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Feb 10, 2017

Kenyan School Lunches Update!

Our Founder and James!
Our Founder and James!

Our Kenyan School Lunch program continues to be among our most successful programs — and 2016 brought plenty of developments!  


Now in its sixth year, our program has placed greenhouses, vegetable gardens and hen houses in schools around the Matulani school district and seen great results from it. The headmaster of the school district has informed us that regular school attendance is now at an impressive ninety percent!!  To put this into perspective, in the Seattle Public School District, the current goal is to achieve 80% regular attendance during the first 20 days of school.  
Beyond attendance, our Matulani headmaster has informed us that exams scores are up district wide and matriculation rates have increased as well. This is great news for our Matulani children!  

In addition to increased metrics, we have made other developments to improve our program success in 2016.  For example, we have found an excellent way to combat corruption. We have learned, through careful observation and oversight, that when we replace a single oversight entity with a group of invested individuals, we can eliminate corruption and inappropriate spending. To this end, we have discovered that tapping into the collective oversight of the school PTA has led to the transparency we at Global Roots require. These enthusiastic parents work together to make sure that our projects stay corruption free so that their children can continue to benefit.

We have confronted very few schools anywhere in the world that do not have an active PTA. Thanks to the fact that new parents join any given PTA every year (older members matriculate out with their graduating children) it is nearly impossible for corruptive forces to take root. We are careful to remain in close contact with PTA presidents and we always welcome new members with a letter and a phone call from our Nairobi-based manager.
We are now raising funds to erect a second greenhouse at Matulani and expand our rabbit farm and hen house. If we do these things, food production will exceed consumption and the program will move towards self sustainability in 2022.
Meet James. Both of his parents are dying of AIDS and he relies 100% on the support he gets from the amazing teachers and school master (our partners) at Matulani Elementary School. Global Roots provides monthly funding ($700) for Matulani’s school lunch program that includes greenhouse vegetables, an outside kale garden (a small miracle because our giant greenhouse effectively scares away wild elephants!), a 100-strong hen house and two-year old rabbit farm.
The hot lunch served at Matulani is the only nutritious meal James gets every day. Fortunately, a generous Global Giving donor is now providing $10 every weekend for James, his brother and his parents to eat on the weekend.

Links:

Feb 10, 2017

New Expansion in Afghanistan!

One of our earliest projects, our Afghanistan Children’s Gardens, continues to thrive!  Our vegetable gardens are abundant and fruit trees have matured over the last four years — and the food we produce continues to help our children find loving foster families.
 
We have always known, however, that the cost of irrigation has been proportionately too high when compared to other costs. Fortunately, our local partner took our advice to look into the purchase of a greenhouse kit. Careful negotiations led to the purchase of a fabulous “drip line” greenhouse structure that allows us to create a year round vegetable growing operation. Thanks to drip irrigation (the scientific rationing of water) the cost of irrigation will decrease 90%.
 
Furthermore, with the amount of vegetables grown in our greenhouse will exceed the need of our current program. Excess produce can therefore be sold at a local farmers market and 100% of the proceeds will go to costs unrelated to feeding our children  such as books for school and warm winter clothing.
Expansion to Faizabad
In 2015 Badakhshan, the northernmost province of Afghanistan, was invaded by Taliban troops. They pushed through Baharak but did not notice our food security program. We do not have any markings on it and only a few of our local partners know that an outside NGO provides funding for it. Our local gardener and security guard rounded up the 30+ children in our program (including 22 orphans) and transported them to relative safety in nearby Faizabad.
 
While in Faizabad, our local managers met several women who manage a Women’s Vocational Center. If you know anything about Afghanistan, Sharia Law and women’s rights, you know how radical the concept of a vocational center for women is. 
 
Our managers met with the women in charge and soon learned that the center wasn’t just about helping war widows learn a trade that can produce an income — it was also a place where the legions of Faizabad street children could go for food year round and shelter during the coldest winter months.
After a meeting with our local manager recently in New Dehli, we decided to expand our successful food security program in Baharak to Faizabad! The total number of lives touched by Global Roots will increase from 30 to 180 children in one year!  The initial cost of program set up (greenhouse construction, training, etc) will be $10,000 but the annual cost per child after that will be $133 a year!
In other news, our founder, Rick, will be making a journey to Afghanistan this spring on a special mission.  A young girl has gone missing from an orphanage which Global Roots encountered on our very first missions to the area.  Rick will be traveling to Afghanistan to personally investigate and search for missing Sasha!  We wish him luck!  
 
Stay tuned for our next Afghanistan update in just two weeks.

Links:

Oct 20, 2015

Proven metrics: hot lunch = higher test scores

the children we serve
the children we serve

Greetings Global Giving donors,

Our Children’s Garden at Matulani Elementary School in Mtito Andei has been growing and providing vegetables and chicken eggs for so many years that are now able to show measurable, verifiable metrics.

We have proven that parents who have traditionally kept their children at home will return them to school if their children are given a hot lunch.

There is also a direct correlation between the consumption of a hot lunch at school and improved test scores. Please see the attached results.

It is important to point out that children do not miss class to spend time in this garden or chicken house. Many children help out but only in an after-school context.

We pay a stipends to a full time gardener who does all intensive/heavy gardening and to a security guard who protects the assets when school is not in session.

The following report was submitted by our local partner, JNK, the school master at Matulani Elementary in Mtito Andei.

JNK took great initiative to learn more about greenhouse gardening on his own. He is now training our gardeners to know more about the abatement of greenhouse pests and the important subject of germinating media.

Here is JNK's report for the last quarter.

MATRIX FOR MATULANI PRIMARY SCHOOL TERM TWO 2015

We the Matulani fraternity, have the pleasure to pass a word of appreciation for your continuous support through the Global Roots.

This term we have seen an improvement in the academic performance. We have also noted great improvement in extracurricular activities. The health of the learners has also greatly improved.

IDENTIFIED STRENGTHS 

1.Improved performance in all classrooms 

2.Marked reduction in absenteeism.

3.Improved health of the learners

4.Exposure of learners to agriculture 

5.Greenhouse has provided learning resources especially in science.

6.Continuous funding from Global Roots has made our school more child-friendly.

7.Poultry provide eggs to the learners.

8.Many visitors have come to visit the school and inspiring the entire community thus educational officers are encouraging every school in the county to pay a visit and learn a lot from Matulani.

9.Respects to global roots due to the voice heard over transparency and accountability is noted. No corruption is entertained though painful to maintain the standard but God has enabled us to overcome trials and temptations.

10.Learning has improved and I as head teacher I was offered a higher grade by ministry of education due to good work which has attracted field officers.

CHALLENGES 

1.Inadequate text books;- Funds provided by MOEST not enough.

2.Prolonged drought affecting most of the parents who are peasant farmers.

3.Urbanization which has affected some of the pupils.

4.Wild animals conflict especially elephants interfering with the crops.

5.National strike for teachers but now is over though knowledge gap was created.

6.El – Nino rains

LEARNER’S PROFILE

1.CK improved by 14 marks. From 370 – 384 position 6 in the zone girls category.

2.CM improved by 2 marks from 365 – 361 fifth position in the zone girls category.

3.MN improved by 4 marks from 321 – 325.

4.MM improved by 14 marks from 300 – 314.

5.MK improved by 54 marks from 262 – 316.

6.MS improved by 35 marks from 265 – 300.

7.PK improved by 36 marks from 287 – 323

(Please see attached PDF for more results)

FINAL REMARKS 

1.  the school is now child friendly due to provision of basic needs provided by Global Roots.

2. Learning has been enhanced due to a lot of involvement of all parties and good health is realized due to taking balanced diet (hot lunch provided at school) 

3. Improved mean scores is now a talk in the entire zone to everyone who knew the state at Matulani initially.

4. Enrollment is improving as per current number of new comers who are joining all classes and this is due to many facilities and good environment which is friendly to education.

5. Thanks to Global Roots for greater heights we are experiencing towards success. May God bless you as you promote lives of desperate pupils who are facing future with courage. God bless you. 

Best regards 

School Headmaster. JNK

Oversight report from Global Roots in Portland, Oregon

Dear Global Giving Donors.

Corruption is a huge problem in Kenya and any other country where foreign aid represents a major percentage of GNP.

We have implemented a successful anti corruption system that has limited any level of graft inside this program.

This program is managed by a three-tier anti corruption system.

  1. Global Roots management raises funds and transfers them to AK, our Nairobi based transparency manager. AK reports back to GR bookkeeper the amount of funds received.
  2. AK wires funds to Matulani school fund in Mtito Andei. Matulani bookkeeper sends total to GR bookkeeper.
  3. Funds are disbursed for project purposes. Fund disbursement is observed by three different entities and three different reports are sent back to GR bookkeeper. The three entities are 1. the schoolmaster 2. PTA chairperson 3. independent auditor unrelated to Matulani.

Oversight video:

Please watch Schoolmaster JNK talk to the ED of Global Roots three months ago in this short video.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5f98v5q6ptap4t0/AABpZ_vvIUbIUUyc8k-s1b0La?dl=0

Please find attached photos of our project and the children we support as well as oversight documentation.

Finally, we would like to thank all Global Giving donors for your ongoing support!

 

our school master
our school master
our hen house
our hen house
outdoor produce as well
outdoor produce as well

Attachments:
 
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