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Covid 19 Update in Kenya Covid 19 Update in Kenya

Covid 19 Update in Kenya

Dear Supporters,

With children in the UK returning to school it is timely to send you an update on the latest news from Kenya and what we have been doing to support our sponsored children during these unprecedented days.

Kenyan schools remain shut until 2021
It is now anticipated that Kenyan schools will re-open in January, at the earliest. The 2020 academic year has been effectively written off, with no examinations at either Primary or Secondary schools. Colleges may start to re-open on a phased basis in the coming months. Therefore, Karibuni has provided funds to enable projects to distribute monthly food parcels until the year end.

At Kibra, where we are the only funder, we have also agreed to pay 75% of the pay of teachers and other staff who are on furlough. In several other projects we pay fees for our sponsored children and are not responsible for staff pay. It came to our notice that in some such schools there are insufficient funds to pay furloughed staff anything – and there is no State support. We have therefore decided to include these staff in our monthly food parcels scheme. That initiative has been very well received and is helping to engender staff loyalty to the projects which will be of benefit when schools eventually re-open.

Community based learning initiative
To engage children while schools are closed the Kenyan Government has launched a community based learning programme. The Government intends that this will be rolled out to all children, whether they currently attend Government or private schools, in communities where suitable venues which enable social distancing can be found. Teachers will run groups of no more than 20 children with an emphasis on teaching them life skills, rather than academic subjects. We suspect that this is likely to prove much easier to achieve in rural areas than in city slums such as Kibra.
Government guidance encourages distance learning using computers. Our sponsored children come from homes which have no access to the internet, let alone a computer.

Local Project initiatives
In the face of extended school closures, we have encouraged projects to develop their own learning initiatives, within the restrictions laid down by the Government. 

One such initiative came from the Embakasi project. Although Embakasi Academy remains closed, there is scope within Government COVID-19 guidelines for small groups of children to receive limited tuition and guidance with homework. The project Board developed a plan involving four teachers who were previously on furlough. Although we do not normally pay teachers at that project (instead we pay fees per child), in this case the initiative benefits our sponsored children and we have provided funding for four teachers’ salaries and internet usage.

Another initiative involves Tharaka where the project leaders were conscious that while local radio stations were broadcasting basic school lessons for children in Nursery and Primary schools, most of our sponsored children could not access those lessons as there are no radios in their homes. The solution they proposed was to provide children with solar powered radios (which could be bought for £12 each). There is no 

Children at Tharaka receive their new solar radios

shortage of solar energy in Tharaka!  To engage older children the proposal was to create a basic computer laboratory within that part of the new Tharaka Community Resource Centre which has already been constructed (and about which we will tell you more in our next Newsletter), using iPads and a Smart TV. 

This imaginative proposal was quickly agreed by the Karibuni Children Trustees and money was provided. The new radios have already been purchased and the children are using them.

What can you do? 
We are most grateful to you our supporters for your wonderful response to our appeal earlier in the year and for the ongoing donations we receive, month by month. If you would like to make a contribution towards the costs of our extended support for the children while they are at home, there are a number of options, which are set out below.

With best wishes,

John Cotton

Chair of Trustees

Karibuni Children

Meet the Embakasi children. Meet the Embakasi children.

Meet the Embakasi children.

During the trustees’ visit to Embakasi all the Karibuni sponsored children were brought together. 

“Kenyan schools were on mid-term break and all our sponsored children were asked to come to school, where as well as waving at us they got lunch.”

Karibuni’s Alumni – Robert Karibuni’s Alumni – Robert

Karibuni’s Alumni – Robert

Robert from Tharaka has aimed to support people in poverty in various situations, from drugs and homelessness to HIV/AIDS.  He founded the Naledi initiative, which works with vulnerable girls in Kenya who have become pregnant and shunned within their community, so they can learn the skills they need to move forward in their lives without being forced into early marriage or a life of dependence and hopelessness. He has also served as a counsellor at the Kenya and South Africa Global Youth Peace Summit, and has 

now been accepted by the Institute of Emerging Visionaries in California for a three year intensive course. The Institute aims to foster a generation of young visionary leaders dedicated and equipped to serve humanity. Robert’s aim is to restore hope and self-sufficiency for vulnerable youth in Kenya.                                                                            

Esther, who writes from Limuru Esther, who writes from Limuru

Esther, who writes from Limuru

“Dear Karibuni

I am scripting this letter to convey my honest and genuine gratefulness and appreciation to you for sponsoring my studies. First of all I would like to express great appreciation on behalf of all those luckily and financially sponsored by you. No appreciation is enough for great kindness. But here, I still want to thank you all for your kindness, which has provided me with hope and courage to live a better life. You are bighearted and compassionate people who magnanimously and selflessly gave away your hard earned money to help me in my secondary and college studies so I’d become a better version of myself- I am so privileged and humbled to have received this sponsorship and would like to express my heartfelt gratitudes for being there for me.

I recently graduated from the Kenya Medical Training college on 5th of I recently graduated from the Kenya Medical Training college on 5th of December 2019 with a Diploma in health promotion and community health. The monetary help you offered facilitated me to pay for my learning costs and I attribute all this success to you. Your kind favour also motivates me to help others in need and I attribute all this success to you. I will use the knowledge and skills that I have acquired in school to make my community a better place through empowering people to take control of their own health.”

Meet Karibuni Alumni at Kibra Meet Karibuni Alumni at Kibra

Meet Karibuni Alumni at Kibra

While in Nairobi, as well as visiting all our projects, and making home visits, Trustees had a meeting with our alumni students from Kibra and Kawangware who are either in the process of tertiary education, or who have already qualified, thanks to support from Karibuni. 

The students were divided into small groups to work out ways in which they could themselves support their project and mentor other children.

All over Kenya, students have graduated, thanks to their hard work and to Karibuni.

Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro

Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro

Each year Karibuni Children sponsors 7 children to join the Nursery school at Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro. The children to be sponsored are selected by the project Board on one simple criterion, namely that they should come from “the poorest of the poor”. This story may give you an idea of their circumstances.

Pauline, one of the children selected to join the Nursery in January 2020, lives with her grandmother, pictured here. Also living in the same one-roomed shack are her mother and four other grandchildren. The only income to the home is what Pauline’s mother can earn doing casual work such as washing and ironing laundry. There is very little such work, especially at present.

Each project Karibuni supports is separately governed by a local Management Board.

Karibuni Trustees meet with the members of these Boards on their annual visits to review, amongst other things, the progress of the children being sponsored, project finances, governance and administration. Pictured with visiting Trustees is the Board of the Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro, which runs a Nursery and Primary school.      

Kibra Kibra

Kibra

These four children were taken into the Baby Class at Kibra in January. They are twins Moses and Miriam, with Jayden and Emmanuel. Elizabeth is the nursery headteacher on the left, and Carol is the social worker from Kawangware, who now works with Makena at Kibra.

Meet Nancy Meet Nancy

Meet Nancy

Nancy is the mother of the twins Moses and Miriam (sponsored). She has no husband and 4 children, and her income comes from casual laundry and selling greens, (sukuma wiki = “push / stretch the week”) making Ksh200/250 (approximately £1.50-£1.80 per day). 

A Thank You message from Mercy, our senior social worker in Meru A Thank You message from Mercy, our senior social worker in Meru

A Thank You message from Mercy, our senior social worker in Meru

Thanks to the generosity of you, our supporters, who have responded so magnificently to our recent appeal, our partner projects now have the money to pay for food parcels for the children in their care. That special food support extends from the larger projects to those smaller ones where we make a contribution to running costs. Mercy, our senior social worker in Meru says: 

“On behalf of all my children I appreciate the support during this epidemic. Receive the regards of the guardians. They feel indebted by the sacrifice to provide this basic need of food to them. These are hard times for our kids and their families. I was able to tell when some of them depleted their food because then some would find their way to the feeding program, just to find out if they can get something to eat. It clearly shows how (much) these parcels mean to these children.”

The children’s parents or guardians who live nearby come, in small numbers at a time, to collect the food parcels. Mercy delivers parcels to those who live far away.

Thank you message from Embakasi Thank you message from Embakasi
Thank You. We have managed to raise over £40,000! Thank You. We have managed to raise over £40,000!

Thank You. We have managed to raise over £40,000!

In just over a month, with the inclusion of Gift Aid, we have managed to raise over £40,000. This really is a wonderful result, and reflective of the loyalty and generosity of you, our supporters.
Dear Supporters,I hope that this message finds you, and those close to you, keeping safe and well in these exceedingly difficult times.A month or so ago I wrote to you, our loyal supporters, regarding the impact of the pandemic in Kenya with the closure of schools and danger that posed to Karibuni sponsored children with the loss of their main source of food and nutrition. I asked for your help to raise funds urgently so that we could provide emergency foodstuffs to the family of each child, and thus ensure that at least the threat of starvation was reduced, as Kenya too grapples with this coronavirus pandemic.  Your response has been wonderful and so on behalf of the 700+ sponsored Karibuni children, I just wanted to say A HUGE THANK YOU!
Following the one off grant which we provided to tide projects over for the month of April, we have now remitted funds to our partners in Kenya that should cover the cost of basic foodstuffs for each of our 700 families, for the next 4 months. This support will be distributed to families on a monthly basis, either in the form of foodstuffs or, in the more volatile areas, food vouchers which can be redeemed at a reputable supermarket. 

I thought it might also be helpful to provide you with an update from on the ground in Kenya, which is provided. Whilst the number of cases reported to date is limited, we know that with so many underlying health conditions and weak public health systems, the Kenyan people are vulnerable and so we continue to pray that Kenya and other developing countries are spared the worst of this pandemic, pending development of effective treatments and vaccines.

As you can imagine, against this backcloth, the support that Karibuni Children has been able to provide has literally been a life-saver for these children and families, and I wanted to share with you some of the comments we have received back from projects in Kenya and some of the photos we have had. 

At the time of writing, Kenya has reported 607 cases of Covid-19, with 29 deaths. Nairobi and Mombasa have seen the greatest concentrations of cases, while rural areas have so far seen few reported cases. Whilst these numbers seem very low in comparison with our own, the impact of the control  measures implemented to try to limit the spread of the virus has been significant. 

A dusk to dawn curfew, in place since 27th March, has been forcefully administered by police, while schools, Colleges and Universities remain closed for at least another month. The casual labour market – washing, cooking, cleaning – has completely dried up, as better off Kenyans follow social distancing guidance and confine themselves to their homes. We know that most parents and guardians of Karibuni sponsored children depend on this unreliable income source to pay the rent on their slum dwelling and to provide food for their family unit. Food prices have jumped by at least 50% and many of the poorest Kenyans find themselves in the invidious position of trying to balance the threat of the virus, with the threat of starvation. In Kibra, a poorly organised attempt to distribute food aid (not linked to Karibuni) led to a stampede and the death of two women.  

We will obviously be watching developments in Kenya very closely. Our best forecast remains that it will be September, at the earliest, before schools reopen but, like all countries, much will depend on what happens to infection rates when the Kenyan government starts to relax the current restrictions.

One thing is for sure, Karibuni will honour the commitment we made to these children when first sponsoring them and stands ready to respond quickly to ensure that we continue “To transform young Kenyan lives”.  
Thank you for your support



John Cotton
“Thank you very much for this kind donation for the orphans and the vulnerable children! We know also our friends overseas are experiencing the same or worse form of the problem, it is our prayer that the lord will help us all and we shall emerge more stronger. We are so thankful that we have friends like you praying for us and encouraging us through prayers and donations.”
“I want to thank the Trustees for the generosity and most importantly, for their concerns for the poor children and families supported at the Wesley-Njoro project. It is at a time like now that one really gets to know who the true friends are. And these families now know they have a friend in the UK called ‘Karibuni Children’ who truly cares.”
“I wish to really thank the Karibuni Children for their love and generosity amidst so much challenges brought by this pandemic. A big boost to the poor families; when everyone works from home, the poor who survive on casual works stay at home unfed. Congratulations Karibuni Children for bridging this gap. Smile below the masks of the poor and vulnerable.”

 

You can support our appeal by:Making a bank transfer to Karibuni Children, Sort Code 20-03-18, Account number 70692697 (Please add your surname & initial as a reference and, if possible, notify us of this donation by emailing us : office@karibuni.org.uk)Sending a cheque payable to “Karibuni Children” c/o Peter Wells, 13 Tudor Court, Church Lane, Mill End, Rickmansworth, HERTS, WD3 8PX Donating via our website: https://www.karibuni.org.uk/donateRinging 01296 614887 and making a donation by credit or debit card
Bianca’s Story Bianca’s Story

Bianca’s Story

Bianca was sponsored by Karibuni at Limuru Academy north of Nairobi.
 She came from a very challenging home background and the school found out she was at risk. She was fostered by the school head teacher, did well at school and passed her end of Secondary school exams with a B+ 
She brought us an iced cake to say thank you for the support she had received. She is pictured with her foster mother, Jane.
Latest news (April 2020): Bianca has been admitted to Nairobi University to read Dental surgery.

Feeding our sponsored children: news from Kenya Feeding our sponsored children: news from Kenya

Feeding our sponsored children: news from Kenya

One of our partner projects, where we sponsor 80 children, is at Njoro, near Nakuru, 100 miles northwest of Nairobi.  Responding to news of Karibuni’s emergency grant for April, Henry Nteere, who chairs the project says:


We now know one thing for a fact and that is most of the parents/guardians of these children are no longer able to get the usual menial jobs they used to depend on for livelihood. This is because many of the people that used to give them those jobs are now at home or are working from home and therefore doing their domestic chores themselves. Finally I want to thank the Trustees for the generosity and most importantly, for their concerns for the poor children and families supported at the Wesley-Njoro project. It is at a time like now that one really gets to know who the true friends are. And these families now know they have a friend in the UK called ‘Karibuni Children’ who truly cares. May God bless Karibuni Children whose thoughts are always with these very needy children.God bless! Henry.

Can you please help us to feed Karibuni’s sponsored children? Can you please help us to feed Karibuni’s sponsored children?

Can you please help us to feed Karibuni’s sponsored children?

Dear supporters,


Since 1995 Karibuni has been giving children from the poorest of homes the chance to be educated and to achieve their full potential. It is ironic in this our 25th Anniversary year that education has come to a sudden halt with the closure of schools as Kenya gets to grips with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


Over the years, alongside education, Karibuni has provided countless meals, because it’s not easy to learn when you may not have had breakfast and when your evening meal depends on whether your mum, dad or grandmother has managed to find occasional work that day.


But school closures means that weekday lunches – and often Saturdays – have stopped too. Colleges and Universities have also closed and students have returned to their homes. Altogether this means that almost 700 children and students sponsored by Karibuni are not receiving the regular meals on which they rely.


Back at their homes the closure of some local markets and increasing unease amongst the population means that casual work will be in shorter supply. Some Kenyans living in Nairobi and elsewhere have decided to return to their family villages, but others are fearful of taking the virus with them.


In light of this rapidly deteriorating situation we have consulted project staff in Kenya. With the option of feeding children on site no longer being available, they suggested that we should supply the family of each sponsored child / student with an emergency foodstuffs package. A typical food parcel, costing about 2,000 Kenyan shillings (£16) and which would include maize meal, beans, rice, sugar and cooking oil, would last about a month.

We have accepted their recommendation and have immediately sent emergency grants costing us £10,800 which will be sufficient to supply each sponsored child / student with a food parcel for April.

What happens after April? We are working with the projects to see what savings can be made from their normal budgets, but we already know that providing foodstuffs in future months, which must be our top priority, will involve Karibuni in very considerable unplanned expenditure. The best forecast is that it will be September, at earliest, before things get back to normal so the children are going to need our help for at least another four months. On top of these extra costs we shall also need to increase the grants we make to other projects which run feeding programmes.


We realise this is a difficult time to ask for donations, but we do so in the knowledge that you, our supporters, will appreciate the commitment we made to these children when first sponsoring them. With your help we can fulfil that commitment in a very practical way.


In this our 25th Anniversary year we had exciting plans, including a celebratory event in July. All such plans are now on hold. However, if between us we can feed 700 children and young people while this terrible situation continues we shall be celebrating what is so special about Karibuni and will truly live up to our stated mission: “To transform young Kenyan lives”. Thank you for your support,

John Cotton
Chairman of Trustees
Karibuni Children

You can support our appeal by:

-Making a bank transfer to Karibuni Children, Sort Code 20-03-18, Account number 70692697 (Please add your surname & initial as a reference and, if possible, notify us of this donation by emailing us : office@karibuni.org.uk)


Sending a cheque payable to “Karibuni Children” c/o Peter Wells, 13 Tudor Court, Church Lane, Mill End, Rickmansworth, HERTS, WD3 8PX 


Donating via our website: www.karibuni.org.uk/donate


Ringing 01296 614887 and making a donation by credit or debit card


NB Via Gift Aid your donation can be boosted by 25p for each £1 you donate. If you are not already registered with us we can send you a form for completion and return.

Tharaka project Tharaka project

Tharaka project

The project at Tharaka is led by George Mwabu. Here he introduces two of the young people who were sponsored by Karibuni in their education.