Oct 26, 2020

Oh boy, have we've been busy this past month!

No children were seen playing during our 2hr visit
No children were seen playing during our 2hr visit

Kenya experienced post-election tribal clashes after the 2007 disputed elections that left many families homeless, lost properties, and means to a livelihood. May also lost land since they could not remain in the hostile regions they had lived in all their lives. Those families that had an ancestral home elsewhere relocated back and those with some savings bought small plots mostly measuring 50ft by 100ft and settled there but with no arable land, it meant that many became destitute all of a sudden. However, the majority of the displaced families had nowhere to go and solely depended on the government effort to resettle them.

In one of these resettlement projects- Kirathimo IDP Camp a group of 144 elderly persons who had nowhere to go was moved to the border of Nakuru East and Mirangine area located  1.5 hours’  drive on torturous roads in a scenic hill with biting winds overlooking Lake Elementaita. SOHF was invited to visit the area by a representative of persons with disabilities who explained the plight of the villagers who resided in two camps ½ kilometer apart that is Kirathimo 1 and Kirathimo 2. The team planned two trips back to back one on 18/09/2020 and 25/09/2020. On these two trips, a friend donated his 4x4 tour van to be used for the distribution due to the rugged terrain.

Located on a hilly outcrop, Kirathimo IDP camp is a bad place to be for an elderly person and persons with disabilities. All shelters in these camps are makeshift some made of UN shelter box tents and others made of blue iron sheets that had been provided by the government to put up mud-walled shelters. The residents here were brought by the government in the year 2013 with a promise to be allocated a plot in a piece of land that had been acquired for resettlement purposes. However, politically connected persons had an interest in the land and demarcation never took place, and as such the IDPs cannot proceed to construct relatively permanent dwellings from the year 2013 to date.

In these two camps over 80% percent of the population is over 70 years old, sickly with old age complications made worse by hostile living conditions. Many of the elderly persons have lost a spouse and depend on well-wishers for survival while some of them have been joined by their relatives and are sharing makeshift homes. The nearest health center is 10 kilometers away and without a public transport system, it is almost impossible for the elderly to get to the hospital.

Children in this area travel 14 kilometers – 7 kilometers either way, to the nearest public secondary school, while the young ones trek 8 kilometers -4kms each way to go to school while many of the children that should be in kindergarten do not go to school. What caught our attention most was that in the two hours we were in the camps on each occasion no children were seen playing, instead, they sat in small groups looking subdued, a clear sign that the children were not having enough to eat. Sanitation is also a challenge with raw water being the source of drinking water and toilets are makeshift as well.

On these two days, we distributed 150 food hampers to the elderly, persons with disabilities most of whom are bedridden and vulnerable persons as well. These beneficiaries are very needy and can do with more support both in-kind and psychosocial support.

Our food hamper program was an unbudgeted, unexpected additional expense. However, the more that we realize how great the need is among the elderly and people living with disabilities, the more committed we are to keeping the program growing. We thank you for your kind and generous continued support.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on

Links:

Oct 26, 2020

Oh boy, have we've been busy this past month!

We noticed the children were not active & playing
We noticed the children were not active & playing

Kenya experienced post-election tribal clashes after the 2007 disputed elections that left many families homeless, lost properties, and means to a livelihood. May also lost land since they could not remain in the hostile regions they had lived in all their lives. Those families that had an ancestral home elsewhere relocated back and those with some savings bought small plots mostly measuring 50ft by 100ft and settled there but with no arable land, it meant that many became destitute all of a sudden. However, the majority of the displaced families had nowhere to go and solely depended on the government effort to resettle them.

In one of these resettlement projects- Kirathimo IDP Camp a group of 144 elderly persons who had nowhere to go was moved to the border of Nakuru East and Mirangine area located  1.5 hours’  drive on torturous roads in a scenic hill with biting winds overlooking Lake Elementaita. SOHF was invited to visit the area by a representative of persons with disabilities who explained the plight of the villagers who resided in two camps ½ kilometer apart that is Kirathimo 1 and Kirathimo 2. The team planned two trips back to back one on 18/09/2020 and 25/09/2020. On these two trips, a friend donated his 4x4 tour van to be used for the distribution due to the rugged terrain.

Located on a hilly outcrop, Kirathimo IDP camp is a bad place to be for an elderly person and persons with disabilities. All shelters in these camps are makeshift some made of UN shelter box tents and others made of blue iron sheets that had been provided by the government to put up mud-walled shelters. The residents here were brought by the government in the year 2013 with a promise to be allocated a plot in a piece of land that had been acquired for resettlement purposes. However, politically connected persons had an interest in the land and demarcation never took place, and as such the IDPs cannot proceed to construct relatively permanent dwellings from the year 2013 to date.

In these two camps over 80% percent of the population is over 70 years old, sickly with old age complications made worse by hostile living conditions. Many of the elderly persons have lost a spouse and depend on well-wishers for survival while some of them have been joined by their relatives and are sharing makeshift homes. The nearest health center is 10 kilometers away and without a public transport system, it is almost impossible for the elderly to get to the hospital.

Children in this area travel 14 kilometers – 7 kilometers either way, to the nearest public secondary school, while the young ones trek 8 kilometers -4kms each way to go to school while many of the children that should be in kindergarten do not go to school. What caught our attention most was that in the two hours we were in the camps on each occasion no children were seen playing, instead, they sat in small groups looking subdued, a clear sign that the children were not having enough to eat. Sanitation is also a challenge with raw water being the source of drinking water and toilets are makeshift as well.

On these two days, we distributed 150 food hampers to the elderly, persons with disabilities most of whom are bedridden and vulnerable persons as well. These beneficiaries are very needy and can do with more support both in-kind and psychosocial support.

Our food hamper program was an unbudgeted, unexpected additional expense. However, the more that we realize how great the need is among the elderly and people living with disabilities, the more committed we are to keeping the program growing. We thank you for your kind and generous continued support.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
A sign that they were not getting enough to eat
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Kirathimo Internally Displaced Persons camp.
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
A makeshift UN shelter tent. Still home13 years on
Makeshift tin & plastic tarp home
Makeshift tin & plastic tarp home
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently
Some of our elderly recipients waiting patiently

Links:

Aug 28, 2020

Together we're making a huge difference.

Some of our elderly recipients receiving hampers
Some of our elderly recipients receiving hampers

To date along with thousands of much-needed facemasks, Springs of Hope Foundation has given out a total of 1,240 food hampers over a period of 19 weeks (60 food hampers every week) to the elderly, persons with disabilities, child-headed households, and other vulnerable members of the community in the targeted areas. We work closely with the local community cluster leaders, elders, and local leaders to identify the beneficiaries with affirmative action to ensure only the very needy are enlisted for support. Many of our recipients are elderly grandmothers who have been left with the burden of caring for several small grandchildren. 

Imagine...1,240 food hampers with enough nutritious beans, maize, and green vegetables to feed a family of four for a week.

  That's 34,720 meals that vulnerable children may have missed out on over the past 5 months. 

All Kenyan schools remain closed until January 2021, at the earliest. However, we are still permitted to provide a safe home and care for our young women who are in need of a Safehouse and protection.

To date, our young women have made over 12,500 facemasks to benefit the most vulnerable in our community.

While Springs of Hope Foundation targets the elderly, disabled, child-headed households, and very needy within the county we also work closely with other community organizations such as the Lions Club, Rotary and Rotaract clubs to get as many much-needed facemasks out to the remote communities as quickly as possible. Below are some of those beneficiaries.

We urgently need your support to keep life-saving food flowing to the most vulnerable in our community.
Borders have closed and supply chains are affected in areas most at risk. Please help us ensure that hungry children, the elderly, and vulnerable do not suffer the brunt of this pandemic.

If you’re able, please make a donation to our community outreach efforts. If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
https://www.facebook.com/kijijimission/
In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible.

Stay safe and well,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom
Founder/CEO
Springs of Hope Foundation

550 masks being given to the Rotary Club of Nakuru
550 masks being given to the Rotary Club of Nakuru
1,000 facemasks being given to the Rotaract Club
1,000 facemasks being given to the Rotaract Club
700 face masks given to the Lions Club of Manangai
700 face masks given to the Lions Club of Manangai
Food & facemask distribution to the needy in Pocot
Food & facemask distribution to the needy in Pocot
Making 12,500 facemasks for free distribution.
Making 12,500 facemasks for free distribution.

Links:

 
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