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
Jul 9, 2013

Classrooms for 150 At Risk Children

Education- The Strong Foundation
Education- The Strong Foundation

Dear Partners and friends,

Since the start of our project the time has never been ripe as it is now to talk about a few challenges that we have been facing. The key being inadequate physical infrstructure from whre we can provide quality education to our children.

We begun by providing food and this has been going on quite well with all our children now being fed through our school feeding program 98% of the time they are in school. This has been made possible through the collaborative partnership with the local sub-county administrative office.

The needs have since evolved and the governmnet requires us to have beetter infrastructure to better take care of the education and developmental needs of our students. Initially we had thought to exit them from the program because of lack of sopace but we knew doing this would mean most would never continue with their primary level education successfully due to the costs involved in taking children to public schools especially becuase of their guardians situation and the public perception of the children we have been stnading for.

Early in the year in April we had a visit by the District Quality Assurance Officer who adviced us to better our facilities if we were to be allowed to continue having the children within our programs. We had since started the process of obtaining architectural drwaings for our new school buildings that would have better learning and educational management facilities. This would help us truly have the children stay in School now and in transition as we hope to take them through our current Class 6 to Class 8. failure to have these facilities would mean dropouts from the education system for various reasons including economic contsrints of parents, not coping with change in teaching methods in public school system especially for children who have had reading and learning difficulties which we are currently remediating as opposed  to public school systems which spend little or no time remediating challenges like these.

The facebook link below shows a picture of the plans we are working on

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=610603025622885&set=pb.190853274264531.-2207520000.1373401112.&type=3&theater

For the above reason I would like to inform you as partners our desire to redirect giving to the building project over the next two years and would like to as for more support in helping us raise our target. We would revise the project and targets this September to have one campaign for the sake of the keeping our children in school and helping them transition to high school for a better future. Help them Build a foundation on which they will build better lives and better futures for themselves. Away from the poverty cycle and risks facing them.

It is my hope that we will all join together in making this possible.

We would welcome suggestions and comments even as we plan for September Open Challenge. Ideas on events that you could hold either as individuals or groups to help us arise to meet this new challenge to keep our children in school.

Thank you


 


Proposed Building Plans
Proposed Building Plans
Inside the Wooden Classrooms
Inside the Wooden Classrooms
Temporary Classes
Temporary Classes
This building holds 3 classes and a school office
This building holds 3 classes and a school office
Class 4 Students in Partitioned Class
Class 4 Students in Partitioned Class

Links:

Jun 10, 2013

Empowerment One Day at A Time

Cross section of the new crop in May
Cross section of the new crop in May

Dear friends and partners,

Since February a lot has happened in the lives of the families we are working with. We are seeing the potential of the project to educate vulnerable children and provide meals for families that need nutritious help.

Updates

1. School Fee Support

The project was able to support two teenage girls in their edcation. 1 girl whose mother is HIV postive was taken to school. The project paid forward her second term school fees, purchased uniforms and helped her secure a place in seconadary school, a great achievement given she is the first girl in their family to get into secondary level education. .

A second girl was also supported to purchase a school skirt (uniform support) 

Total support for this initiative totalled $132. 

2. Greenhouse Replanting- April-Oct 2013 Season

The members of the group were able to work on getting the greenhouse ready for replanting.

The group working in partnership were able to claer the land and prepare seedbeds in readiness for planting of tomatoes.The project managed by Acres of Mercy and the group in a mentoring rel;ationship has taken off and the tomatoes are 62 days old since replanting as at 8th June 2013. 20% of the plants have flowered and there is expectation of fruit development within the next three to four weeks

The total cost for this replanting was $150 including the groups contribution, seeds and nursery replanting kit.

3. Micro Health Support

This is yet to kick off as the group is yet to raise their contribution. We have since kept this on hold so the group can raise their required contribution

4. Savings

Group savings has grown and there are more active members seen in the number of members participating in weekly activities.

5. Passing Gift

Monitoring of this has been a challenge but so far 5 members are ready to pass on animal gifts to other families who are in line. The group leadership will be trained on effective monitoring methods and equipped with monitoring tools.

We want to thank you for the support given this far.

For much more impact on the above we want to ask for you our friends and partners to consider giving at least $500 recurring donations per month on this project over the next 6 months to reach sustainability level.

We thank you again for your continued support

Links:

Jun 10, 2013

Change is Coming

Motivated Students Engaged in Reading
Motivated Students Engaged in Reading

Dear friends and partners,

After taking another chance we are seeing some change happening.

We have been working hard on the ground to ensure we can get better, sustained and higher returns on the project. In February we reported that we will plant corriander and tomatoes. We did plant the tomatoes but went one step further.

The following sre snapshots of the progress we have made so far:-

1. Electric Pump Repairs:- Towards the end of November 2012 the submersible pump used to irrigate the green house broke down due to a short circuit caused by water leaking into the wiring system. We managed to repair and rewire the system to house the switch in  a place where it is not exposed to rain

The wiring also included an AVS switch that would regulate the electric current flows

2. Replanting Green house with capsicum: With the water pump sytsem in place we planted green pepper (capsicum) so that we would be able to get better returns over a shorter period of time. We also planted corriander in betwen the capsicum rows. This will ensure early returns to cover for costs early. Corriander is a high value crop and a bunch of 10 stems would sell for 30/=. Capsicum is also high value and a small sized piece would sell at a market price of 10/= a piece. We expect to have much more tthan small sizes when we begin to harvest in October.

The greenhouse has a capacity of 200 plants each capable of producing over a 100 fruit during the entire season

3. Increased Student participation: Our casual worker left work in December. This set us back almost three months. The positive result of this is that more students in the school have taken ownership of the project and are actively participating in its routine maintainance. This will also save us in terms of labour costs. 6 students have shown a keen interset in farming and this is a positive result for us

3. Agri skills development and mentorship among students: With increased student participation, there has been more organized passing of agronomy skills and record keeping  to the students. This is equipping them with a resilient character. They are developing responsibility. Currently we have students being motivated to take up modern farming as serious livelihood option. One of the students keeps pushing for the rabbit project to start and this is great initiative and accountability.

We want to thank you for making this possible and encourage more recurrent donations so we can hit the $300 a month mark. The gains we are making with the students are worth the effort in keeping students motivated and passionate about school.

We are in the process of reassessing our termly assessments and performance to take into consideration students who might be academically weak but have shown great progress in out of class activities like the greenhouse management. We hope this strategy would keep such students eager to learn more in science or mathematics as we work on helping them transfer skills learnt in the project into the classroom.

We are however reworking our cashflows to harmonise so we can get into sustainability by the end of this season.

Links:

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