Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School

by The Sunflower Foundation (Australia) Inc.
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School
Help Kenyan Girls Qualify for Secondary School

Hi

In this letter, there is good news and sad news. The good news first.

As we shared with you in our last letter, the bore well has been sunk. In January 2019, the building of a water tower and plumbing works to enable distribution of water to community members will begin. The roofing of the multisport basketball court is complete, and Literacy classes will also re-commence in January.

Work in progress:

    • The building of an amphitheater  (seats complete, stage underway, security wall complete)
    • Construction of 5 shades and benches, 
    • Construction of Roller-Skating Paths at the Literacy garden

We began construction of roller skating paths at the literacy garden with the Kes 69,000 (US$645) we received from Sunflower foundation ngo. The paths will be used by the girls to skate around the garden and build their self esteem/confidence as they learn this  sport regarded as boys-only sport in Kenya. We have been asking the community and volunteers to donate roller skates to us and so far we have received 6 pairs. We are raising funds to buy at least 30 pairs to start the girls off. 

The work has involved excavations of loose top soil, ferrying it to the other parts of the garden where it will be used to grow crops, collecting and transporting quarry stones to the site, excavation of quarry stones available in the site, and arranging stones on the pathways. To complete the skate paths, gravel topping will cost an additional US$2150, whilst tarmacking of skating paths will cost US$6093.

We are still lacking funds for the E-Readers (50pcs) US$ $6451 and solar light/power system US$1972. These are key components of the program and will simultaneously teach literacy and technology skills.

It is encouraging to see the garden begin to come to life and that the girls have a safe space to learn, to play and to develop. Learning must be wholistic to  be truly beneficial. And cognitive functioning is linked to the development of physical skills. Moreover, it offers engaging activities that will reduce risks to girls that include include early sexual activity, early teen pregnacies, and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.

I can't put off the bad news any longer. The sad truth is that the Foundation has been unable to find volunteers to take over the bulk of the administration previously done by the Founders, who are aging and unwell. We have searched for two years, but the role of Executive officer is a huge commitment of 3-4 days per week, and volunteers with such passion are thin on the ground. It's even sadder for us, as we are not insolvent. We just don't have anyone who will commit to taking the Foundation further. All funds in hand will go to our two Kenyan Projects. 

If you wish to continure supporting this project, a link to our project partner's, The Riley Orton Foundation, own GlobalGiving page is below.

Thank you all so very much for your generosity, your goodwill and kindness. Together we have seeded hope for hundreds of girls. Gratefully yours, Kim, Co-founder of the Sunflower Foundation (Australia) Inc.

Poetry at the literacy garden
Poetry at the literacy garden

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Literacy Garden Report October 22, 2018

In a time of dreadful tragedies, we are so glad to have a good news story to share. We have made marked progress with the construction of infrastructure at the garden. A donor who wants to remain anonymous donated USD$20,000 to drill the well and $6000 to start building the amphitheater at the garden. 

We successfully drilled the well this week striking water at 150 meters. The drilling team are still at the site installing the steel casings and developing the borehole with gravel pack and installing the cap. (See Youtube link below.)

The girls have continued to use the garden for storytelling and poetry sessions. 3 schools are currently actively involved as we focus on piloting this small group using the limited resources we have while building the infrastructure to accommodate everyone.

We still need funds to purchase the e-readers, install solar energy to pump water from the borehole, storage water tanks (essential in a land subject to drought, sprinklers for farming/gardening, and garden benches and reading areas. We also need to build a water kiosk for sales to the girls and their communities, as well as accommodation rooms for farm camps and workshops, a kitchen and play stations and finish skating paths.

 Thank you all so much for your support. Metaphorically, this project returns to the girls to Eden. 

Drilling in progress
Drilling in progress
Striking water
Striking water
Learning in the garden
Learning in the garden

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Gentrix writing a story
Gentrix writing a story

 

Although we haven't received any major grants for the literacy garden (it is always very difficult for donors to get involved with a new project) we have made marked progress in getting volunteers and a few small orgs involved to get us started. With every $$ we receive, we are starting to build the literacy garden gradually. We believe that if we are resilient and start working towards our vision, like minded people and friends will join along the way.

To this end, we have raised about $11,800 USD from donations and small grants; 

PROGRESS OF THE LITERACY GARDEN PROJECT 2018

We conducted a survey and found out that 95% of the girls/students from the 7 schools we work with have never been read a story book. Only 5% read story books at home, only 15% read story books at school and 10% could answer specific questions related to the stories they had read. This is our baseline for ongoing evaluation.

We have used donations to clear and level grounds at the garden, make paths, build 2 shade areas, build a mini library, gate, security house, basketball court, pretend play hospital, and school supplies as outlined in the attached xls document.

We have also continued our sessions on storytelling, poetry, music and drama, writing and e book publishing with the help of our volunteer instructor Rose and volunteers Nicole, Libby, Kendra and Josh, Haley and Dennis. 

Rose and the volunteers have been reading to the students taking them through the structure of a story to enable them construct stories in a systematic way.

Within the short period of time we have piloted the program, we have seen how important storytelling has been in enhancing the girls creativity, confidence and developing their language

They have also composed a poem called "First time in literacy" which highlights how shy some of them were at during their first sessions on storytelling and poetry at the literacy garden and how different/ bold they all are now

With the help of volunteers Kendra and Josh, we have also taken the girls through writing personal narratives and stories about their culture and the common things they do everyday: eg helping their mothers to prepare meals, gardening etc. Using the ipads , the girls have learnt to draft, edit, take photos and make their own digital story books. They will publish the books by next week online. We will share them with you once published. We see this as a crucial way towards giving the girls a voice to talk about/share issues they care about in the community and create sustainable change. It also helps them to work towards being published authors at a budding age  besides improving their language and communication skills. 

The girls have also been participating in Hot Sitting  Discussions and Debates where they are given different topics such as ;

  • WHAT IS THE PERCEPTION OF BOTH GIRLS AND BOYS ON GENDER EQUALITY IN YOUR COMMUNITY?
  • DO YOU THINK BOYS SHOULD BE NURSES?
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WOMEN BEING IN LEADERSHIP?
  • SHOULD PEOPLE STICK TO OLD CULTURES AND TRADITIONS?
  • SHOULD GIRLS ALWAYS BE THE ONES TO DO HOUSE CHORES?
  • WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE AGE OF STARTING RELATIONSHIP?
  • DO YOU THINK WE CAN CHANGE KENYA THROUGH LEADERSHIP OR ECONOMY?

The girls are expected to oppose or support each others points. Usually there are no preparations for this to encourage creativity and critical thinking, as well as encouraging them to be confident, respect other people’s opinions and challenge them fairly without being disrespectful.

The Next Step

We need $15,000 dollars to build the next stage - solar energy towers that will power the girls' devices, and most importantly, permit a further stage, the sinking of the bore well.

The energy is needed to power the sinking of the bore, and to run the pumps after it is built. The bore itself has three major purposes:

  • to provide clean, cheap drinking water for the wider community
  • to save the girls trekking 5 Km or more to fetch water daily
  • to water the garden
Poetry in the Literacy Garden
Poetry in the Literacy Garden
Kenra and Josh at the Write the World program
Kenra and Josh at the Write the World program
Girls at the Story Telling Circle
Girls at the Story Telling Circle

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Organization Information

The Sunflower Foundation (Australia) Inc.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria - Australia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SunflowerF1
Project Leader:
Evan Lorendo
Dr.
Melbourne, Victoria Australia
$3,974 raised of $5,000 goal
 
67 donations
$1,026 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG32906

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