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Sep 7, 2017

A report from Anthony in Kenya

The senator's visit
The senator's visit

Dear Global Giving Donors,

Hello from Nairobi. My name is Anthony and I am Global Roots country manager and transparency officer for Kenya and all of Africa.

I am pleased to lead all Global Roots efforts over here, especially our successful food security program in Mtito Andei, one of our struggling country’s poorest areas.

The Matulani Children’s Garden is now feeding 250 children for .16 US cents a day per child! The reason the price is so low is because we started the project in 2010 and all of the initial capital costs, including 5K USD for a greenhouse kit, irrigation system, building supplies for a hen house and rabbit hatch, were paid a long time ago. Our food program at Matulani will be self-sustaining in two more years!

Proven Success

In 2016 two students from Matulani Primary, the community-supported school at the Kenyan transit town of Mtito Andei; were accepted for admission into top performing high schools, the first time in the poverty stricken school’s history. In addition three of the at risk Maasai high school students qualified for admission to college, marking their entry into the small select club of girls from their community to gain a post secondary education. These new milestones come on the back of the remarkable success story of Global Roots charity work in Kenya. The Green House centered school feeding program at Matulani Primary has seen a rapid improvement in overall academic performance, elevating the school’s position from the bottom 3 to the top 5 of the 22 schools in the district.

As the Global Roots Kenya Coordinator, I have personally witnessed the effect of Global Roots’ actions in a most direct manner and the success of Global Roots fund raising efforts is absolutely essential to keep these impactful programs running.

Our Executive Director Rick's genuine passion to assist these young and vulnerable Kenyans is obvious to anyone who has personally interacted with him. Indeed many of the beneficiaries consider him as a father figure, having directly experienced his genuine concern and engagement with their challenges. It is extremely touching to observe the mutual affection expressed between Rick and the beneficiaries of his efforts.

Future Global Roots commitments will include ensuring that eligible students are able to continue with a college education and extending the Green House project to other needy schools, all of which will in turn require considerable additional funding.

Matulani honored by County Senator (see photo)

Last month Matulani was honoured by a visit from the County Senator Honourable Mutula Kilonzo Junior. He has heard of the impressive academic progress at the school and came to see for himself. He handed out some prizes to the students and also donated some sports equipment. The Senator is the second most senior politician in the region so the visit will be considered as quite an endorsement for the work being done at the school.

We need to purchase new young hens by October

The current condition of our 100 hens at Matulani is not good. Their advanced age has reduced their productivity.

The Management Committee has proposed selling the old chickens so as to earn the money to buy new chicks to restock the hen house. I suggested that they set a few chicken aside so that the school children can have a chicken meat treat and then sell the balance of the chicken to raise the necessary funds. I also instructed them to put the proposal into writing so that we are kept informed of developments. It would also dispel any rumors from the rest of the school community about the sale of the chicken. 

The proposal will have a break down on how much cash the old chickens will bring in and how many chicks they could expect to buy.

Fortunately, our rabbit hutch as prosperous as we expected it would be! See the children eating rabbit meat below. I know that some Americans don't like the idea of eating meat. Matulani children all love meat because it makes them feel full and helps them to study and have stronger bodies. The eggs they get from our hen house and the rabbit meat is their only source of protein.

In our next update I will share the story of a young girls who came to Matulani malnourished and illiterate. Mary's story is heart breaking. Today little Mary is reading, performing well on tests and her body is already strong!

Thanks again to Global Giving for helping us!

children waiting for kale from our school garden
children waiting for kale from our school garden
rabbit feast
rabbit feast

Attachments:
Sep 6, 2017

It's school time for the bravest girls on earth

Grace (in the middle with the short hair)
Grace (in the middle with the short hair)

All 46 of the girls we support in our Maasai school girl program are looking forward to going back to school this month, September, 2017.

Global Roots currently pays 100% of the boarding school costs for 43 Maasai children, preteens and teenagers and college fees for our first three 18 year old heros who made it to college. Our three leaders are now 19 years old and in their second year of university!

We have worked with local partners to protect all 46 girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from the time they were nine until they reached an age and maturity level that protected them from the forced mutilation of their private parts for sale into marriage

Even if a girl were to drop out of our progam and return to her village, her parents will not dare to subject her to FGM for fear of being arrested and imprisoned. There is no Maasai family that has not heard of Global Roots and does know about our committment to enforce Kenya's law against the mutilation of young girls and sale into marriage.

Should one of our girls go missing (as a young girl named Gladys did last year) we will dispatch a team to viist her village immediately and we will follow up should we not find her there. We will make a police report and we will wait until the girl's family brings her out of hiding.

Schoolmasters, police officers and even Maasai chiefs who do not want this illegal blood on their hands are working with us.

Pie in the sky: we want to buy each of our girls a cell phone so that they can contact the national FGM rescue hotline should they ever feel threatened. We will seek funding for this after all school fees are paid for 2017.

Working with local Maasai partners to change an archaic tradition

Global Roots and Naseriian Rescue (our local partner) have changed for all time the way FGM is practiced in rural Kenya. Once a girl finds her way into our program, she is protected from FGM until we are certain she is no longer at risk.

But joining our program doesn't guarantee a smooth ride through elementary school, high school and colllege. Every single Maasai school girl in our program is grateful for every dollar or Kenyan shilling given to her and every school fee paid. They have all, with the exception of two or three, understood that their fees won't be paid if they don't study hard.

Last year, three of the oldest girls in our program (they ran away from their homes in 2009 and 2010 to avoid genital cutting, forced removal from school and sale into marriage age 12) entered college.

Today we received the following requests from two of the thse three brave girls. Please consider making a donation to keep Judith, Sylvia and Mary in college!

We have yet to raise the 4,000 dollars we need to raise this fall to make the final boarding school payment for 45 younger children who remain at great risk of Female Genital Mutilation and a lifetime of slavery.

The reason we need your help to keep our three college women in college is because we never planned for success. All we wanted to do was protect young girls from predation and the wonton destruction of their bodies. We didn't inour wildest dreams realize eight years ago that the girls we started to protect would one day go to college!

But here they are! We could have left them to their own devices upon turning 18 because, by that time, their parents would not dare to mutilate them. But we simply could not turn our backs on the Maasai Three!

Each of these women will one day return to their villages to show their tribes what it means to be an empowered and educated woman. Only by seeing their power and how it plays out for women in Kenya will rural Maasai mothers and fathers stop trying to make a quick buck by cutting and selling their daughters like cattle.

These are very hard words but all of us here at Global Roots and all of our partners in Kenya -- including a large number of Maasai -- agree with the UN that FGM is a human rights crime that must be stopped at once. There is simply no excuse for cutting out a girl's private parts in the modern age. 

Here is a request that came in today from Judith S:

Hello Global Roots, how are you doing? I do hope and trust that this mail finds you well. Am good too. I would like to bring to your attention the total school fees needed for this semester.

Medical fee: 1,000 Kshs. (USD 10)
Tuition fee: 28,000 Kshs. (USD 272)
Hostel fee: 17,500. Kshs. (USD 170)
Pocket money: 5,000 Kshs. (USD 50)
Total: 51,500 Kshs (USD 502)

I am remaining with five semesters to finish my course. The total college fees therefore needed will be Kshs. 257,500 equivalent to USD 2,510.

I really do appreciate for your continued support. I still need your support and assistance through my academic journey.

May Almighty God continue blessing the work of your hands.

Yours faithfully,
Judith S.

Here is Silvia's request for help

Hello, 
I hope you are fine and doing great. Over here, i am alright and looking forward to having a successful semester ahead. There has been difficulties with the school administration in the academic department. They have not yet issued us with the transcripts and I have also been updating Mr Anthony about my progress in school. 
Thank you very much for being able to pay my last academic year school fees on time. I did not have difficulties during the end of semester examination period. 
The following is a breakdown of the fee required for this semester and next semester.
FIRST SEMESTER;
Fees:  US$ 211.396 equivalent to ksh21,800
Meals: US$177.456 Ksh18300
Accomodation: US$252.124 Ksh 26000
Total; US$640.976
SECOND SEMESTER
Fees: US$108.607 Ksh11200
Meals:US$177.456 KSH, 18,300
Accomodation:US$252.124 Ksh, 26,000
Total; US$538.187
TOTAL AMOUNT FOR 1st AND 2nd SEMESTER.=US$1179.163
Now that I am now a second year, the school requires all second years to live off campus as the hostels are meant for freshmen who have already joined. 
I will update you immediately i get the results transcript. I will try and follow up to ensure that i get the transcript.
Thank you very much. Nice stay.
Yours sincerely
Silvia S.

Now for a success story from one of our youngsters, Grace.

Grace, a 14-year-old FGM runaway, achieved the highest marks of her whole boarding school.

Here is a note from Anthony K. -- Global Roots transparency officer in Kenya

(See photo of Grace -- it is grainy because it is taken with a flip phone)

Just for your information attached is a photo of one of the top performing students, Grace receiving a certificate and watch for her academic achievement. She scored 419 marks out of 500 during the past mock exams.

Carole visited her school for the PTA day. Unfortunately the photo is rather poor, but it is great to hear how well the girls are doing. Her fellow school mate Naomi scored 379 marks in the same exam.

Regards

Anthony

Transparency: we have attached a Quickbooks file to show you just how careful we are with GlobalGiving donations.

We have removed the last name of each Maasai girl for their own protection.

Thank you for helping our the bravest girls in the world!!!

 

 
 
Sylvia at college
Sylvia at college

Attachments:
Aug 9, 2017

Let us not forget Afghanistan's Children of War

our newest Children's Garden in Faizabad
our newest Children's Garden in Faizabad

Greetings GlobalGiving friends.

We continue to do everthing in our power to empower local humanitarians who are helping children in Afghanistan whose lives have been completely ripped apart by ongoing warfare.

We are proud of our metrics-driven approach to bringing aid to Afghan street children -- 100% of whom are on the streets because of this never ending war.

Our ongoing "foster child" program in Baharak continues to help more than 30 children find a loving home to live in. Though adoption is not allowed in any community governed by Sharia Law, the fostering of children is encouraged. Helping others is actual a pillar of the Islamic faith.

We are also supporting an additional 50 children and their mothers who fled their village in Badakhshan during a recent Taliban invasion. Please see our previous project report to learn more.

Here is a war zone problem that tests the limit of humanity: in a war-torn country like Afghanistan it is virtually impossible for any good family to take in an extra child due to the cost of doing so. Most families are already economically stretched to the breaking point.

This is where Global Roots enters the picture!

Our village garden -- known locally as the Baharak Children's Garden -- produces enough food (including milk from two cows and eggs from over 100 hens) to feed over 85 chidlren! These children all find loving homes because they come with giant bags of food. Loving families will take in children if they come with food!

A recent distribution report with attached delivery photos proved that 425kg of vegetables with a market value of $1,111 USD were distributed to 85 orphaned children at our Children’s Garden in Baharak Afghanistan in June, 2017.

Furthermore, 50 of these 85 children also received classroom education in English, math, Dari and science for a total of 26 hours a month. These 50 children were recently displaced from their homes after a Taliban incursion into their native Badakhshan and had nowhere else to turn.

The total annual cost of our Children’s Garden in Badakhshan is only 10K. With the additional support of 300 fruit trees that will be harvested this fall, the Baharak Children’s Garden is approaching self sustainability. Surplus produce, eggs, milk and honey will make the BCG —including wages paid to teachers, security guards and administrators —100% self sufficient by 2020.

Global Roots Vision Statement

We are pleased to present to you our Vision Statement below. This document will be shared next week with our friends at the UN, including two World Food Program (WFP) country directors, a former ED of the WFP, a country director at UNICEF and a powerful executive at Mercy Corps.

Yep, it's time to get our methodology out there!

All of us at Global Roots are excited to receive feedback on our Vision Statement from the GlobalGiving community. We have no delusions that we are small. Global Roots is a rag tag band of aid workers who believe that locally managed and sourced school and community food programs can FEED THE WORLD'S CHILDREN in a better, healthier and less corruption-prone manner than any method ever used.

Without any further ado, here is our "metrics-driven" Vision Statement.

Global Roots Vision Statement

Food is so much more than just sustenance. It is education. Shelter. Emotional well-being. Life.

Delivering a healthy locally sourced lunch to every grossly malnourished child on the planet is the goal of Global Roots, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the USA.

Since its founding in 2007 Global Roots has established “food security”programs for children in global hotspots where social strife and corruption have broken communities apart.

Childrens Gardensare an easy, inexpensive and corruption free way to feed the worlds hungriest children.

School lunches + hungry children + oversight = food security

The Global Roots method

We fund locally sourced and managed school lunch programs that convince conflicted parents to send their children back to school. Once fed, children study better, absenteeism drops and test scores go out the roof.

Furthermore, Children’s Gardens galvanize broken or splintered local communities into action. Once we become a trusted community partner we can then work together to tackle other regional or country-specific problems such as preteen prostitution in Cambodia, child abduction in Afghanistan, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in East Africa and the scourge of bullying and social exclusion in the USA.

The list of problems goes on and on and the answer begins with feeding children and galvanizing community.

Sustainability and independence is the key to longterm food security

Each of our Children’s Gardens is designed to become 100% self sufficient because all of the food is grown on school grounds and all funds and distribution is controlled by the local community.

When the supply of vegetables from our gardens and eggs from our hen houses exceed demand, surplus food can be sold on the local market. Profits are then returned to fund the school lunch program.

How we fight corruption

Because we do not wire funds through government channels, our programs do not suffer the same corruption that afflict larger aid organizations that are forced to funnel their precious donations and food stuffs through corrupt government channels.

We utilize several layers of oversight to fend off corruptive forces.

Most schools in the world have a tax ID number issued to them from their government that allow them to open a bank account and take direct donations from the outside world. Many schoolmasters, however, aren’t aware of this.

Once a bank account is set up, a school advisory committee is established that usually consists of the school master, PTA president, several PTA members, one local citizen chosen by Global Roots and a Global Roots country director.

The PTA is an excellent oversight tool because parents constantly matriculate with their children and new PTA members join. The evolving nature of the PTA eliminates the threat of collusion and makes it nearly impossible for corruption to take root. We have yet to meet in incoming PTA member who isn’t compelled to keep his or her “Children’s Garden”functioning free of corruption.

Global Roots Case Studies/proof of success

Matulani School District: A Case Study in Success

Eight years ago, Global Roots launchd a Children’s Garden at Matulani Elementary School in Mtito Andei, one of Kenya’s poorest areas. Our program thrived from day one and consists of a greenhouse vegetable garden, an outside kale garden and a large hen house and rabbit hutch.

The facilities are locally constructed and managed using our proven approach to oversight and full transparency. What’s more, much of the program is run by students, gaining them valuable vocational and life skills. The products derived from this programs are then used to feed the entire student body.

Since program launch, Matulani students have benefitted from a solid, nutritious meal every day. For many this is the only meal they get. Because of this, parents now see more benefit in sending the children to school than in keeping them home. As of 2017, the Matulani district boasts a regular attendance rate of 90%! To put that in perspective, many American school districts are happy to strive for 80% regular attendance.

But what’s more, the students aren’t simply showing up. They are benefitting from their attendance and increased nutrition. Since the beginning of our garden program, student matriculation rates have drastically risen. Student scores on the all important KCPE (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education) exam have also risen. In fact, our student scores have risen consistently each year since program inception.

In the most recent 2016 exams, our students scored an average of 275 on the exam, which makes this district the 4th highest ranked district in the region. And when we remove special private schools from the rankings, Matulani ranks number one!

The Baharak Childrens Garden, Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, we easily replicated the success we had in Kenya by first searching for and testing our current partner. Using the same approach of small scale organic farming, we began to feed local orphaned and itinerant children. Once again, the results were amazing. Not only did our children’s health improve, but the availability of sufficient food enabled local families to foster these children.

Metrics:

A recent distribution report with attached delivery photos proved that 425kg of vegetables with a market value of $1,111 USD were distributed to 85 orphaned children at our Children’s Garden in Baharak Afghanistan in June, 2017.

Furthermore, 50 of these 85 children also received classroom education in English, math, Dari and science for a total of 26 hours a month. These 50 children were recently displaced from their homes after a Taliban incursion into their native Badakhshan and had nowhere else to turn.

The total annual cost of our Children’s Garden in Badakhshan is only 10K. With the additional support of 300 fruit trees that will be harvested this fall, the Baharak Children’s Garden is approaching self sustainability. Surplus produce, eggs, milk and honey will make the BCG —including wages paid to teachers, security guards and administrators —100% self sufficient by 2020.

Summary: Children Gardens and the small scale farming solution

Our small-scale gardening programs bypass many issues which large scale, mass production food programs encounter. Our program utilize mostly local resources. Therefore we don’t face problems with expensive transportation, customs duties, or legal regulations. Because we are small scale and community oriented we avoid most of the corruption which larger aid programs battle. And since we are designed to work within the community and for the community, or gardens address the issues which are unique to each community.

vegetable distribution in Baharak
vegetable distribution in Baharak
 
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