Friends of Yimbo

Friends of Yimbo (FOY) is a non-profit organization that works with the people of Yimbo Village in Western Kenya. Founded by Ben and Charles Odipo, FOY intends to further the efforts on behalf of the community begun by their father, Joseph, who passed away before realizing his principal goal of providing a fully functional primary school for the area. FOY continuously liaises with the local community to prioritize and realize other goals it identifies.
Aug 7, 2014

Summer 2014 Update

A group of 14 "Friends of Yimbo" recently returned from a trip to the area where they helped villagers with our ongoing projects.  This was the 5th time friends from the US have visited and, as usual, all thought the trip was successful and personally rewarding.

Since my last report, the women's microenterprise venture to raise chickens has fully taken off.  27 of the 28 original participants have fully functioning structures with an average of 15 chickens each.  They're selling chicks and eggs and managing it all quite well after taking bookkeeping training before getting started.

The water borehole and pumping station are providing clean, safe water right now, and the piped water project to which I referred in the last report is also moving forward.  Our local committee in Yimbo sent a written proposal to their Member of Parliament for funding.  In response, the Government's Constituency Development Fund allocated $20,000 to pipe water from the nearest village already in the network as part of the PENWA (Pi En Ngima Water Association) Project. The plan is to run the main pipe to the future site of the planned village health clinic (you may recall me mentioning this in an earlier report).  From there, individual households can pay to run a line to their dwellings.  The whole project will cost about $35,000 to bring the pipe to the clinic site, so we need to raise about $15,000 more.  

The travelers brought with them over 88 books for the school library built by Friends of Yimbo.  They also brought over 500 tee-shirts along with sanitary kits and health kits.  Basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, and even a BINGO game also found their way to Yimbo.  Among other things, the volunteers helped repair classroom desks, conducted some teacher training and helped set up at tent for movie nights with the movies provided by Friends.  A village forum was also held for the local folk to voice their preferences for future Friends of Yimbo projects.  There are some interesting ones that I'm sure I'll tell you about before too long.

So until next time, thank you again for your support for the people of Yimbo.  Your help is always appreciated.  


Feb 10, 2014

Winter 2014 Update

Happy 2014, Friends of Yimbo.

After a rather quiet 2013 Holiday Season, we're gearing up for another productive year working with the people of Yimbo. We're focusing on two fronts.  As I mentioned in my fall 2013 report, we're helping the Muguna (Yimbo area) Women's Group develop successful businesses raising chickens to help satisfy a large and growing local demand for chickens and eggs.  Since the fall report, our consultant on the ground has met with the group at least 10 times.  At least eight group members have come up with the majority of the required start-up costs, including building the chicken coops. Now we're working with the consultant on ways to encourage others to save enough to catch up to the lead group. The next step is for the Friends of Yimbo to cover the cost of shared resources such as veterinarian services and the purchase of incubators.  Your help of as little as $20 would go a long way toward covering the veterinary costs, and $50 will cover about a quarter of the price of one incubator that can be shared by at least two women.

FOY is also still working on bringing safe, clean water to more families in the Yimbo area.  In addition to the borehole project already completed, we plan to help our local water committee in the community participate in a pipeline extension project undertaken by the Kenyan government and the larger donor community.  The government will work with local leaders that are "ready to help" extend the pipeline to their communities.  FOY decided to help leverage what the folks in Yimbo can contribute.  Right now, we're simply facilitating communication between the different communities that would benefit from the pipeline.  When the groups agree on a plan, we plan to lend financial support to make the extension a reality.  If this is successful, we believe we can move on to support building the health clinic I mentioned in an earlier report because water infrastructure will be in place.

Some of you may have noticed that we no longer plan to drill a second bore hole.  We don't want to appear unfocused as we alter our plans.  We are trying, successfully we believe, to be nimble enough to take advantage of the changing circumstances and opportunities that arise on the ground.  We hope you'll continue to follow our progress and, if you like what we're doing, to help us as you can.

All the best.


Nov 4, 2013

Fall 2013 Update

Greetings from the Friends of Yimbo.

Things continue to go well with our effort to help the folks of Yimbo.  As reported in my Summer 2013 update, the water project has been a success.  Clean, safe water is available in the area for the very first time. 

We're now working quite a bit with the Muguna (Yimbo area) Womens' Group to help them develop successful business opportunities.  More specifically, the consultants mentioned in the summer 2013 update have used their expertise to help the women develop a business and marketing plan for raising chickens. Similar plans, developed with the help of the same consultants, to sell chickens and eggs that help satisfy a large and growing local demand have been successful in nearby communities.  Our support will allow Muguna women to enter this lucrative market. I should be able to provide an update on their progress in my next report.

Our organization consults with the local community whenever we can.  When the "Friends" are actually in Yimbo, we meet with locals in a "Village Forum," where conversations take place about what the community needs most. The conversation at last forum in summer 2012 coalesced around the need for a health clinic, which took priority over drilling the planned second water borehole.  So we decided to make the construction and stocking of a clinic our next major project.  

Finally, we held two successful fundraisers in California since my last update.  The first was over the Labor Day weekend in Sacramento while the second, in Orange County, was just two weeks ago.  Check out the pics at the link below.

If you're interested in meeting one of the founders of our organization and learning more about its history, check out the attached video.  


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