The Dream Centre; what a revelation it has been so far! It all started as an idea for a place within the communities where people could feel free to come to learn, find help and encouragement and ultimately, as the name suggests, hope for the future. The first realisation of the idea is now nearing completion in Katogo Slum and we are excited to see what an impact it will have there and in the surrounding communities.
The Centre has not come without its setbacks. Located only slightly above the water table, Katogo 2 is always at risk of flooding, so finding a clear, rentable space where a structure could be built was in itself a challenge. Once identified and the terms agreed, design and building went ahead. When it came to bringing the container that would comprise the main office space into position, however, the soft ground between the Centre location and the road proved very treacherous. Despite the contractor’s promises to the contrary, two ten ton cranes failed to get the container into place and a twenty ton Caterpillar excavator ended up immovably sunk up to its cab in mud! Eventually, backed by a lot of prayer, a contraption using manpower and a chain was used to finally position the container. But the excavator remained sunken in mud and water for a further two months before the onset of the dry season finally enabled it to be pulled out by a bulldozer.
Despite construction still going ahead on the stairs as I write, it is already being used as a meeting place and training centre. Just last week we held our Kinawataka and Katogo Nutrition Mini-group training and graduation at the Centre, and most community group meetings are already held in the shade of its lower roof. In the future The Dream Centre will be somewhere we can partner with local groups (like savings groups, community based organisations and prayer groups) and as an expression of their hopes for the transformation of the community. It will be a place of development, rehabilitation and prayer, somewhere to demonstrate innovations and experiment with making money through harnessing locally available resources. We look forward with great anticipation to see it continue to grow into a beacon of hope for the community and beyond!