. Last year we have mostly used WorldRemit -transfer but they have a limit that can be send daily.
We have tried to emphasize that visits to towns should be organized so that during one
visit could be taken care of several purchases, not so that everyone separately visit the town. These visits and many small withdrawals cost a lot extra and it is also misuse of time if several people are just travelling while their work is more needed at
After every trip we need a specific report of the costs including all receipts. We publish all material so that everyone also at the village can follow what is happening. We are very pleased with the procedures that have taken place concerning
these reports recently. We have got mostly all information without delay.
One thing that we cannot have influence on are the payments of Gofore Ltd. All of them must be done by the educated person who is nominated to be in charge of the computering
and digitalization processes.
At the moment we have mobile money payment possibilities with Mrs Simbaya, Mrs Jere and Mr Sokotela.
We are glad that we have had a possibility in doing things that already have helped
vulnerable (haavoittuva) children. We still have passion to continue but from our part the work we do must be clear: responsibilities must be understood by everyone, people have to talk to each other, people have to accept that we all are equal and we all
have right to say our opinion and we have to respect decisions that we have made together.
This material will be discussed today the 17th of March at Isenge Club´s Teams-meeting. Everyone is welcome to join our discussion. After this
discussion we will send this letter to Isenge village and we ask Mr Sokotela print to every member of the Executive Committee and you can find it also at the www.isengeclub.fi -page at Executive Committee -site.
We trust in good things. Most of us trust also in God, some of us especially in Far East, Russia and Nothern America might have other faiths and we have to respect also them: all of us pray for better future for all of us and are willing to work for it
without any protocol.
We need protocol. As we emphasize: things must be very clear, responsible persons and their actions have to followed accurately. But we are living in the 21st century!
At Vesilahti the
17th of March 2021
Members of the Isenge Club