Education
 Kenya
Project #6922

Gift Education to 180 At Risk Children in Nguluni

by Acres of Mercy, Kenya
Children enjoying meals
Children enjoying meals

Dear friends and partners,

Its another time when we share progress with you and also take the opportunity to thank you for the great support you have continued to give us.

The last few months have been challenging for various reasons. All in all it has been exciting and full of promise.

At the end of the last reporting the project had embarked on installing electricity to enable pumping of water from the open well to the green house. This was to ensure the drip system works well after replanting. The electricity installation cost over 34,000/= ($400)

We also managed to purchase and transport a green house replanting kit or refill pack consisting of greenhouse inputs for one season worth 29,000/= ($341). Transportation to the project site cost the project 2,000/= ($24)

We also had to employ another green house manager at the cost of 4500/= ($53) per month since May 2012.

Total expenses for the period came to Ksh 69,500/= ($818).

Events in the last quarter were interesting given the submersible pump was stolen from the school compound in March but recovered at the point it was being sold by local policemen. This also set us back two months since the pump was used as evidence in the court case that followed.

Another major challenge still remains slow disbursements from the global giving team. This means implementing other phases of the project has been slowed down considerably.

Despite the challenges we have managed to replant another crop of tomatoes and we expect to get a good harvest in about three months beginning September 2012 with harvesting expected to last till March 2013. We place expected sales at 300000/= ($ 3529)

We will not be able to do all this without the support of our faithful friends. 

As one of the pictures shows consistent supply of meals is beneficial to the children. The children are enjoying meals donated by the government which is not consistent, but a situation we expect to move away from soon.

We continue to ask for ideas, suggestions and comments on how to make this project better and able to have the intended impact on the children and other beneficiaries

Thank you on behalf of the entire board, teachers, and especially the children- we appreciate your support

Goodwill to you all.

Green House Replanting
Green House Replanting
Spraying of Green House
Spraying of Green House
Laying Irrigation Pipes to Green House
Laying Irrigation Pipes to Green House
Wiring at the Water Well
Wiring at the Water Well
Trellised Tomatoes at Early Flowering Stages
Trellised Tomatoes at Early Flowering Stages
Rains Come
Rains Come

The Challenge of Delays

The Acres of Mercy GlobalGiving project is geared towards helping about 150 children stay in school so as to enable them get the basic right of education and literacy.One of the main challenges in doing this has always been the state of food insecurity especially in Nguluni area, a problem worsened by the inconsistent rain patterns.In the months running up to Aug-Oct, the project was affected to a great extent by a delay in the rains.

Delays in disbursement also affected our response to the challenge of delayed rains as getting water was just plain difficult in the village. We would all queue up for hours to get little water which was not sufficient. Due to this severity of water shortage, fertilizer scorched the tomato crop within the green house.The Drip System which would have been used to fertilize via mixing was not in use due to the fact that water could not be pumped through to the smaller tank because the well was dry.To use the drip lines at least 5 days a week would have required us to fill the 6000 litre tank with water from a nearby community water services provider for both the green house and external crop use. This would have cost us about $ 700 a week or $ 2800 a month until the rains fell. For this same amount we can now work on getting a permanent solution to the perennial water problem by deepening the well. Our project(http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-us-attain-food-security-for-those-with-hiv) focuses on raising support for it.

I would like to make a special appeal to you to help enable us sustain the project through these times by giving repeat donations.

The Tomato Fruit Harvest

For this first season we harvested close to 200kg sold at an average 70/= per kg.The Tomato harvest was good at some points (see photos) but the lack of water affected our ability to get optimal yield.The tomatoes are a good ingredient for tomato sauce as they have a sweet taste and are a good thickener. The tomato paste from it is also really good. We are working on developing this further according to our business plan on value addition.Customers have liked the quality of the tomatoes and are well pleased with them. It means we have built a client support base that we can further grow in the coming months.

Next Steps

We are shifting focus on how to get the well deeper for a more consistent source of water. We have another project on global giving focused on this aspect. (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/9833). We also are replanting in the first week of April in anticipation of the long rains which were set to begin at the end of March but have delayed.The replanting will cost about 35000/= ($435) This will result in a harvest beginning of July and ending in December 2012.

Appeal

We appeal to you our partners to consider giving recurring gifts that would help us reach the minimum $250 required to disburse on a monthly basis. We thank our reccurring givers and partners and encourage you to continue doing the amazing work. Without you it would be impossible to manage the project. Doing the above will help us have at least 16,000/= monthly to properly manage the greenhouse on a month by month basis.We also would like to ask those who can give their expertise in working towards continued sustainablity can contact us directly to work together. Once again I thank you on behalf of the children and staff at Acres of Mercy, Kenya for your continued support and understanding of the situation

Links:

Tomatoes
Tomatoes

The Challenge of Delays

The Acres of Mercy GlobalGiving project is geared towards helping about 150 children stay in school so as to enable them get the basic right of education and literacy.

One of the main challenges in doing this has always been the state of food insecurity especially in Nguluni area, a problem worsened by the inconsistent rain patterns.

In the months running up to Aug-Oct, the project was affected to a great extent by a delay in the rains. 

Delays in disbursement also affected our response to the challenge of delayed rains as getting water was just plain difficult in the village. 

We would all queue up for hours to get little water which was not sufficient.

Due to this severity of water shortage, fertilizer scorched the tomato crop within the green house.

The Drip System which would have been used to fertilize via mixing was not in use due to the fact that water could not be pumped through to the smaller tank because the well was dry.

To use the drip lines at least 5 days a week would have required us to fill the 6000 litre tank with water from a nearby community water services provider for both the green house and external crop use. This would have cost us about $ 700 a week or $ 2800 a month until the rains fell. For this same amount we can now work on getting a permanent solution to the perennial water problem by deepening the well. Our project  (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-us-attain-food-security-for-those-with-hiv) focuses on raising support for it

I would like to make a special appeal to you to help enable us sustain the project through these times by giving repeat donations.

The Tomato Fruit Harvest

For this first season we harvested close to 200kg sold at an average 70/= per kg. 

The Tomato harvest was good at some points (see photos) but the lack of water affected our ability to get optimal yield.

The tomatoes are a good ingredient for tomato sauce as they have a sweet taste and are a good thickener. The tomato paste from it is also really good. We are working on developing this further according to our business plan on value addition.

Customers have liked the quality of the tomatoes and are well pleased with them. It means we have built a client support base that we can further grow in the coming months.

Next Steps

We are shifting focus on how to get the well deeper for a more consistent source of water. We have another project on global giving focused on this aspect. (http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/9833)

We also are replanting in the first week of March in anticipation of the long rains set to begin at the end of March.

The replanting will cost about 35000/= ($435)

This will result in a harvest beginning of July and ending in December 2012.

Appeal

We appeal to you our partners to consider giving recurring gifts that would help us reach the minimum $ 200 required to disburse on a monthly basis.

We thank our reccurring givers and partners and encourage you to continue doing the amazing work. Without you it would be impossible to manage the project.

Doing the above will help us have at least 16,000/= monthly to properly manage the greenhouse on a month by month basis. 

We also would like to ask those who can give their expertise in working towards continued sustainablity can contact us directly to work together. 

Once again I thank you on behalf of the children and staff at Acres of Mercy, Kenya for your continued support and understanding of the situation.

The Scorching Effect
The Scorching Effect
Water Tank
Water Tank
Juicy Toms Despite the Scorching Effect
Juicy Toms Despite the Scorching Effect
Fruiting Tomato Plants
Fruiting Tomato Plants
Junior farmers sorting the fruit
Junior farmers sorting the fruit

Links:

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 .

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:

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Organization Information

Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.acresofmercy.org
Project Leader:
Jimmy Oluoch
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya