Children  Kenya Project #8204

Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu

Paul and his trainees have managed to obtain some paid work making Nursery Tables. In the picture above, one of the trainees (Kennedy) is working on the table legs. In the picture below, you can see another trainee, Steven, painting the table tops. They’ll be drying quickly with daytime temperatures up at 30°+.

In the meantime, the production of lockers continues. Below you can see Kennedy varnishing them.

The workshop has a “long drop” toilet for use by the trainees as well as by Steven who lives onsite as the caretaker/nightwatchman. It’s a tight squeeze getting the truck in to empty the toilet once every few years, but it’s a very necessary job and another expense for the workshop to meet.

In the picture below, you can see that Kennedy has got his bike out of the way so that it’s not damaged. He travels 5 miles each day each way on that bike and without it he would have to go back to walking.

Steven painting the table tops
Steven painting the table tops
Kennedy varnishing the lockers
Kennedy varnishing the lockers
Emptying the
Emptying the 'long drop' toilet
Kennedy
Kennedy's bike saves him a 5 mile walk each day
Samson recently returned to Paluoc
Samson recently returned to Paluoc

Our carpentry workshop gives disadvantaged youngsters who for a variety of reasons have failed elsewhere a chance to learn a valuable trade to earn money for themselves and their families. Last year was a particularly difficult year due to the illness and sad death of Lucy, the wife of Paul (centre manager and chief instructor). The workshop was sustained by help from friends, helpers, past trainees, and some small financial help from HATW.

The year ended with a Xmas party funded by HATW for the current and some former trainees. 2019 starts optimistically with a new, we hope more proactive, Board of Trustees and with some new trainees. We hope that with their help the workshop will be self-sustaining or largely so by the end of 2020.

Kevin and Godfrey (pictured below) are new trainees. Kevin is very enthusiastic and seems to have a keen interest in finding out how to use new machines and has a knack for problem solving. An initial problem for him was that he spoke little English or Luo, the languages used for instruction. As with many Africans the problem was not insurmountable, you just have to listen and learn a new language!

Samson (pictured above), was at the workshop before but left unexpectedly. Now he is back but that was only possible because Paul is providing him accommodation at Paluoc. He will live in the storage area next door to where Stephen, another trainee, currently lives. Let’s hope that that works out well. When asked what type of music they liked for the workshop most of the lads came up with South African rappers etc, Samson’s preference was for church choirs.

A couple of the more experienced trainees are allowed to work independently in the upstairs area. Whilst Paul was away they were also able to help the newer trainees a little.

The photos below show some of the varied activities that go on at the workshop, some for cash and some for training purposes.

Christmas party 2018
Christmas party 2018
The new Board of Trustees
The new Board of Trustees
Trainees Kevin and Godfrey
Trainees Kevin and Godfrey
More experienced trainees work independently
More experienced trainees work independently
Repairing a broken cupboard
Repairing a broken cupboard
Lucy, Paul & their son Graham
Lucy, Paul & their son Graham

The work of the workshop has been seriously affected over recent months by the untimely illness and death of Paul’s wife, Lucy. She was one of the founders of Paluoc and a driving force behind its development. She sadly died of cancer in July this year. The picture above shows Lucy cheerful and full of life, taken in March this year, at the workshop with Paul and their eldest son Graham.

The workshop was kept operational thanks to the help from Gabriel who helps usually on a part-time ad hoc basis.

The plans for the next few months are to:

1. Train the two new students and prepare them well for a government test to be taken at the end of the year 2018.

2. Obtain paid work for generating income for the centre and motivating and retaining the trainees. Paul had sought and obtained such work but it was delayed from August to October due to his absence during Lucy’s illness.

The new trainees need a place to stay because they say they cannot operate from their current abodes because they fear that their hosts won’t support their bid to learn. Paul is thinking about the possibility of housing them in one of the unoccupied iron sheet rooms but only after a proper background check.

The cost of training materials has increased sharply due the hard economic times being experienced in Kenya. The cost of lunch, electricity, and water has also increased.

Kennedy, an existing trainee, is working on obtained work to help fund himself and the workshop. He is hoping to be able to qualify at a high enough level to enable him to be able to marry sometime in the foreseeable future.

Paul is going to have his hands full looking after the workshop and 3 school age children but some family help is available. We wish them all well as they try to get back on with their lives and seek to continue the successful work of the workshop. There are still plenty of local youngsters who can benefit from the training and nurturing of the workshop.

Trainee, Stephen, working on procured paid work
Trainee, Stephen, working on procured paid work
Former trainee, Bonaventure, helping out
Former trainee, Bonaventure, helping out
New trainee, Frederick
New trainee, Frederick
New trainee, Kevin (in black shirt).
New trainee, Kevin (in black shirt).
Trainee, Kennedy
Trainee, Kennedy
New Trainee Fredrick
New Trainee Fredrick

Difficult times at Paluoc

After the visit by myself and Alan in Feb/March, we had hoped that the workshop would be able to forge ahead with all of the plans in place and their equipment and power tools all sorted out and working. Alan, a first time volunteer, has good carpentry knowledge and skills and had been very useful.  When we left, the trainees were enthusiastic and optimistic; so were the staff and so were we.

They have gained a couple of new trainees - Fredrick and Godfry, so that was a positive too.       

Sadly, no sooner had they started their training than Paul our instructor received some very bad news; his wife Lucy who has been one of the driving forces behind the workshop, was found to be suffering from breast cancer and because it had not been caught at an early stage there was concern that it may already have spread. Treatment in the public hospitals in Kenya, which is all that the great majority of the population can afford, is not up to western standards.  Additionally there is the worry of how to care and provide for their 4 school age children. Because Lucy can't work, she doesn’t get paid.  Paul has an awful lot on his plate.

Currently Gabriel, a carpenter who uses facilities at the workshop and in return gives support to Paul with the trainees, is supervising work and training at the workshop. Gabriel is a skilled and enterprising man. Whilst we were there in March this year we saw some of his work. The photos below show some chairs that he was making for a local man.  The trainees couldn’t help much with the job but they could see the sorts of tasks to which they might aspire given some training.

What was really amazing was watching the local craftsmen first of all drawing out the pattern to be carved with a ballpoint pen and then watching them carve it out with one large and one small chisel, amazing!!

So, the workshop is in safe hands and we sincerely hope that Lucy is too; that she’ll make a good recovery and that things at the workshop can return to normal and Paul and his family can regain equilibrium quickly.

Paluoc helps a lot of youngsters who have had a bad deal out of life. Life in Kenya can be hard when things are going along normally. Hopefully Paul and his wife and family will be able to return to some sort of normality as soon as possible.

Gabriel
Gabriel's Chairs
Gabriel carving
Gabriel carving

Alan Warner (carpenter) and I recently visited the training workshop in Kisumu and made the attached video. We hope you like it!
We gave some help with using the machines.
There is also to be a recruitment drive with more emphasis on using the equipment in the workshop to generate income for the workshop and for the trainees.
The trainees will be able to earn a bit more whilst they learn.
This we hope is an effective and self sustainable model for the future of the workshop.
They are a lovely bunch of people to work with!
Thank you for your ongoing interest and support.

 

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Organization Information

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
David Steiner
Executive Officer
Monmouth, United Kingdom
$4,765 raised of $8,500 goal
 
40 donations
$3,735 to go
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