Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Acres of Mercy is a Non- Governmental Organization registered in Kenya currently working in Nguluni Location, Matungulu District, Machakos County. The NGO is currently working in this area of the country as a starting point to be the launching pad to other parts of Kenya. The NGO is working in three broad areas and include:- 1. Early Childhood Education and Development 2. Health Interventions 3. Community Empowerment and Mobilization
Mar 24, 2014

Building Children's futures Stone for Stone

New Block to the Left
New Block to the Left

Dear friends and partners,

Once again it’s my pleasure to report that we are making good progress on the project since we changed focus.

The following has happened since our last reporting:-

Three Classes Being Built Already

We redrew the plans to a simple 9 class school with an administration block and kitchen at a cost of $ 470. These were approved by the Town Council and the Public Health Department at a cost of $348.

The redrawn plans ensured we would be able to have classes at a cost of $53000 instead of the initial plans that would have been $ 200,000 as per Bill of Quantities estimates, a quarter of what we initially planned with.

 So far we have laid the foundations of three classes and completed the outer structure of one class up to roof level. (see pictures)

Total cost of the building part of the project so far has been approximately $1023, and includes digging up the foundation, laying the bricks, purchasing ballast 7 tonnes, sand 14 tonnes and 800 feet of stones and labour.

 

April 2014 Target

We have a target of April 30th to complete the super structures of the three classes and install windows and doors and complete the floors. And also begin the foundation of the kitchen and three other classes to be completed by end of August 2014.

 

Thanking You for Continued Support

I would like to thank you for your continued support in giving towards these projects. You are making a difference with every dollar given. At the same time I would like to encourage you to consider increasing your recurring giving by $ 20 to enable us receive disbursements monthly rather than bi-monthy  for that is how long it has been taking  for us to get to the disbursement limit of $200.

Also encourage friends and family to support the project to help us get to $588 a month for the building so we can have the classes standing by end of August 2014.

 

I want to thank you sincerely on behalf of the children and the Board of Acres of Mercy for your continued giving despite the many circumstances and all the things that clamor attention. Thank you for making Acres of Mercy and its work a key part of your life. We are honored and privileged to be part of such a difference making team.

Class at roof stage
Class at roof stage
Class Status-4th February 2014
Class Status-4th February 2014
Nov 4, 2013

Closing Chapter- Starting Another

Setting a Bed
Setting a Bed

Dear friends and partners,

It has been months of  hard work. Together we have been able to make some strides in providing better health for families affected by HIV.

We have continued to provide care and treatment to family members and to those affected. We continue to support pediatrics within our school and also home based visits.

In the last two months we were able to provide psychosocial support to at least 3 families affected. Sadly one of the women we had been trying to get help for in terms of accessing health care attempted suicide and could not recover. She passed on. 

On the other hand we were able to mobilize support for one of our beneficiaries to access psychosocial csupport by purchasing beddings and food items. We also supported the daughter who is in secondary school with tuition so she could not miss school in the third term.

It has been tough especially with the realization that self stigma is still a reality in our community. The structure of our incubatee psychosocial support group crumbled because of unrealistic expectatioons that we were not able to bridge and this has led to the group project suffering a lack of co-ordination and ownership.

Natural climatic conditions have also meant we need to write a new chapter of interventions that will not be subjected to such changes as frequently. The green house project held for only one month until the well ran dry. (see pictures). The group was involved in very little of its management and maintenance and ended up pulling out of the partnership.

We have since made a conscious decision not to support in the meantime group project but to run it as an organization and channel the proceeds where the need is highest.

As one community health worker, who is also a beneficiary put it," we had made good progress, but we cannot let it suffer.We will find a way together to deal with stigma."

On behalf of these individuals and families I would like to thank you fellow partners and changemakers for making it possible to do the much we could with the available resources.

We would however want to close this project and focus on the Education Project that is holistic and will still cover children's health.

We will shift in working more with Community Health Workers and individuals on a need for need basis. This would enable us reach the most deserving families. 

We want to thank you for the $ 852 raised for this project. 

We were able to support the families with inputs for economic activities within the green house and school fee support as well among others.

On  behalf of these families our heartfelt thanks.

For those who had recurring gifts, it is my rquest that you shidt it to the project Help Keep 150 Children in School in Nguluni, annually. The giving will support a vulnerable child's future, see msingibora.blogspot.com

Thank you

Bed for PLHIV
Bed for PLHIV
Old bed being replaced
Old bed being replaced
Dairy goat input
Dairy goat input
The set bedding
The set bedding
Greenhouse Harvest-Students
Greenhouse Harvest-Students
Nov 4, 2013

The New Plan- Msingi Bora Learning Centre

School Building 3D
School Building 3D

Dear friends and partners, 

Thank you for keeping the faith and walking this journey with us. Your support is encouraging. As promised during the last report we have been able to put together a revised strategy on focusing efforts on helping over 150 Children Stay in School through building better classrooms and strengthening our education program at Acres of Mercy.

As you may well know the students within our Education program are either orphans, children from single parent led families, children from families with absentee parents, children from homes with abusive parents, children exposed to families engaging in selling illicit brews, children from very poor families with incomes of less than 2 dollars a day, children from homes where fathers are absent. These children face different vulnerabilities and risks when they drop out of school and even while in school due to poverty. These include early pregnancy for girls increasing vulnerable single child mothers, risks of contracting HIV, increased cases of child labour, increase in the number of girl children engaged in sex work, increased cases of child molestation, engaging in harmful economic activities. Our program seeks to help our children avoid the above situations so they can have a better chance in succeeding in education and breaking from the vicious cycle of poverty and thus have better lives.

 How does the Program Work?

The program carried out at Msingi Bora Learning Centre has three main components:-

Teacher Training and Capacity Building

  • Internal trainings
  • Supporting Professional development

Student Interventions

  • Education and Literacy
  • Mentoring and Counseling
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Talent and Skill Development
  • Savings for transition into secondary school

Parent and Guardian Support

  • Adult literacy
  • Parenting skills
  • Economic Empowerment

We believe that a holistic intervention program like this would greatly reduce children’s vulnerabilities and provide them with a firm foundation o which they can build better futures upon. This would enable breaking the vice that poverty has on poor families and vulnerable children. Our goal is 100% transitioning and starting life adults successfully. After three years the program will have reached a point of meeting 70% of its operation costs from its projects and services to other members of the community who can afford set fees. The program targets to enrol 40% of paying students.

We have obtained building plans and 3D rendering of the school. The Bill of Quantities has put the project at Ksh. 625,000 ($7352)  monthly over the next two years. (see msingibora.blogspot.com) for more details,nformation and progress stories

How do we do this?

We must mobilize about 40 partners who can commit to saving $7 daily, the cost of a sandwich, to make it possible to give these children an education for their lifetime.

For us to do this we are calling on all friends and partners to make a commitment to give in this way and to form giving teams of freinds and families to make this vision a reality. (see pictures)

Progress

On 9th November 2013 parents and  the local community will gather at Acres of Mercy in Nguluni for a fundraising event. Their target is to raise Ksh 100,000 ($1176) on this day.

Another supporting this event takes place on our Virtual Facebook Fundraiser for Kenyan Friends on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/583889798326600/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

So far friends, and the community have raised a total of Ksh 257000 ($3023) for the building project in cash and Over 150 feet of stone and 1 tonne of ballast in kind.

Way Forward

I would like to call on you to rally with us on this project and to help push it to the end.  I will keep you posted on all events we are organizing and their results. We will put up a thermometer on our website at www.acresofmercy.org to help us track progress.

Ideas, suggestions and other input are welcome. Simply email on joluoch@acresofmercy.org or tweet #acresofmercy

Once again thank you and best of effort and great resolve as we embark on this great work of giving together.

"Lets Do it"

School 3Dii
School 3Dii
Current Classes 4-6
Current Classes 4-6
Cement Donations
Cement Donations
Student Learning
Student Learning
For their Future
For their Future

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