Our trustee Joy Murphy, at the grand old age of 80, is taking part in a fundraising event called “Go Ape”. She will be raising money for Karibuni Children. If you’d like to support her, donate, or know more about the challenge, go to the following web page:
The project is sited in Marimanti, the biggest town in the arid county of Tharaka which is classified as a ‘hardship area’. Rainfall is very sporadic, so the local people rely on Government handouts on a regular basis. Their main crops are sorghum and millet. HIV and AIDS remain a problem in the area and there are many orphans and single parent families.
The project started some years ago to feed and educate some of the children from those families at the primary schools in the area, mainly at Kamatungu School. Those children are now in their 20’s and have completed their education – some with degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Karibuni continues to sponsor children here and 6 of the very poorest children enter nursery each year and continue to the end of their education or practical training and there is now a total of 101 children and young people at various stages, as well as those who have completed and are working.
George Mwabu, the project leader, is an inspirational young man who sees needs and works to meet them. As well as running the Karibuni project, George set about raising the money locally to build a community centre. Money and gifts in lieu were all raised by local people – and George and his wife were the first donors. They were given a tree for roof timbers, sand and cement and most moving, one of the men who had been with the project and trained to be a mason, gave his labour free.
There is now a splendid centre and George has started a demonstration farm showing how water harvesting can revolutionise the area. They are successfully growing papaya, mangoes, potatoes, maize, cabbage, carrots and etc and keep hens, having built their own huge water tank! Local people are learning how to emulate their example by working alongside George and others, and slowly the area is improving. Clearly Karibuni’s support for this area is making a real difference!
Tharaka is only one of the 13 projects supported by Karibuni. The children chosen for nursery school and sponsorship throughout their education are from the very poorest families, all living in deprived conditions, and with very difficult family circumstances. For example, Jamila is four years old and has recently been sponsored by Karibuni to join the Meru Township Project.
She lives with her sick mother in the adjacent slum area. She is seen here in the project dining room where a nutritious meal is served at lunch time. Karibuni sets down one criterion for the selection of children to be sponsored: that they should be “the poorest of the poor”. Tribe and religion play no part in the decision. Hence this little girl is a Muslim who is attending the local Catholic school.
Costs to support a child in nursery are £20 a month, while by the
time they reach university it can be £75 a month. Can you help?
Peter Wells writes: “While in Kenya with the working party the graduation ceremony of one of the young people who has been in our care from a very young age took place. It was a great event, full of colour and noise and it was a real privilege to be there. Anita Kanyua was graduating from Meru Teachers’ training college and she is already teaching at a local private school in a place called Murathakari, about an hour’s journey from Meru; she is hoping to get a job in a state school eventually as it is better paid and offers more security, but she is already on her way and able to look after herself; she is also able to provide support for the grandparents who brought her up. It brings it home to us how these children, from such desperate backgrounds, can develop into young citizens with so much to offer; for us it was a very moving, rewarding and humbling occasion.”
You can read about some of our other graduates in a news update post here
In February, 11 supporters flew out to embark on this year’s working party. The objective was to visit some of the projects, engage with the children and support a couple of capital projects being undertaken at Limuru and Meru. And if there was time to spare, maybe fit in a safari to Masaai Mara (all at participants own expense) for a few days!
In Limuru, some new classrooms were to be built, replacing the existing dilapidated ones. Good progress was made while we were there and the classrooms are now in use – a great benefit to the project. Then, on to Meru, crossing the equator on route, where an office/storeroom was being built for Mercy, our social worker there; we also did some painting and decorating and much needed rewiring work in our building there, so jobs well done! Most of the work is carried out by local tradesmen but we provide funding, give support, help where we can, and engage with the children as much as possible – also we have fun! The next working party is due in 2021; do get in touch if you think you’d like to be part of it.
During their annual visit in February 2019, the Trustees visited our projects in Kenya to see for themselves what’s been happening and how your donations are being spent. Here are updates from some of the projects:
Justin, aged 5, is being sponsored by Karibuni at the Limuru project. Pictured here with his older brother, younger sister and his mother, Emily. His father died when his mother was pregnant with his younger sister. Emily relies on casual work picking tea in one of Limuru’s tea plantations. This is seasonal work and the rest of the time she sells charcoal. Life is very difficult for this hard working mother and she is much relieved that one of her children is being sponsored by Karibuni.
Esther is being sponsored by Karibuni Children at the Limuru project. She is presently studying a Health Education and Promotion course at the Kenya Medical Training Institute. When she completes her training she wants to work in poorer communities educating people in how to avoid ill health. Esther met Karibuni Trustees when they were visiting Limuru, bringing a Thank-you card and a letter of appreciation for the support Karibuni has given her.
Meru Township Project
Jamila is four years old and has recently been sponsored by Karibuni to join the Meru Township Project. She lives with her sick mother in the adjacent slum area. She is seen here in the project dining room where a nutritious meal is served at lunchtime. Karibuni sets down one criterion for the selection of children to be sponsored: that they should be from “the poorest of the poor “. Tribe and religion play no part in the decision. Hence this little girl is a Muslim who is attending the local Catholic school.
Frankline Kirimi was taken into the Meru Township Project in 2003. He was living on the streets at the time, having been abandoned by his family. He has subsequently progressed in his education and is about to graduate with a BSc Honours degree in Economics. We met him when we visited the project this year. He was understandably proud of his achievements and very grateful to Karibuni for its support throughout his education.
While visiting Tharaka, a very arid and remote area, the Trustees met Kendi and her mother, Jericah. Jericah is a single parent who suffers from poor health and so struggles to earn a living. Kendi is being sponsored by Karibuni. She is a very shy girl and looked very solemn when we met her. Her mother was very happy about the sponsorship and, knowing we would be visiting had put on her “Sunday best”. As is the practice in Kenya, we took some bags of groceries with us when we visited their home.
For several years Bierton, Aylesbury Lawn Tennis Club has kindly donated used tennis balls to Karibuni Children. These are carried out to Kenya by visiting Trustees and create great excitement when they are given to the children. The picture shows children at the Njoro Project receiving some of the 2019 tennis balls.
Each project supported by Karibuni Children has a separate Management Committee. On their annual visits Karibuni Trustees always meet with these committees for in depth reviews of the project and the children being sponsored. The picture shows the members of the committee at Njoro together with visiting Trustees, John Cotton, Joy Murphy and David Welsh.
Karibuni alumni , Kibra and Kawangware projects
Visiting Trustees met with a group of young people who have been sponsored by Karibuni through two Nairobi projects in the Kibra and Kawangware slums. Some have graduated and are in employment or are looking for jobs. Others are at College or University. It was inspiring to hear some of their stories about the challenges they have faced. They are determined to support each other and to mentor children in the projects, drawing on their own experience.
We thank all those who took part in our last Christmas Challenge appeal. We are pleased to say that we were successful in reaching our target which will mean that we will be able to transform even more young lives in Kenya.
The money raised by this appeal will help the very poorest of the poor in Kibra, Nairobi, which is Africa’s biggest slum and where the largest project supported by Karibuni Children is based.
Donations totalling £5000 were matched pound for pound by pledges already made by an existing group of supporters. In all we raised nearly £15000 when Gift Aid is also included.
We will be running a similar appeal this coming Christmas where we will set the bar even higher! Look out for more news about this in the autumn.
A record field of 13 Karibuni runners pounded the streets of London in the British 10K raising almost £4,500 for Karibuni Children!
The British 10K follows a route through the centre of London, including Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and The Strand.
It was a very warm Sunday in July and after the run participants met up with Karibuni Trustees for drinks and to receive certificates from Karibuni. The photographs show some of the runners, which included a strong Kenyan contingent.
We’ll need even more runners next year if we’re to beat the amount raised this year and continue to make a huge difference to the lives of many children. So if you would be interested in running this event next July, do let us know by registering your interest via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about the race here: https://bit.ly/2uLF0Sp
MASSIVE congratulations and thank you to 12 year old Rowan Purrett who on 16th March 2019 completed his 79 Peaks in 79 Weeks challenge for Karibuni. He began on his 11th birthday (September 2017) and the peaks had to be a Graham, Corbett or Munro. The final peak was 765m high Sgurr Beag and was a big challenge because of the snowy conditions.
This is a unique achievement and we at Karibuni Children are most grateful to Rowan and his parents for choosing to raise funds to support our work amongst the poorest of the poor in Kenya. We are proud to be associated with this amazing enterprise.
Rowan has raised over £6,000 for Karibuni Children. We are most grateful to all who have sponsored Rowan. The good news is that if you haven’t done so yet, it’s not too late! Here’s the link to his fundraising page:
Rowan had planned to finish in style by climbing Ben Nevis, but adverse weather conditions on that mountain in recent weeks have ruled it out. The alternative peak he chose to climb was not exactly easy, as his final report shows:
“I have done it!! Yesterday I climbed the last peak (Sgurr Beag 765m, corbett top) – yahooooo! It was quite a snowy day, (surprisingly snowy) …and got snowier – but thankfully again someone else had broken the trail. There was a bit less of a top than we were expecting when we got up there but the ridge to it was very exciting with an amazing cornice which we were careful not to walk on. It was definitely a day for crampons and ice axes. We were joined by a friend, Kevin (who travelled all the way from Inverness to meet us) and his two lovely black labradors who were a little bit unsure on the ridge – and they had 4 legs!
I’m really relieved and excited about having finished, but no, I have no plans yet for another challenge. I have really loved the snowy hills that I have done most, as I get to use equipment and its more technical. That’s why I liked the scrambling routes best too. I hated wet raining days full of cloud and wind which there have been far too many of. I feel good that I have done something to raise money to help other children and would like to thank you all for helping me do it.”
Here’s a great video about Rowan, put together when he was half way through his target number of peaks:
Read previous updates on Rowan’s progress here:
“I did my 78th peak on 19th February, so I have just one left, yayyyyy! The peak was the Pap of Glencoe, a Graham of 2,434 ft. We finished it in record time – 3 hours and 30 mins, probably the shortest peak so far – which is perhaps appropriate as the last peak I plan to climb is Ben Nevis, which is likely to be quite a long day!
We weren’t sure it was going to be very pleasurable as it was raining when we set off and the forecast was not great, but it turned out okay and it was surprisingly busy – we saw at least a dozen people despite the grey day.
We did see a cool stone which looked like a “thumbs up”, some great views of Ballachullish and glimpses of the Aonach Eagach ridge through the cloud.”
“On 2nd January I did peak 72 &73 at the west end of the 5 sisters (Sgurr na Moraich 876m (Corbett) & Beinn Bhuidhe 869m (Corbett top). I felt like I had been up them before because they are all beginning to look the same to me and all the walks are merging in my memory. The day was very cold, but fortunately it wasn’t that much colder higher up the mountain. As we went up, the path was covered in glassy ice so we had to ice skate up hill. Fortunately by the time we came back down the ice had melted a bit. On top of peak 72 there were some amazing lochans, frozen into extraordinary patterns, and some of them were collapsing in on themselves and one of them had ice so thick I think you could have ice skated on it. One collapsed in on itself with a loud boom. The wind was a bit chilly having lunch, but fortunately we had extra hot chocolate and chocolate orange. Roll on Ben Nevis!”
“Yesterday I completed Peak 17 (which was my first peak in 2018). It is called Ben Aslak, in South Skye near Kylerhea and just counted as a Graham being 610m high… Ben Aslak was my favourite peak so far, mainly because it was so snowy. It was well below freezing and I think the wind chill was probably about minus 12 degrees C! Crampons could have been useful because the snow was quite icy in places, but this was good fun as we had to kick our feet through the ice layers to climb up.”
“On Sunday I did the second lot of 5 peaks in on the South Shiel Ridge: Sgurr Corie na feinne (902m Corbett top), Sgurr an Doire Leathain (1010m Munro), Sgurr an Lochain (1004m Munro), Sgurr Beag (896m Corbett top), Creag nan Damh (918m Munro). It was really hot, but weirdly there was still snow, which I filled my hat with to keep me cool.”
“I climbed up Bla Bheinn yesterday which was Peaks 39 and 40 – which means I have passed half way and only have 39 peaks left to do! We had cameraman Mike up there with us filming for Karen Darke. He had a drone which was really cool and he did some filming with it. It sounded like a swarm of wasps following us down the hill. My favourite part was traversing in between the North peak and the South peak because there was some amazing rock climbing to do. We took my great grandad’s altimeter up the mountain, which worked better than Mike’s drone on top as it wasn’t affected by the electromagnetism of the rocks.”
“In the last week I have climbed 4 peaks; the first set of three were near the Forcan Ridge on the south side of Glen Sheil, and the latest peak was on Rum (called Askival). I have now climbed 54 Peaks, which means I am more than 2/3 of the way to my target.
The group of 3 in Glen Sheil were: Faochag (909m) Corbett Top, Sgurr na Sgine (945m) Munro and Sgurr a’Bhac Chaolais (885m) Corbett. It started off really nice weather and was scorching hot on the way up (I had to wet my buff to keep me cool) but just a few minutes later as we reached the top of Faochag we were hit by a very hard hail shower and suddenly we were cold and wet very quickly. On the top of Sgurr na Sgine we saw more people than we have on any other mountain in Scotland (7 people) – it was like there was a planned meeting! We were lucky to find some fabulous giant bilberries on the way to the last peak of the day, which we had to stop and eat.
The latest adventure was a trip to Rum (Askival, 812m, Corbett). Friends of ours (Becky and Paul) very kindly offered to take us to on their boat so we could climb Askival. We had hoped to do more than one peak, but the weather was really unpleasant (very cloudy and drizzle all day!). Close to Rum we saw a basking shark, which was very exciting. We landed on a deserted beach (where Becky found a ball for her dog, Corrie). On the walk up we saw lots of HUGE spiders on the rocks and trees which scared Mark and Corrie walked through the webs! Navigation was quite hard as we had to take compass bearings to make sure we took the right route, as we simply could not see where we were going – a great shame as I am sure the views from the top of Askival would be amazing. On our way back to Kinloch we saw lots of deer, one of which seemed to be spying on us as it kept looming out of the mist.”
“Two more peaks climbed on Sunday, 28th October. A very beautiful day spent on Skye in the Cuillin: bright sunshine, cold and calm with a little snow (which added to the excitement of the walk/ scramble). It was really nice to have another friend, Kat, join us for the day to share the adventure (and also help us with the tricky bits of the route!). We are now inspired to have a go at some more of the Cuillin peaks, which until now have seemed a bit intimidating, but perhaps Sgurr nan Gillean, Am Basteir, or maybe (with the right support) even the Inaccessible Pinnacle might be achievable….”
Tusaidie Watoto was started by the small Methodist Church in Kibra when the four small rooms they were letting to families as homes became vacant. The 4 rooms became 2 classrooms and they started in 1997 with 20 children from the Kibra slum. As the numbers grew, the church became the baby class. All the rooms are temporary mud buildings and there is a small play area which is now paved. The provision of water at the project has been improved and drinking water separated from washing up and hand washing. However, high prices have to be paid for clean water from local entrepreneurs and the supply is vulnerable! A school in the UK has raised money for an extra water tank to safeguard the provision of water for cooking and drinking.
In 2016 the nearby railway line was scheduled for widening and one third of the compound and church have been requisitioned by the Government. They lost their pit latrines and much more.
The children live in the Kibra shanty slum which is reputed to be the largest and worst of all the slums in Africa, where thousands of people live in 9 square miles without any basic amenities. Half of those aged 15 – 40 years living in the slum are said to be HIV positive and there are many orphans. Some of the children have parents or guardians who do their best for their children, but are so poor that they cannot educate them and this is when children turn to the streets to survive. Others have unstable or inadequate parents and come to the nursery in a state of gross neglect. Some have a lone parent, or disabled parents, and some live with an older sibling who may be as young as 12, or elderly unsupported grandmothers.
Karibuni supports 51 children in the nursery, 136 children at local primary schools, 58 children at secondary school, and now 4 at university, 5 in college and 1 in vocational training – a total of 255 children. The nursery children have porridge in the morning and lunch every day; the primary children go to the nursery for lunch Monday – Friday. There are 9 full-time members of staff – a social worker, teachers, cooks, caretaker and security guard.
“I am Wycliffe Odhiambo, one of the beneficiaries of the project. I joined back in 1998 when it had just begun, from pre-school to tertiary level, I graduated from the Technical University of Kenya with a Diploma in Community and Public Health in 2016 and got an opportunity to work with the Hospital Support Organisation in the same year under the ImPACT AFRICA PROGRAM as a Research Assistant Western Kenya Region, managing 10 health facilities on the global perioperative study assessing outcomes of perioperative and anaesthesia care….
I want to let you know how much I appreciate your support throughout my studies… Growing up in the slum was one of the worst things that anyone would ever wish due to its harsh environment, but through KARIBUNI I got the courage to move on step by step hoping that one day I would have a brighter future.
KARIBUNI has impacted on so many lives… at times the only meal that kept me moving was from the project; my parents could barely afford our daily meals….
I would also not forget to thank Makena Anampiu the senior social worker at the Kibra project. I sincerely appreciate the time she spent reviewing my career goals and (how) best to achieve them…… she never lost hope in me even when I did not have hope in myself.
I had much to say but with the few words I say thank you.”
Other graduates include Eric from Kibra, who has gained a position with international auditors KPMG, Sarah from Tharaka who is a Clinical Officer working in a clinic; and Philip also from Tharaka who works for the water authorities there.