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Latest news from the Projects Latest news from the Projects

Latest news from the Projects

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:

Limuru Project

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.

Tharaka Project

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.

Njoro Project 

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.

Christmas Challenge Christmas Challenge

Christmas Challenge

We thank all those who took part in our 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.

During this period donations totalling £5000 were matched pound for pound by pledges already made by an existing group of supporters. 

British 10K 2018 – almost £4,500 raised! British 10K 2018 – almost £4,500 raised!

British 10K 2018 – almost £4,500 raised!

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 office@karibuni.org.uk

You can find out more about the race here: https://bit.ly/2uLF0Sp

Peak a Week COMPLETE! Rowan Purrett, aged twelve, Peak to Peak fundraiser Peak a Week COMPLETE! Rowan Purrett, aged twelve, Peak to Peak fundraiser

Peak a Week COMPLETE! Rowan Purrett, aged twelve, Peak to Peak fundraiser

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 £3,000 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:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/A_Peak_a_Week

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:

https://youtu.be/EvVHQoXG7xw

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….”

The Kibra Project update – Tusaidie Watoto The Kibra Project update – Tusaidie Watoto

The Kibra Project update – Tusaidie Watoto

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.

Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years

“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.

Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018 Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018

Trustees’ Visit to Kenya 2018

Every February our trustees visit our projects in Kenya to see how progress is being made and how money is being spent.

The Trustees visiting Kenya this year are Joy Murphy, Nigel Roberts and John Cotton. Here they are pictured with Mercy Kendi who heads the Meru Township project. 

Here’s what they were doing on their trip:

21st February

Today we visited the project in the Embakasi slum. Karibuni sponsors six children per year into the Nursery school. We took a pile of clothing, crayons and pencils, plus used tennis balls supplied by Bierton Tennis Club. We’ll be distributing more to other projects in the coming days. The children were delighted!

Here are some of the children sponsored into the Nursery school this year at Embakasi. They are pictured with Johnson, the project’s social worker.

22nd February

Today we visited Kawangware Nursery School. Most of the children at the nursery are fee-paying and Karibuni sponsors three new children there every year who then progress into the Primary School. There’s a total of 33 sponsored children in the Academy.

Here are some of the children having their post lunch nap while the sun is at its hottest.

23rd February

We spent today visiting homes in Nairobi’s Kibra slum.

Natalie and Natasha are twins living with their widowed mother Alice and their four brothers and sisters in a small mud walled hut deep in the slum. Alice’s only source of income is what she earns as a hairdresser, charging the equivalent of £2 a time. On the day we visited she had her first customer for five days.

The twins have recently been sponsored by Karibuni to join the Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School. When, with Makena Anampiu, the project’s senior social worker, we visited Alice in her home, we were able to present her with a knitted blanket made by one of our supporters. She said the blanket will be used to cover the twins at night.

Here are the twins eating their lunch in the Nursery School. They are wearing school uniforms supplied by Karibuni Children.

 

24th February

After leaving the Tusaidie Watoto Nursery School sponsored children go to a local Government Primary School where class sizes often exceed 100. These children come to the project for a meal after school and, when there are no school commitments, they come on Saturday mornings. They sang, recited and acted for visiting trustees and also met Rev Maureen Jones, who was instrumental in starting the project.

Here, trustees also met a group of Karibuni Alumni, young people who have completed their studies or who are in tertiary education.

1st March

The Meru Township Project started off as a feeding programme for children from the adjacent slum and has progressed to become a fully developed project, taking children into sponsorship at Nursery school age. Today, we joined children having their lunch.

We also met Martin who has graduated from the project, having studied for a nursing diploma. He was proud to tell us that he has been appointed to a job at a local hospital. He “gives back” by volunteering in the project and mentoring children who face challenges similar to those he had to overcome.

We also caught up with Mercy Kendi, who leads the project.

2nd March

At Mwithumwiru Primary School in Meru, Karibuni Children provides a regular grant so that children from the poorest of homes can be fed at lunchtime. We also support a Special Needs class.

On arrival we were met by the school’s Deputy Head Teacher and the Chairman of the School Board. Joy Murphy was invited to plant a tree to mark the long running partnership between Karibuni and this school.

We met the children and teachers in the Special Needs Class and also visited the kitchen where we met the cook who has been working there for many years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd March

All over Kenya, people are hoping that the “big rains” will start soon. In the meantime the soil has dried out and dust rises in clouds at the slightest disturbance. There was certainly plenty of dust to see in the playground of the Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro when we visited. Some of it found its way onto the children’s clothes, as this picture demonstrates!

4th March

We’ve arrived in Tharaka, a very arid rural area. Every year Karibuni sponsors nine children into the Nursery class of Kamatungu Primary school. 

We visited the home of Ann, a five year old who lives with her younger brother, mother and grandmother in a small mud walled hut.  Ann has been selected by the project to be sponsored by Karibuni. T

he sole source of income is a small shamba (farm) where they keep chickens and grow crops of beans as and when there is sufficient rain. Ann’s mother had prepared a cup of tea and boiled eggs and then appeared from her hen house with a squawking hen which she presented to Joy Murphy. Some quick thinking followed and Joy asked that the hen should be kept on the shamba until she returned to collect it. It is really humbling when we are offered gifts from the very little such families have.

Among the other children taken into sponsorship this year at the Tharaka project is 5 year old Tony. He lives with his mother, brothers and sisters in a tin roofed mud hut. The family is very poor yet Joy Murphy was presented with yet another chicken – which we asked Ann’s mother to keep until we return some time. 
As we left we spotted a toy which Tony had made out of plastic milk bottle tops. He was evidently very proud of it and was happy to be photographed together with his sister who was wearing her Sunday best dress in honour of our visit.

5th March

With help from Wingrave Ladies Sewing Group, Karibuni has been supporting the Special Needs class at Kamatungu Primary School for some years. We provide an annual grant to enable the teachers to purchase materials such as beads which the children and young adults use to make craft products such as table mats.

The class are always delighted to see us when we visit.

This time their parents and guardians, who are very poor, were keen to show their appreciation and we were presented with a goat! The idea was that it would provide us with a good meal before we leave Kenya. In accepting the generous gift we asked if the goat could be kept at the school until we have need of it. We all agreed it should be named “Karibuni”.

“Karibuni” was last seen making his escape across the school playground!

6th March

The Tharaka project is led by George Mwabu, an inspirational young man with a very strong commitment to the development of children from the poorest of backgrounds.

The project operates from an office which was constructed without any external funding, with the cost being met from within the local community, including George and members of his Board. The land was donated by a local school which also donated a tree for roof timbers. Some of the building work was undertaken by Eric, a young man who was sponsored through the project and trained as a mason. 

A much larger building is now planned. This will be a Community Resource Centre with a library and computer room. It will also be used for training. Although parents of sponsored children are very poor, they have shown their support in clubbing together to buy chairs for the project. Over 60 have been bought so far.


Here are the visiting Karibuni trustees with members of the Project Board:

As well as sponsoring the education of children from the poorest of backgrounds, the Tharaka project aims to help their families to improve their situation. Many are subsistence farmers with small shambas (plots of land). Next to the project office is a relatively small area of land which is intensively farmed. The project has planted several varieties of commonly grown trees, sugar cane and vegetables with a view to showing local farmers which varieties grow best in the particularly dry climate of Tharaka.

Irrigation is via a relatively simple and cheap to construct water storage tank. Chickens are immunised at birth and surplus serum is shared with local families.
This “Demo farm” is popular with families, who see for themselves what works best. It is also valued by the wider community.

7th March

Limuru is located in the hills to the north of Nairobi. The climate is ideal for growing tea and many of the inhabitants are employed as tea pickers. The area in which the school is located backs onto the Misri slum. Many of the children sponsored by Karibuni Children at this project come from that slum area.

Although with the help of two generous donations from Karibuni supporters some of the corrugated iron school buildings have been replaced, others are in a very poor state of repair. The thin walls offer little protection from the cold mornings, wind and rain.

Don’t forget you can find out more about our projects here.

The Story of Grace & Glory The Story of Grace & Glory

The Story of Grace & Glory

Eight-year-old twins, Grace and Glory, are just two of the many children being cared for by the Meru Township Project. We first became aware of them in February 2017 when members of the Working Party visited their home. Their father had just died from TB (their mother separated from the family when the twins were just 8 months old) and they were living alone, looking after themselves, and just about to walk a long way back to school so they could wash their own school uniforms (no running water where they live).

A month later, during the Trustees annual visit to the project, we saw them again, this time at lunch, helping to feed another younger child at the project.

Luckily they are being supported by the project, under the umbrella of the social worker, Mercy, who is overseeing appropriate care arrangements for them. Initially their compassionate neighbour was looking after them and she was receiving assistance from the girls’ extended family, together with concerned well- wishers and the community who visited the family and gave food and financial support. Mercy liaised with the District Children’s Officer and the family about the girls’ future, with a view to them possibly being placed in a children’s home.

However, the latest news is that the girls are doing fine. With the combined help of Mercy, the Children’s Officer and relatives, they have been reunited with their estranged mother who has agreed to look after them provided she gets some support. Food and clothing have been donated to the family and, in addition, using contributions from relatives and well -wishers the girls’ mother has been able to start a small business in town.

Karibuni feel very lucky to have someone like Mercy working with us. Meeting their mother was yet another challenge for the girls as they did not know her at all on account of her leaving them at such a young age. But Mercy will continue to monitor and provide counselling to the girls and they will continue to be regarded as children of the project with support in their schooling from Karibuni.

When the Trustees visit Kenya they often find quite unexpected situations like this and have to take on the spot decisions on how to help in obviously deserving cases.

Quiz Night 2018 Quiz Night 2018

Quiz Night 2018

Our annual quiz night for 2018 took place at the end of January. It was a great success, raising £1,760!

The final total was helped by a £750 donation from Barclays, the former employer of Karibuni Chairman John Cotton.

80 people in 12 teams competed to find the answers to the quiz, run by our Quiz Masters Steve and Vivienne Kemp.

Thank you to everyone who helped out on the evening.

Tickets get snapped up quickly, so make sure you get them quickly when we announce our 2019 event!

 

Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years: Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years:

Extracts from a letter from Wycliffe Odhiambo, who was supported by Karibuni over 18 years:

“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.

Walter Onyango, from Kawangware, graduating from university with a degree in Business Management, (Purchasing and Supply).

A Surprise Visit to Kenya! A Surprise Visit to Kenya!

A Surprise Visit to Kenya!

Our trustee and co-founder Joy Murphy suffered a stroke in January 2017. just weeks before she was expecting to accompany our work party out to Kenya. After the disappointment of missing that trip, Joy was determined to make a visit to Kenya as soon as she could. Here’s her account of her recovery and trip later in the year:

In January I sat in my hospital bed not sure I’d ever make it to Kenya again. I’d made all the arrangements for a Karibuni Work Party to visit the projects in February, and I was unable to go! When the plane took off in February, with eleven instead of twelve people, I actually sat in the hospital bed and cried!

The doctors said I must set some aims to aid my recovery – get me walking and swallowing again. I didn’t need to think long – my short term aim was to have a cup of tea, (I longed to be able to join the other patients with a ‘cuppa’) and my long term aim was to visit Kenya this year!

So started the work toward achieving these aims which culminated in me going to Kenya in September for a month, and visiting all the projects Karibuni supports. My aim here was threefold – to see my many friends in Kenya; to thank the numerous Kenyans who had been praying for my recovery and to thank them for all their love and thoughts; and to demonstrate that I was better.

The visit didn’t start too well! My hostess for the first week had suddenly gone abroad for surgery and forgotten to ask her daughter to meet me at the airport, as had been arranged! So there I was sitting all alone on a broken bench outside the airport with three very heavy suitcases in the pitch dark! However, Joshua Katungu was my knight in shining taxi, and he took me to my host’s home, where they had hurriedly got my room ready!

During that week I visited the Conference Office where I gained my new name of ‘walking miracle’ – very hard to live up to – and then Kibra, Kawangware, Embakasi (where I admired the handiwork of the work party) and Limuru. I was thoroughly spoilt and was driven and accompanied by the Conference Internal Auditor, Timothy Mithieu. He was amazing – really kind and great company. He took good care of me, especially as I was mobbed on several occasions by enthusiastic children all wanting to hold my hands at one time.

From Limuru I was taken to Nakuru to stay with my friend, Meg, and her family. Sunday was my first 4 hour-plus service this year – a Circuit Service with presentations from each church and their junior churches – 20 choirs in all! The service culminated in a harambee (fundraiser) to raise money to build a primary school at Wesley Empowerment Centre, Njoro – a big surprise to me, especially as I had to get up and speak to the congregation twice! They raised over Kes 300,000 – enough to build class 1 by January 2018. The aim is to build a classroom each year until it’s a complete school of 8 classrooms.

Joy being greeted by everyone in the top nursery class at Kawangware

The following day I visited Wesley Empowerment Centre and saw the staff and children (and admired the handiwork of the other half of the work party). This day I was accompanied by the superintendent minister of the circuit and the chair of the project Board, so was very honoured!

Then on to Kaaga in Meru where I stayed for 9 days with my very dear friend, Eunice and her family. Sadly Eunice’s and Justus’s second son had died just 6 weeks before I arrived from cerebral malaria, leaving his wife and two small sons, and we spent a lot of time sharing together. This was doubly tragic as their eldest son had died 6 years ago from viral pneumonia leaving his wife and a small daughter. Their remaining son is a great comfort to them all.

While here I visited the Township Programme, meeting Mercy, the social worker, for the first time and quickly learning how very good she is. Later, I was given gifts by parents of the children we support – a hat (with JOY in large Kenya flag coloured letters embroidered across the front) and a beaded bag made by one of the mothers, both of which I had to model! Having met the children at the feeding programme – including Grace and Glory, twins who met the work party in February – I went with Mercy on a matatu to visit Maureen Nkatha in a church sponsored hospital in Nkubu, as all the government hospitals are closed due to the nurses being on strike for the last 5 months. Maureen was in the last stages of AIDS and being terribly neglected – the hospital had discharged her as they could do no more for her, but she had to remain in the hospital until her fees were paid. Her grandparents, frail and old themselves, wouldn’t have her back again – and even wished she would die, so she was just left untreated in bed.

Her food for several days was left in bowls on and near her bed as she was too weak to feed herself, she was incontinent and left as she was. We did manage to speak to a doctor who told us that needing expert nursing care, including feeding and changing, was not a reason for being in hospital. At least, following our visit, they restarted the ARV drugs and re-admitted her! Mercy planned to take her home, rent a bigger house and care for her with some help. I strongly advised her not to as she didn’t realise the implications and commitment involved.

While at Kaaga I also visited Mwithumwiru School, met the wonderful cook who provides the lunches we help to support, the special needs class – and had another gift – a half-size bath mat they had made.

Then a visit to Maua Hospital where I visited three schools for special needs children – heart breaking – we must make sure they are given a bigger share of the gifts we take out, their situations are pathetic.

Ruth, my daughter-in-law, joined me at Kaaga with George from Lindbergs, and we went straight to Marimanti and the Baobab Hotel. The next morning we were joined by George Mwabu, the Director of the project there. Here we were given a tour of the project model farm, where carers of the children have practical training in farming and growing suitable crops in that very hot, arid climate. Ruth, a horticulturalist, was in her element, although she will be growing very few of the crops they produce – sugar cane, white maize, cassava, etc.

We visited the special needs class, leaving gifts for them, and then the School for the Deaf where we were very warmly welcomed. By special request I had to sing again the chorus John and I had shared with them last year – ‘The Foolish Man built his house upon the Sand’ – which they joined in with sign language. What a privilege!

Coffee time with Sylvia, Johnson (the social worker) and the minister, Phineas

Then back to Nairobi for a night before we caught (just) the new SGR train to Mombasa! How we caught the train I don’t know – I was pushed into carriage 6 and unbeknown to me. Ruth and all the luggage, including the case for the projects, was pushed into carriage 4. We finally met up again in carriage 2 where we had to negotiate sitting together with a couple of Kenyans. The journey took 4½ hours in daylight, instead of the 12 hour overnight journey, and as we went through the Nairobi National Park and Tsavo East and West Safari parks, we saw giraffes, elephants, Thompson’s gazelles and camels – brilliant!

We had a night in a hotel before visiting Hunajeza for a few hours, leaving half the lovely dresses, skirts and shorts made by the ‘Sewing Box’ sewing group in Princes Risborough. This project is struggling as the carers and women’s group members who used to volunteer at the programme, are becoming very elderly and frail. They now have to pay the cook to feed the children, and the two teachers at the nursery they have started.

From there we went to Kilifi and visited Upendo where the school and care given continue to be excellent under the new management. The other half of the dresses, skirts and shorts from Princes Risborough were distributed. We visited some families and after lunch left for our short holiday – two nights by the beach at Jumuia, a Kenyan churches conference and holiday centre.

The loving and enthusiastic welcome I received everywhere was incredible and very humbling. No wonder I love going to Kenya.

Note: Since returning home and writing this we have heard that dear Maureen has died from meningitis, another opportunistic infection she caught due to her very low immunity caused by Aids.

Also since returning, the second Presidential election has taken place amid tension, rioting and bloodshed, especially in Kawangware and Kibra where we support two very active projects. Please pray for the people of Kenya and especially the staff, children and their carer

Joy with the nursery classes at Embakasi

Our Quiz Night is back in 2018! Our Quiz Night is back in 2018!
Come along to our next event! Come along to our next event!

Come along to our next event!

Come along and browse our Christmas Gift Shop for a variety of presents and cards, from a range of prices starting at £4. Plus stop for tea and cake whilst you shop. It’s the perfect way to start your Christmas shopping!

Ellesborough Silver Band Concert Ellesborough Silver Band Concert

Ellesborough Silver Band Concert

The Ellesborough Silver Band are kindly donating funds raised from their October concert to us. Please do go along and support, it’s set to be a fantastic evening.

 

Family Fun Day 2017! Family Fun Day 2017!

Family Fun Day 2017!

This summer we held our third annual Family Fun Day in Fairford Leys.

On the 17th June, one of the hottest days of the year, we had a number of stalls, a bouncy castle, BBQ and circus and magic sessions.

The musicians who performed throughout the day were fantastic and gave the day a lively atmosphere.

Thanks to the support of the Fairford Leys community and our supporters, we raised £1000 – a successful day!

Our next Fairford Leys Event will be our Quiz Night on the 27th January 2018. 

Thank you to everyone who helped out on the day and for battling the heat!