Opening day of the nursery
Many things have been happening at Tareto Maa in the previous months. The girls remain well and there is much news to report.
New nursery and vegetable plot
At the end of September the new nursery opened its doors to 24 boys and girls from the community. The nursery building is the old temporary refuge, first built to house the girls, and now this can be a welcome additional source of income for Tareto Maa as well as being another service to the community. Also since September, while a larger plot of ground is still needed, the refuge has a smaller area for growing vegetables such as carrots to help with the supply of fresh food.
On the 19th October the Tareto Maa team held a local Harambee fund-raiser for the third classroom of the primary school. A total of 1500 US-$ was raised which can now be used for the construction works. The aim is for this classroom to be completed in the next weeks, certainly for the beginning of 2013. The remaining costs of the classroom will be taken from existing funds.
At the time of the last report there were 54 girls receiving individual sponsorships and this has increased to 59 – but more girls would love to have a personal sponsor supporting their schooling. Recently, letters have been written by the girls to their sponsors and they will be shortly receiving their replies. The girls love to have these letters and they are grateful and happy for the support they get. If you feel you could support a child in this way then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need more sponsors to come forward and this is going to be a major focus for our forthcoming Christmas campaign, especially as our educational costs are increasing with girls moving from primary to high school.
In September, a trial of reusable sanitary wear, made in Nairobi, was purchased. These Huru Kits contain washable underwear and sanitary napkins as well as literature on HIV awareness. By purchasing these kits, it will lower the overall cost to the refuge of sanitary items as well as being environmentally friendly. The girls liked the products and we are in the final stages of raising funds for the purchase of enough kits for all the girls at a cost of ca. 1000 US-$. We still need a few more donations. If you would like to give to this cause please go to www.globalgiving.org/projects/protect-70-girls-from-genital-mutilation-in-kenya/ to donate.
Movie sreenings and joint safari
During the month of August, the refuge saw two visitors, Armin of Tareto Maa Deutschland and Caroline from the US. The girls were very excited about these people coming to visit them as they knew they were going on a special adventure with them. Funded by individual private funds, they were able to visit the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. For some, this was the first time they had seen wild beasts and it was an amazing experience for them. They enjoyed it very much.
Also, with the donation of a new computer and electrical equipment provided by a company from Europe, the children were able to see their first movie screenings. For instance the movie “The Lion King”, the BBC documentaries “Planet Earth” and finally the Olympic 800 metre gold run by local Maasai hero David Rudisha. They watched that race over and over again. They loved it all.
New playground facilities
With the help of an Austrian donor, the girls now have a playground and a football pitch with two goals. The playground has swings and a seesaw which will be used by the children in the refuge as well as by the children in the nursery. New toys and books were also purchased. The hula hoops were a particular favourite of the girls. They played with them non-stop and over the course of just one day, all the bright shining new colours of the hoops were faded to grey, such was the amount that they had been used and appreciated by the children.
December campaign in the local community
The team in Kenya have been working for several months on a project which will take place over five days and will begin in the school holidays on the 9th December (to coincide with the beginning of the next circumcision season). With co-operation from the District Government, a health-promotion campaign will begin to focus on the potential long-term abandonment of the practice within the community. Talks and events will be held to bring people together to talk about FGM, its effects and what can be achieved to bring lasting change by hopefully an eventual abandonment and an alternative rite of passage for the girls. This event is a crucial step towards this.
The hula hoop (photo by Caroline Annandale)