Wagire, Kenya, October, 2011
Please accept my sincere thanks for your support of our community project (Educating 80 girls and Orphans in Kenya) (see photo). In the last three months we have continued to focus on improving the lives of children in our community, especially in providing educational opportunities for orphans and girls. The community has been working together cooperatively to ensure the success of this Global Giving/PATHWAYS project. We are so grateful for your support and generosity.
This project is the first of its kind in our community. There has never been any influx of money for improvements; this money from Global Giving/PATHWAYS is the first. We are doing our best to make the most of this opportunity. Your contribution has changed lives, and will continue to have a positive impact on especially children, well into the future. The initial project objectives have been fully achieved. Below is a report on our progress on follow up objectives:
We have completed the refurbishment of our kitchen at a cost of Ks. 3,670.This included putting up a wall and repairs to the roof.
Completion of construction of a bookshelf to help store the library books, at a total cost of Ksh. 5,000.
We employed one more teaching staff member to help handle the increased numbers of pupils. We currently have 150 pupils in our four classes and the number keeps increasing day in day out. Our orphaned children population has also more than doubled. We currently have 35 total and partial orphans. We have a total of six members of teaching staff and three members of non-teaching staff to help keep up with the increasing numbers of pupils (photo). We have plans underway to construct and equip three additional classrooms by the end of this year. We also plan to relocate our library so as to allow more study space to users as the usage/utility of our library has risen sharply of late, and we have had increased demand for more reading material and reading space, so we also deliberated to add to our existing collection of reading materials, especially now that we are approaching the end of the year when most students sit for their final examinations.
We set plans in motion to have the school connected to the national electricity grid so that we can reduce our expenditure on electricity. We have our own solar power, funded through the generosity of Global Giving donors, (photo) however, this has not been adequate to supply power for 24hours a day. We will still have a low power consumption as we will rely on the power generated by the solar panel for consumption.
We are in advanced stages in securing the land title deed for the school lot. (photo) This should be completed by the end of the year.
Our community is committed to help alleviate poverty among us with a special focus on girls and women. We aim to empower the community through recognition and initiation of programs targeting the neglected members of the community.
As you may remember, PATHWAYS supported my medical school education and I am now midway with my internship, currently doing my rotation in Paediatrics an am enjoying it immensely. My goal in life is to help children.
Thank you for helping me help my community and helping them make much needed improvements in the educational facilities and resources and infrastructure, like power, so that they can generate their own new opportunities in the future.
You are changing lives for the better- thank you!!
Dear GlobalGiving Donors,
The thanks of our entire community goes out to you for your generous support of our project! These contributions have made a real difference and will continue to help well into the future. The main focus during the last few months has been on the school project because of its immediate importance and lasting value to the children of the village; however, we also have continued to develop the two associated projects, rabbit rearing and making sanitary pads, because the funds raised with those efforts will help families to pay school fees and purchase uniforms.
A key development in June was the finalization of the land acquisition from the Catholic Church thus allowing us to begin implementing plans for construction of the school. Plans now have been completed, materials acquired and actual construction has begin on site, with full completion set for the end of September. The school will have four classrooms, to accommodate the various age groups/grade levels, and we also are providing two on site latrines. The new school will permit us to expand the current program, bringing in more children, and also provide employment opportunities for new teachers.
This is an exciting time for the community as we anticipate being able to move from the church where we are currently operating, to the new building with multiple classrooms. And, of course, the school and the educational opportunity now available will be of lasting benefit to the community as many, especially girls and orphans, now for the first time will have a chance to benefit from the education provided.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our children, it opens a road for their future”, said one mother at the group meeting, with many others nodding in agreement.
Rabbit Keeping Project
The rabbit project is continuing, but suffered a setback when we lost several of the rabbits to illness, a problem that has occurred in nearby communities as well. The rabbit rearing group, consisting of some 40 women split into five groups, has pooled resources to ensure the viability of the population. Additionally, we plan to acquire more rabbits so that each group has a sufficient number (at least five per group). Hutches are already in place at each group location.
We have identified markets for the rabbits, so the women are motivated knowing that it will be possible to generate revenue once the rabbits are producing. After equipping the women with skills of rearing the rabbits we are hoping that they can use the same skills to rear their own rabbits and be a source of income. As noted, the revenue from this projct will directly benefit each of the participating families, especially helping them to pay the school fees.
Girls Sanitary Project
A second group of girls has been recruited into the project and are being taught how to make the reusable sanitary towels. The project is of value because many girls miss school every month when they have menses, because they cannot afford to buy the disposable pads. Such absences hurt the academic performance of girls and contribute to higher rates of leaving school early. With affordable reusable pads available this problem can be alleviated. Additionally, the families involved in making and selling the pads will generate a profit helping them economically.
The parents of the school age girls also have expressed an interest in being involved in the project. To achieve this, we have held meeting with the parents to describe the pad making project and to hear from them their ideas for proceeding. Parental involvement will be of great value as the project grows and their active participation will be most helpful.
For all three of our projects, we are grateful for your support- you are changing lives!
With sincere thanks,
Global Giving Report #2
Thank you so much for supporting Dennis Mutwiri, Nafisa Ayuko, and Michael Murigi, all bright but needy students who are PATHWAYS Scholars at the University of Nairobi. Each has continued to succeed academically and also has continued to work very hard on their PATHWAYS community projects. The projects have all progressed well as initial plans have been implemented and new ideas put forth. Below is an update on the specific progress they have made to improve the lives of their community members and their community environments.
Dennis Mutwiri’s project – Solar panels, planting trees and fish farming.
The fencing of the fish pond was delayed a little bit because of the heavy rain in Nanyuki. However, my members have made a great effort and completed it, apart from a 10 meter stretch that we hope to complete in the next half (see photo). The pond now looks great and secure, thanks to Global Giving and PATHWAYS! My members have greatly appreciated the donation and the efforts of all of the contributors.
We have embarked on loaning out solar panels to group members who are willing and cannot afford them in cash. We are also planning to buy more solar batteries and let members access them on credit. They will be paying a commitment fee of Ksh. 1000 and thereafter Ksh. 715 monthly for 8 months for a 20watts solar panel. A member is required to bank the money in the group's bank account and present a banking slip to the treasurer; this will counter misappropriation and defaults. The first loan-out will be on 15th September this year. We hope all will go well per the plan.
We have started some fresh tree nurseries following the drying up of the previous one during the pro-longed drought. The current one is doing well and we hope it will be fruitful. The micro-credit project is thriving with members benefiting more and more from the flexible and convenient access to funds. I went to see the projects in person last weekend on 13th August, and when I asked them of their regard of the micro-credit, they all said it was a big boost to them individually, and their families too. They appreciate all the other projects equally. Most of them are farmers. Once they get the loans, they invest the money in agriculture. However, one of our members opted to start shop in the village to add to the income he was getting from farming. He borrowed Ksh. 8 000 and started off. He is so far doing good. Another member borrowed Ksh 5000 to purchase a solar battery from the group's green energy project and now she uses solar energy for lighting and powering her phone, radio and television sets. She says that her family is now more comfortable with unlimited power and how economical it is.
Nafisa Ayuka’s report - Improvement of girl child education through raising poultry and sanitary towels.
In addition to the sanitary towels, my group is interested in using the new sewing machines just purchased with PATHWAYS and Global Giving contributions (see photo) not only to make sanitary towels but also to sew clothes for babies and use it as a business. Relying on sanitary towels for sewing may not be profitable enough because sometimes we will have to give sanitary towels for free if the girls cannot afford to buy just to enable them go to school which is our main goal.
We will be buying the other machine next week since the idea that they want also to learn sewing is good when they come together. This will also enable them to sew uniforms cheaply for their boys and girls as they go to school so that at the end of the day they can read comfortably in good uniforms with the girls having the sanitary towels.
There is another issue that is serious in Kenya, this is the issue of HUNGER. That is why I am thinking of also advising my group members to plant cassava (like Michael- below) and potatoes since they keep on planting maize which is currently not doing well because the soils have been drained all the nutrients of maize crop and other crops could do better.
Michael Murigi’s report -Growing cassava for food security and income.
One of our community members, Mrs. Peris Njuguna, is the breadwinner of her family of 6 (see photo). Her husband like many others in the area, engages in illicit liquour (chang'aa) drinking and is rarely sober. He cannot cater for his family and the whole burden has to be borne by the wife. She has been working as a casual labourer in a coffee estate near the area.
Mrs.Peris Njuguna was one of the first members to join our group. She took note of Dr. Kamau's (expert in agriculture and cassava) insistence about the overwhelming demand of cassavas from the Asian community in Nairobi, who have even had to import. After her crop matured, she harvested and took it to Nairobi where it was bought within no time. She thought of how she would engage in active cassava business, buying cassava roots from farmers whose cassava matures. Now, she and 2 other women, buy cassava roots at Ksh. 1,000.00 per bag and sell to the Asians in Nairobi at Ksh. 3,000.00.
Using the profits of the business, she was able to enroll her daughter for high school education in February. She says, "My next step is to buy dairy cows that will feed on cassavas from my farm."
Thank you for your continued support. You are changing lives for the better!