In the last newsletter, we mentioned the grant of £6,000 from the International Tree Foundation which Project Leader George Mwabu had obtained through his own efforts to enable him to plant 24,000 trees. So far, 6,200 seedlings have been planted, some on the demonstration farm, where families learn how to grow and nurture their trees by example rather than direct instruction. Families have been given their own fruit and food trees, which will improve nutrition, with an opportunity to sell the excess, and provide an ongoing supply of fresh food for the wider community.
This project originally operated from a small, inadequate room in the local school. In 2016 the school donated land on which a new project office was built with the cost being met entirely from within the local community. Some of the building work was undertaken by Eric, a young man who was sponsored through Karibuni and trained as a mason. A water tank and toilet block were also constructed, with basic irrigation across the demonstration farm.
Now, with help from some generous Karibuni supporters, an adjoining Community Resource Centre has been constructed. Although parents of sponsored children are very poor, they clubbed together to buy chairs for the Centre.
The Centre will have a library and computer room, with unlimited internet, and will also be used for training. By improving computer skills, chances of future employment are enhanced.
In addition to training, the Centre is also a base for the ongoing Table Top bank, where local families can borrow and lend to each other.
In addition to the Community Resource Centre in Tharaka, three artisan workshops are planned, to provide work space for vocational graduates from the scheme in skills such as tailoring, carpentry, masonry and welding. This will give them opportunities for employment and income generation, in addition to transferring skills to others.
A garment factory is also planned, to employ 6 people, largely in making school uniforms. Uniforms are a big expense for Karibuni, and ultimately this will help to reduce costs in addition to its other benefits.
Harun, in the middle of the picture, was a Karibuni student who was sponsored under the Sponsorship scheme by an individual sponsor. Having finished his course in 2020, he was the site supervisor for the building works.