Creation of Hope


Summer Update

The summer is usually a slower time for donations and activity so there is a much longer time frame covered in this update.

General

Granny craft program

There are many grandmothers of our orphans who are attempting to raise their grandchildren on extremely limited incomes.  For many they survive on much less than $30.00 a month – for them and their families – and this income most often comes from day labor or selling produce from their very limited plots of land.

Ruth and her team have worked to create income opportunities in the community.  We received a grant and have established a craft program for grandmothers.  They are provided with training and supplies to create craft items.  These are purchased from them and sold into the Kenyan tourism marketplace.  While this program is still in its beginning stages it allows the grandmothers to have an income while also producing a profit for the program which is re-invested in caring for the orphans in our care.

Tent program

A second program – also funded by the grant – involves the creation of a number of ‘companies’ of local people that formed an independent committee to rent chairs and tents in the community.  These are used for local events – weddings, family gatherings, political events, church meetings.  Each company was provided with chairs and tents with the understanding that they would operate as an independent, repaying the cost of the equipment as they make profit.  We are happy to report that this these companies have had great success throughout the region, are in demand, providing a service to the community, providing employment and have already made major steps towards repaying the original expenses.  Recouped money will then be reinvested in new enterprises to be decided by the community.

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With both programs by creating employment we are enabling people to care for their families which include impoverished children, orphans living with extended family members and other extended family members.  Money invested in projects like this creates and circulates money in the community that has ripple effects in creating other jobs.

Birthday Party

Each year we hold a big birthday party for our orphans.  This was originally created as a not just a celebration but a way of creating ‘birthdays’ for those orphans entering our program who were abandoned so early that they didn’t know their birthdays.  Without a birth date, a birth certificate cannot be obtained and without that the child cannot receive benefits accorded a citizen of Kenya.

This is a true celebration attended by hundreds of people in the community – not just our orphans but their guardians and other impoverished children in the family compounds.  There is a meal for all, birthday cake, ‘loot’ bags and also involves our monthly food distribution in which up to 2 tons of food and supplies are given out.

This year we found we had a deficit in our funding for the program.  I reached out and made specific requests of people to make donations to help support our party.  The response was immediate and generous.  Not only did we have sufficient funds for this year’s party but we are now completely funded for next year’s party!

Each donor – many of whom are either writers or editors – was provided with a thank you sign.  A sampling of those signs is below.  I want to again offer my thanks to all of our donors.  You made possible a very special day for our children.

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Water Projects

I had the great fortune to be at the opening of a water project years ago and was approached by an elder who took my hand and said, ‘you did not give us water, you gave us life.’  It was one of the most profound moments of my life.

Our water projects are true partnerships.  We provide funds for cement, steel rods, hardware, and pipes, and expertise and we ask the community to provide sand, gravel, labor and a plan to share, care and repair the project.  Each project is individually evaluated to make sure that it will be a viable project, not just to be created but maintained.  Below is an example of the manner one of our latest projects was evaluated.

WATER PROJECT

Priority:                       High

Project size:     Low

 

Community name Mbyani
Project name Mbyani water project
Community size 600 in the immediate area
Church Xx
Primary School Xx
Secondary school Xx
Current Issue or Concern Individuals currently use this water, but there is a significant risk of waterborne diseases – donkeys, dogs and snakes use it and defecate nearby it. Big problem during rainy season as feces wash into the open water source.
  High number of water born diseases, approximately 80%+ of community has suffered from
  Typhoid, Diphtheria, Diarrhea, various amoeba and other stomach diseases resulting in death, significant hospital time.
  Recovery time of 3+ weeks, loss of income and mounting debt to pay medical bills
Solution Cover access point
  Create reservoir with and over flow
  Create Sanitary Drawing Point
Surrounding community benefits 600 additional people would benefit from this water project as people travel from as far as 5km away to this water source.
  Typhoid, Diphtheria, Diarrhea, various amoeba and other stomach diseases resulting in death, significant hospital time.
  Recovery time of 3+ weeks, loss of income and mounting debt to pay medical bills
Materials supplied by community Sand, gravel and labour
Additional materials needed Cement, skilled labour
Cost 800.00 Canadian
Government approved Yes
Government plans provided Yes
Ongoing cost Chlorine every for water purification

Training 1 woman and 1 man for upkeep of the well

Additional Consideration Consideration and planning is needed to ensure the continuation of excess water flow to irrigation project.  Twenty-minute walk from the road.  Locals assure that this will not be a problem, shown by proactive villagers who had already brought rocks and sand for the cement.  Community is very EAGER to start project.  If there is additional funding, they have thoughts on a secondary project which would provide water to a nearby hospital via an extensive piping system (more expensive).

 

 

 

Comments:

The current water source is a natural spring which has been used by Mbyani village and the neighbouring community since the early 70’s.

Many people (Ruth estimates 50% of the people in each household) have suffered and some have died from Waterborne diseases.  During preliminary survey (by intern), when villagers were asked how many people have died over the years from waterborne diseases there was too many to count.

Village hopes that this will:

  • Save money (500 shillings a year/person)
  • Save time (>12 hours of waiting in clinic to get a doctor’s appointment)
  • Improve income due to reduction of sick time – recovery can take a minimum of 3 weeks
  • Improve academic results – kids will be in school not recovering from illnesses

The problem isn’t the lack of spring fed water. Rather its the lack of finances + materials that causes this problem.

This project was tried before but it ultimately failed due to lack of resources

99.99% of community is happy with this project.  Elder said that if this project went through they would be very (x5) happy.

Well is on public land – catchment area is given for free by a committee member.

We have three ongoing projects with the first already dedicated.

Two of these projects are funded through Welo, a Canadian company that makes a donation from each bottle of probiotic water that they sell.  Here is the dedication plaque which has been placed on the project.

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The third was funded by a generous donation from the Al-Hijra Islamic Academy in Windsor.  We ae so grateful to both sources.  I am particularly touched by the children of an Islamic school reaching across the world to provide water in an area that is overwhelmingly Christian.  This is a true statement of love and caring.  Great thanks to those children.  They will, upon the completion of the water project, receive a picture of the dedication plaque.

Below are a series of pictures showing the work that is going into these projects.

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Families and children already using the first completed water project

Donations

School donations

Dinsmore Composite School raised $619.15.  These funds are being used for 6 days of support in October and for the October food distribution.

Denlow Public School – Kimberly Chin’s grade 2/3 class made a donation of $385.00 which was used for three days of support October 7, 8, 9, and October food distribution

Lt. Col Barker V.C. School – Under the leadership of Katrina Mitchell made a donation of $250.00 which was used for two days of support October 5, 6 and the October food distribution.

Mrs. Hoover’s grade 7 class made a donation to purchase a goat.

Individual Donations

Rueben made a donation that was used for 5 days of support for the entire program!  Great thanks!

Julian, a student from Marchmont P.S. made a $20.00 to be used for October food distribution

Braydon from Lucky Lake School made a $20.00 to be used for the October food distribution.

Alissa from Lucky Lake School made a $25.00 to be used for the October food distribution.

Thank You Signs

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Food Distribution

Each month we give out up to 2.2 tons of food and supplies to the orphans and impoverished children in our community.  The majority of these supplies are provided by our ongoing sponsors.  We make up for any shortfalls and then add additional supplies if additional donations are received.

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Days of Support

A donation of $100.00 provides for one day of support for our residence.  This is food for all the children, the salaries of the driver, watchman, matron, caretaker, cook, and tutor, and the utilities for the building.

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Sponsors

We have ongoing sponsors from Canada, The United States, Germany, England, and Kenya.  They provide a monthly donation for a specific child and their education.  Our sponsors remain the backbone of our program.  We encourage regular contact and our sponsors often send money or parcels for presents.  Here are some of the thank you signs that were sent to our sponsors.

 

 

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This is our wonderful Baraka who is in Grade 10 now.

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Heading off to university with a computer!  It’s important to provide our children with the tools they need to succeed.

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