Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Acres of Mercy is a Non- Governmental Organization registered in Kenya currently working in Nguluni Location, Matungulu District, Machakos County. The NGO is currently working in this area of the country as a starting point to be the launching pad to other parts of Kenya. The NGO is working in three broad areas and include:- 1. Early Childhood Education and Development 2. Health Interventions 3. Community Empowerment and Mobilization
Oct 23, 2012

Season of Fruits

Students Concentrating on a Paper
Students Concentrating on a Paper

Dear friends and partners,

Allow me to take this time to share what we have managed to achieve together over the last 3 months. I will recap, then give progress summary, share  a few challenges and then also give a brief on the way forward.

Recap

The last time the tomatoes had just flowered and we were beginning to work on how to get them to market. We also talked about beginning to  look at value addition of the tomatoes and how to go ahead and begin rabbit keeping (it cost us $ 610) to get the hutches and chicken coop ready.

Progress

Since July 2012 we have achieved the following:-

1. The green house had good fruit mainly due to the attention the green house workr put in

2. We had at least one more recurring donation so this has given us more resources to work with

3. We have managed to produce at least over 150 kgs of tomato fruit

4. The children have not had as much challenges with food even without government support.

    NB. For two weeks though they had no lunch because of a delay in incomes. We are working on a relationship with local distributors who can give us food on fair payment terms- to be paid maximum 30 days

5. Financial summary ( We have managed to sell $103 since the first harvest on September 14th)

6. Marketing- We have used facebook to market outside to other places and obtained a request to supply 300kgs a week (This is a huge order for us and we are working on how to meet it) At full capacity we can produce 590 kg a week)

Challenges

1. Water is still a challenge. The council have not been reliable in pumping water. This has led to post harvest losses of 25%. And Production quality has not been as expected (590kg) a week.

The water inconsistency destroyed the crop and we are replanting

Our Solution: We have mobilised support from other quarters to sink our well deeper so as to hit a more permanent source of water. Please join us in extending the well through a one off donation. it costs $ 85 a week. We are about two weeks away from hitting a permanent water source from the well, if the short rains do not start within the said time

2. Security: The fence around the school has been compromised and we have been getting losses due to pilferage and stealing of tomatoes. 

Our Solution: We know a solution- surround the entire school using chainlink fence which would cost us about $1400 or $ 7 a metre.

3. Public Health Directive: Our public health officials visited the school and advised us that the chicken coop and rabbit farm were very close to the classrooms and hence we would need to either move the students or the classes if we wanted to keep the animals. 

Solution: We are currently fundraising for classes.

We will also redesign our farming model to comply with the directives 

4. Sales: The sales have not been as expected and this will mean operating expenses like teachers salaries will still not be covered for at least another 4 months. That brings us to 2013 February by which time we hope to increase our current 7 teachers salaries from current average of $ 65  to $ 100 per month and have two more for 2013 when we start a new class in January 2013.

Way Forward 

We are replanting the parts in the greenhouse that dried up. We will conduct a soil test to determine the health of the soil- testing for disease and nematodes (cost is $30)

The well should be done soon, and with the onset of rains we will reach our targeted production of 590 kg a week in the next 4 months.

We will also start chicken and rabbit farming once

The designing of the farming model will take centre stage. I will keep you posted

Appreciation 

Thank you for continuing with us. Your generous giving has seen lives being touched. Because of your help we have children able to concentrate in class. And performance is improving. With average performance across classes being improved by about 20% for each class subject. We can attribute this to a more consistent supply of food this year for our feeding program.

Together we have steadied the ship and now its time to get to shore...a sustainable program to give the children a foundation in education

I would still urge as many as can to consider making recurrent donations so we shift disbursement from once every 3 months to at least every month. 

Thank you and God bless you all

Warmest Regards

 

 

     Part of the harvest
Part of the harvest
Tomatoes 2nd October
Tomatoes 2nd October
The Quality is Good
The Quality is Good
Some of our teachers
Some of our teachers
Thank you
Thank you
Oct 5, 2012

Group Incubation: Hatching Results Already

Capacity Building
Capacity Building

Thank you once again dear friends and partners. It gives me great pleasure to touch base with you again. It has been long and hard but knowing you are behind us has given us the push to continue. 

We are together working to make a great and lasting impact on the lives of women, men and children who have been affected and or infected with HIV.

Over the last 3 months we have used $ 395 to install new pipes to water the greenhouse to help meet our goal of generating income through a second greenhouse project. The monies were also used to finish installing the electric pump to help in irrigation.

We have been able to incubate a group of over 30 members who have been saving for the past three months with internal savings of $37 that will be built up in the next few months to be made available for relending to group members.

The women have also been able to build about 1000 bricks to be used to build animal shelters. This has been done using the local brick making method which is not efficient. 

With a brick machine worth $1220 the HIV support group will be able to better fulfil block requirement targets needed to build 3 animal sheds for the next phase.

Rabbit hatches, chicken coops and a sheep pen had been constructed using the initial disbursement of $395 and other onies raised outside the portal using fundraising cards and direct asking from members of the groupsd and or organization. The group is also receiveing better nutrition through various farm animals they are keeping at their homes. All 55 families targeted have a source of daily nutrition.from the chicken,and goat.

The group of 30 has been trained on various topics especialy agri-business, governnace and group dynamics

Challenges

The land earmarked for purchase was later sold to a different party becuase the seller said and I quote," we are not serious buyers." This was because fundraising on globalgiving came to a standstill

Water is still a challenge with the wells dried up. during the month of September.

Upcoming

- The project team will review the changes in this plan and readjust to fit to current realities

- Begin value addition for tomatoes to provide more employment opportunitie

I want to thank all of you who are supporting this project, friends and their families.

We appreciate you..

Jul 24, 2012

Looking Up

Green...Tomato Plants at 21st day after transplant
Green...Tomato Plants at 21st day after transplant

Dear partners, It is an exciting time full of expectation. I just wanted to share a few more pictures from the green house 3 weeks after transplanting. The plants are actually flowering and we are due for a good harvest. Thanks to your support in this journey. We are also in the process of looking at various methods of canning tomatoes. Any one with ideas of simple technologies of doing this would be much appreciated. A local rabbit farmer has also approached us and has rabbits to sell, about 8 does and 2 bucks to start us off. Our plan is to have these going on in the next two months. The hatches are just ready. We have also begun marketing initiatives in earnest and reconnecting with local restaurants in readiness for the harvest season I have attached some pictures just giving a feel of what is happening here. It is indeed an exciting time and indeed things are looking up. We have been adjusting our green house business plan and hopefully we should be sharing it especially with regard to the value addition aspect; chicken production and rabbit production. This will effectively get us on to the next phase of the project. My request is to help support the worker managing the greenhouse. He needs monthly wage of $64. If we could have a few friends partnering with 4 recurrent donations of $ 16, we would continue with the good work. Thank you for your continued support. .

Tomato plants...flowering already
Tomato plants...flowering already
Rabbit Hatches
Rabbit Hatches
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