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Nov 21, 2011

Scorched But Not Destroyed

Picture of Hope
Picture of Hope

Thank you dear partners for your continued support to helping keep over 150 children in school.

 In our effort to this we have succeeded in starting the project , but in every success we face challenges.

Challenges

The project faced a major challenge with water.

The reason being the project start date delayed .

 The rainy season also came late and this meant investing in fetching water. With little resources this has struggled and forced the greenhouse manager to use untested water which introduced bacterial wilt into the greenhouse.

The drip system  was not in use due to unavailability of enough water. This forced the use of  knapsack sprayer which broke down due to heavy use which is yet to be replaced.

The lack of water affected the quality of fruiting.

Bacterial wilt affected the quality of fruits as well as subsequent harvests due to 150 plants being affected.  These had to be uprooted to stem the spread of the bacterial wilt inside the greenhouse.

The returns lost from the above would total about 200,000 in sales.

These will however be countered by the tomatoes that were planted out side the green house (50 plants)

With proper rains coming in the end of October, we managed to plant water melon that are now being weeded.

Earlier on we tried covering for the damage by planting capsicum which did not take off.

We later succeeded in planting more tomatoes in the nursery and these will be ready for replanting in about seven to fourteen days.

 Labour

The greenhouse employed 1 casual worker being paid 3,500 per month (36$).

Parents were also involved in fetching water for the plants. This contributed towards their children's fee payments. This has helped 5 parents pay for their children's fees, a total of about 15 children.

 Sales 

The greenhouse has been able to sell 2,000/= for the last two weeks since full harvesting started.

Plans are to be able to sell maximum produce from the greenhouse to be able to purchase a Refill kit that costs about Ksh 30,000 ($316) and fumigation of Ksh 20,000 ($211)

Other plans include working to build The Community Poultry Project which involves 8 of our school children . This will contribute towards our Kids Entrepreneurship Program with a focus towards Agri-Business Sector.

To be able to do this great work, Acres of Mercy will need partners continued support. We thank you all in advance for the continued support .

Aug 17, 2011

Gearing for the Flowering Stage

From here...
From here...

Progress

Since May we have been working to green the green house.

We have since been able to plant tomato seeedlings that have been transplanted and are in their fourth week. We should train them this weekend.

So far with over 69,000/= (Kes) or $938 we have managed to do the following:- (see Excel Attachment for Finance Report)

1. Purchased and set up a Plant Support System

2. Purchased a Submersible Water Pump to help with the Irrigation

3. Employing one permanent staff to manage the greenhouse 

4. Ensured the continued productivity of the greenhouse by having organic manure 

We have established partners who will be able to help develop a sustainable market for the green house produce that include local business people and an NGO operating within the area.

Impact

There was change in staffing as the lady who initially was meant to work full time in the greenhouse was fully engaged in the school kitchen and wasn't able to be fully engaged.

However we took in a partner from Be True Foundation a Community Based Organization currently receiving mentoring from Acres of Mercy who take care of 8 OVC. The salary received from the project helps with taking care of the 4 girls and 4 boys being taken care of.

The school children have also been able to learn practically about agri-business from the greenhouse.

All these and more would not have been possible but for the support of our friends and partners who have continued to give through Global Giving. We say THANK YOU.

Next Phases

The current challenge remains water consistency. We are depending on the well to supply water till the end of August and Into October and November.

Harvesting should start in September and should run for another seven months before replanting.

Due to the receded water levels and volume about 192,000 Cubic Meters of water per day we have not been able to fix the submersible water pump and continue to use the KnapSack Sprayer for watering. For better yield we would need the drip system working optimally and this would require advice and support on how this can be done. 

The submersible pump needs an Electric Meter separation to enable us manage energy more efficiently. This would cost an extra 9,000/ (100 $) including labour and appliances.

4500/= (50 $) would be needed for post harvest handling to have better quality produce reaching the final consumer. This will purchase transportation crates and weighing and packing equipment.

About an extra 45,000 (Kes) 500 $ would allow for completion of this next stage including securing the water source either by extending well depth or connecting to the local community run and manged borehole piped water system.

Once this is complete we would move to value addition which can also run concurrently with an Intensive Rabbit and Poultry Farming.

Ideas on how to attract wider support for us to achieve the targets above are welcome. Let's share resources, models as well as ask questions to succeed together.

I would like to make an appeal for recurring donations to help support the Day to day maintenance activities of the Greenhouse which requires constant supervision especially as we approach flowering and fruiting stage.

...then here...
...then here...
in the next few weeks ...upwards
in the next few weeks ...upwards
Submersible Water Pump
Submersible Water Pump
But Water Levels are Low
But Water Levels are Low
For Such as he...we soldier on
For Such as he...we soldier on
Trellising
Trellising

Attachments:
May 12, 2011

Green House Updates

Green House
Green House

Dear Friends, Partners, Supporters,

We hope this finds you well. We are excited that what was once a dream is slowly but surely turning into reality with your support.  we have been able to complete the 1st phase of our project and are well on the way to completing the second phase of this great initiative that will help us to improve the nutrition of over 150 Orphans and vulnerable children that we serve and also the income of the staff that work so diligently to ensure that these children fulfil their potential. All this would not be possible without the support that you have given and continue to give. This is what we have been able to achieve thus far,

Phase 1. In this phase we were able to reinforce major weak points around the Acres of Mercy procurements inorder to secure the investments which we are procuring with your generous donations (Please read last months report for more details and pictures)

Phase 2: This phase is almost complete. We have been able to put up the greenhouse and set up the irrigation system , erect 2 metal water tank stands and also acquired 2 tanks that will store up to 6600 litres of water. See down below for what is required to finish the second phase 

IMPACT OF PHASE 2 ON THE COMMUNITY SO FAR

We have been able to create temporary employment opportunities for  5 local youth and one lady who takes care of 7 orphans and vulnerable children.

The youth were employed at a rate of $3.60 per day for 5 days.

We have contracted to pay the lady $ 42 a month to manage the routine daily activities required in the greenhouse

One individual has beeen trained in Maximizing Green house Production and is able to train others in the same.

Expenses Summary

Total Disbursed by March 2011 in US $- 4.085.75

Total Spent as at May 11th 2011- US $- 4,031.41

Balance as at May 11th 2011- US $- 55.34

To help us to achieve our goal of USD 11,000 please consider giving to this project once again. You can even consider giving to us on a monthly recurring basis till this project is fully funded. This would be of great help to us. 

Way Forward

WHAT IS NEEDED TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE PHASE II

  1. Water pump (Submersible) including piping- $ 330
  2.  Gutter Installation + Materials for Rain water Harvesting- $ 125
  3. Meter separation for consistent electricity supply- $ 365
  4. Plant Support System for effective trellising of tomato crops including Installation- $ 330
  5. Tomato crates for post harvest storage and transportation of tomatoes to farm- $ 75
  6. Weighing Scale and Bag- $ 35

Phase 3: Chicken Production 

Phase 4: Rabbit production

Phase 5: 2nd Greenhouse

With Gratitude

Jimmy Allan Oluoch

(Project leader)

Installation
Installation
Open Field and Green House
Open Field and Green House
Front Left View
Front Left View
Manually Filling Tank
Manually Filling Tank
Manually Filling Tank
Manually Filling Tank

Attachments:
 
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