Sometimes we like to dream big.
So, we started dreaming of drilling a borehole in one of the farms we work on in Mombasa, Kenya in an area known as LungaLunga. This land is 50 acres large and has so much potential for maize, sorghum, potatoes, melons, and all sorts of amazing things to grow. But, year after year, trial after trial, our crops fail because the rains never come and when they do come, they are just not enough.
The dreaming began and we decided that we couldn't just dream...we needed to act. So, this year, we sent funds to our friends in Mombasa to start drilling a borehole that will provide water and nutrients for the plants we want to grow on the land. The borehole is being dug, friends. It is happening! It really is happening.
I find it hard to believe the things that a small organization takes on sometimes. WHAT in the world made us believe we coudl get a project that costs close to $20k done when we have all the expenses of medicine, food, school fees and supplies, medical equipment, and livestock to deal with? I think the reason we believe we can do this is dual - faith and hope. We have the faith to believe that the project will work. We also have the faith that people will give because they care. And, we have the faith that the project will be successful and that many, many children will receive good veggies and fruit due to this generosity and hard work. Where does hope come in? It is seen all over the faces of tired mothers who want to feed their little ones well, who work hard to provide for their families but yet, cannot affort a tomato. It is in the handshakes and hugs we receive when we visit - the hope that their children will have a better, more healthy future than they did. How in the world couldn't we keep that hope alive?
Well, thanks to you and to so many others, we are doing it. We are getting that borehole dug, friends, and soon, I'll send you a photo of it, producing water on the scorched land. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being part of a dream. Thank you for helping our faith grow and for keeping hope alive.
I visited the Mombasa project last week in order to see how the garden/agriculture project is coming along and I left dancing and crying tears of joy. How incredible to see hard work paying off and to know that good things are happening!
The greenhouse at Portriez has already produced 150lbs of tomatoes, with an additional 200lbs expected to be harvested in the next week. That is colossal! Think for a moment that tomatoes are imported to Mombasa because they are impossible to grow in the heat, humidity and poor soil of the region. It is amazing that we can produce this volume of great tomatoes - tasty, colorful, full of vitamins. Spinach, kale, moringa, cassava, and sweet potatoes have also been harvested from outside the greenhouse where drip irrigation was set up.
This small piece of land has been producing food to feed those who just can't afford to purchase at the market. The food is sold at extremely discounted prices so that there is dignity in the purchase of it. The bits of money that are made are turned into more seed and to upkeep the greenhouse/farm.
We want to expand. We need to expand! How could we not? This project is such a success that we must reproduce it in the larger piece of land, producing tomatoes, peppers and other difficult to grow foods. Our dream? 10 greenhouses. Yep! Some of the veggies grown will be sold to hotels and restaurants for profit but the rest will be sold at reduced prices for those children and guardians who need food. If an orphan cannot afford to pay even that, it will be given to them.
Thank you for making this such a successful project, friends! It truly was inspirational to see what is going on in Portriez and then, to visit with women and toddlers who are doing great due to good food. Children are gaining weight. Things are looking good.
With gratitude and a million smiles,
Water is a rare commodity in Mombasa, Kenya. With a drought which has plagued this part of the country for the past 7 years, the land is dry and plants find it hard to grow. While greenhouses are a wonderful solution to production of good food, they also need water. The Portriez farm has a borehole, so the greenhouse and garden are doing wonderfully and veggies will be ready to harvest in one month.
The larger piece of land owned by our partners in Mombasa is 50 acres and we'd love to establish 10 greenhouses there. What is stopping us? Water. A borehole must be dug, but this is expensive (approximately $17k). AFCA is looking for partners who might be interested in helping meet this need. Maybe you know someone who'd like to donate specifically towards a borehole? Or, maybe you know someone who has a company who drills these boreholes and who'd like to lend their expertize? Or, maybe you know someone in an organization who does just this sort of thing and you'd be willing to speak on our behalf so that they will partner with us? If any of these ring true with you, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you so that we can get these other greenhouses up and functioning, to benefit children who need good food in order to stay healthy.
Happy New Year, all of you. Thank you for helping our kids.
Friends, during this season of giving, we are giving back a small "thank you" to everyone who makes a $25 (or larger) donation to this particular project. Will you make a donation today? And, will you please tell your friends and family about this project so that they, too, will make a small donation that will change how a child eats?
This particular project is moving forward wonderfully. Our pilot greenhouse is housing tomato seedlings who look so neat growing straight up. They will be attached to hanging strings in order to use the space as best as we can, producing fruit for many, many children. It is our hope that all children in the Mombasa program will receive nutritious food and the training to grow their own one day and that we'll be able to expand the greenhouse project to include 10 additional ones. All this takes time, but from all reports, things are looking great and we are on the right path.
We thank you for your generosity and hope you'll remember our kids when you use the beautiful wallet we'll send you!
On behalf of our children,
The Portriez Shamba (garden) was started to benefit our clients with vegetables to add vitamins into their foodintake and since then, we have seen great improvement in their health
Sixty-seven clients and five support groups with 20 members each have benefited from the trainings regarding preparation of gardens, planting, weeding, harvesting, and other management skills. Some clients have really tried to build small kitchen gardens though the challenge they have is lack of water. Lack of water seems to be one of our biggest issues here in Mombasa. We don't lack hard working people or families who want to eat better and to do what they must do in order to eat more nutritionally. What we need is water!
With the lack of water in mind, we studies greenhouses and with the help of AFCA, we purchased on for this land. Right now, seedlings are ready for transplanting into the greenhouse and we hope to have the first harvest of tomatoes and sukuma wiki (Kale) in late January. When this happens, we will celebrate big because this will be a huge thing for our clients and the children in our program. I can't wait for this.
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