Plumber Mark Newlove, from Beckenham, UK, kindly came down to Guyana to help install the plumbing fittings. He had managed to persuade City Plumbing Supplies in
Beckenham to donate the necessary toilets, basins, and shower fittings for the building, and these were shipped down ahead of his arrival. Mark is seen here accompanied
by JIA Trustees Pastor John Richards and Evangelist Debbie Rostron. The trustees spent a full week pleading with the Guyanese Revenue Authority to clear the shipment:
in the end the goods were released one day before Mark was due to fly back to the UK. Despite these setbacks, he worked long and hard in the tropical heat fitting
guttering and down-pipes, and made good progress in bringing the building nearer completion.
Small increments of progress as funds came in, allowed us to fit windows with mosquito netting screens, and have the front and back doors made from the local hardwood -
purpleheart. (they look great). In the interior, the floors have been levelled, and the walls rendered. We have used concrete as much as possible to give the building longevity,
but the roof is supported with wooden rafters, and this fact has not been lost on the local wood ants who rapidly constructed covered walkways up the walls to make their journey
to lunch less hazardous! So now we are entering the long term maintenance phase of the build!
We were delayed in our progress after being told that we had the 'wrong kind' of planning permission! Apparently planning permission for an orphanage needed to be granted
through Georgetown Planning Department, although we had already been granted permission by the local council department. After redrawing and resubmitting the plans to Georgetown,
we were once more on the way...
This is the Southern end of the building, and one can see the small veranda to the rear which leads into the back of the kitchen area. Having porches at both the front and rear
of the building gives a shaded area to sit out, for both the rising and setting sun.
In 2009 we started laying the foundations for the first building. The floor level of the house needed to be built up because of the risk of local flooding with the high level
of rainfall. Along side we have constructed a septic tank to receive the drainage from the building. We plan to collect rain water from the building's roof but will probably need
to supplement this with a well at a later stage.
Once the floor of the building was laid we decided that the location of the entry porch needed to be changed because of the narrowness of the strip of land that it is being
built on. By autumn 2010 we have got the walls up so that the configuration of the rooms is apparent, and we plan to build a front and rear porch and get the roof on next.
The sight of children begging in the street has moved us to build a children's home in Parika. After securing a two acre plot of land in 2007 we have obtained planning
permission for the home which we are modelling on 'Operation Smile' in Trinidad. The concept is to have small houses with resident house mothers who will look after six to
eight children living with them.
Initially we had to cut drainage channels to help dry out the ground and allow building work to commence. There is a dirt road giving access to the area, but it was necessary
to build a small bridge from the road over the drainage channel adjacent to it, in order to get access to the land. Everything grows apace in this environment with its
plentiful sunshine and rain, so clearing back the grass and undergrowth was quite a job before we could even start the foundations.