Life Bloom Services International-LBSI.

Life Bloom Services International supports vulnerable women, girls and children (and a small component of males) in their journeys towards re discovering their lives' dreams, and empowers them to be able to journey towards turning their dreams into reality
Aug 20, 2014

1st floor due complete on LBSI 10th Anniversary

Walls await paint and windows await glass panes
Walls await paint and windows await glass panes

The LBSI Training Center will open its doors on September 5th, its 10th Anniversary. We are so very close to completion and all of your assistance is getting us there on time. 

The remaining items to complete the 1st Floor (and then the second floor will begin underway shortly after) are as follows:

All paint & labor - $774
All tiles & labor - $1153
Glass panes for windows and doors - $524
sub-total - $2451
Less recent $450 donation
TOTAL - $2001

In this post you'll see the picture of a wall that is ready for prep to paint and, in the same photo, the windows awaiting glass panes. We are SO close and can accomplish the goal of having the Training Center ready for use, and its first scheduled training, on its 10th Anniversary. 

As we continue our preparations for launch of the Women One Stop Center on Sept 5th, we are also completing the construction of a separate small building for making the bricks (brick making shop). It is made of bricks manually made in the past several months by LBSI women. This brick shop will provide workers relief from working unprotected in the hot sun and strong winds. The equipment is soon to be installed in the shop and will be used to train other women in the brick making process.

How bricks are made: A mixture of soil and small measures of cement is done using very little water. The mixture is fed into the machine and the handle is brought down creating pressure on the mixture. The brick is then removed from the machine and put to dry. Bricks are put to dry and acquire firmness for 5-7 days before they are used for construction.

Why have a brick making shop? By taking on this task, LBSI will be able to make the bricks for the Training Center with the potential to make construction about 40% cheaper. We hope to expand this project after the launch of the center in September. There is already interest in the community to purchase these bricks from LBSI, which will enable us to fund our project and services after the construction of the building is complete.

We are so close to a useable center and then will move toward fund-raising and completing the second floor.

Our deepest appreciation to all who have made this possible. 

Brick making
Brick making
Worker and bricks, sieve in background
Worker and bricks, sieve in background

Links:

May 30, 2014

Brick by Brick: Progress you make possible

LBSI Women working to level the classroom area
LBSI Women working to level the classroom area

Beginning in February 2014, four women and six men have been working on site in Naivasha to build the first floor of the Training Center. These workers include some of the women who are part of the Life Bloom network. This continues the tradition LBSI set forth of employing the women who they are retraining from sex work, as written about in "Steps Toward Foundation Building Underway" on January 30, 2012. We are now about two years later and only a few weeks away from the first floor of the Training Center being occupied and ready for use, which includes two classrooms and some washrooms. 

Let's catch you up on what's happened the last several months!

February 2014 - Laying the foundation

March 2014 - Leveling of the classroom floor in preparation of the slab pouring; 

The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians-St Paul's University Kenya Chapter (the CIRCLE) and a representative of the World Council of Churches (WCC) lay stone and bless the project. What's symbolic about this? Churches in Kenya have been known to be the first to shun "sex work" (read: prostitution) and all that goes with it. Talk to any sex worker about the cause of stigma and the answer will most probably be the church.  A number of churches are finally breaking this barrier and supporting processes that are supportive of the people who our societies shun. Bravo to the CIRCLE and WCC for leading the way and Bravo the Presbyterian Church of Tacoma-Washington State (USA) for the great donation. (Click here to access an article using an interview with Catherine Wanjohi (LBSI Founder) by the World Council of Churches) 

25th - Halfway completed with the first floor walls

April 2014 - 12th, Building at 47% of the physical construction work (five weeks ahead of schedule!), at a total cost of approximately $14,895. (Kenya shillings 1,266,075)

21st - This first phase covers 1944 square feet or 175 sq meters. Building is now at the 1st floor slab level. There has been heavy downpour and flooding in some areas of Naivasha and it's not always prudent to have the construction going on when the manpower will be paid full day's work, yet they mostly will work for half day in April due to the downpour.

May 2014As work at the construction site proceeds, efforts are moving toward:

  • Perimeter Wall
  • Wiring for power (electricity) connection
  • Water pipes connection
After deliberations with the staff and board members on the issue of the perimeter wall, we resolved to have the women who have been trained on interlocking brick/block making to build blocks for the perimeter wall. Life Bloom has one manual curved block maker, which has been used by the women to build blocks for rain harvesting tanks construction and VIP toilets. However, we need to have the rectangular block maker. If we were to purchase one ($1470), and make the blocks, we would be bringing the cost for these blocks down by at least 25 percent. We will then use the machine to make blocks for sale; we already have two ready potential customers. At the same time, the women building the blocks will be making an earning.
Meanwhile, the construction of the slab for the two classrooms is on-going. By the time we are done with it in the next three weeks, we will be moving to the windows/doors, wiring for power, piping for water, and the finishes on the walls and floors.

LBSI aims to have the first floor ready for use this September or before. We can still use your support to keep construction moving along. We are months away from Kenya's first training center for retraining female sex workers into entrepreneur enterprises so they can support themselves in a way that allows them to keep their heads held high. It's a model that continues to work and we look forward to training more women than ever before.

As always, we appreciate your support in all its ways, whether that be monetary, in person, in word, in voice, in thought... we are all connected and your positivity is felt and keeps us going strong. 

CIRCLE and WCC laying stone
CIRCLE and WCC laying stone
CIRCLE and WCC laying stone (with LBSI Founder)
CIRCLE and WCC laying stone (with LBSI Founder)
Walls going up!
Walls going up!
Brick by Brick
Brick by Brick
(Looking back) Prepping the foundation
(Looking back) Prepping the foundation

Links:

Feb 27, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday, Life Bloom!

LBSI 2013 Thank You
LBSI 2013 Thank You

Life Bloom Services International is about to celebrate our 10th birthday!

We would like to express our deepest appreciation to our Global Giving community, and our extended community members who read these reports. 

Through Life Bloom in 2013:

  • 914 wounded sex workers and household members living in the slums have received counseling
  • 30 women/children survivors of trafficking and exploitation have been rescued
  • 252 survivors of gender-based violence are still pursuing justice
  • 1469 people have been supported with peace and reconciliation intervention messages
  • 314 women prisoners and their children have received gifts, counseling, and messages of hope through Life Bloom's seven (7) visits to Naivasha Women's Prison
  • 142 Peer mentors' received training to make them more effective mentors and leaders

And the ripples in the pond extend beyond that and we couldn't do it without you.  We still have so far to go in the process of building the training center and every little bit helps. Once our Training Center is built, we will be able to expand our impact even more, as we'll have a stable location and not have to suffer the increases in rent that we so often do with our administrative offices and we can schedule training as needed, rather than as convenient to a location. We so look forward to the possibilities! 

Links:

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