Archive for October, 2015

The narrow, winding path…

Monday, October 12th, 2015

07-Oct-2015 08:22, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

Fresh air filled our lungs as we climbed the hills to Mgambonyi; the car windows open to equalize the air pressure. During the day it was hot and extremely dry, grass and water are scarce from a long dry season so keeping hungry cows fed and watered is giving farmers a huge challenge. Farmers have small stores of dry grass remaining and others buy bundles carried by motorbike from the lowlands.

On the first night, the stars shone brightly, the sky was clear, the air crisp. Sleep was sweet and well needed in preparation for a busy day ahead. We set off walking to one of the farms where we’d agreed to meet with all Zaidi’s partnering farmers. During the meeting we discussed the importance and benefits of full participation and ownership of the project by farmers. All farmers aired their ideas, views and concerns, which led to many constructive conversations of how to move forward to improve their supplies of food and water for cattle, improve their levels of support for each other, stretch the assistance to welcome more farmers and develop their farms, one by one.

07-Oct-2015 08:21, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

The early hours of the next morning brought welcome rain. It felt chilly in the wind and rain on the tops of the hills. Setting off wearing four layers (including a raincoat) we walked to visit one of Zaidi’s new farmers. We set off through familiar areas but then branched off down a hillside we’d never been down before. The views were absolutely breathtaking, with low clouds passing through the valley so close; you could reach to take hold of them. We walked along a path that not even a small motorbike could pass, down and then up small, winding pathways, almost impassable; it seemed almost it’s own community.

07-Oct-2015 08:13, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.0, 4.5mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 400

Stella, the new farmer has two children and she cares for her aged and sick mum who, when we arrived at their house, was completely wrapped in blankets on a mattress in the sitting room. The previous day, Stella had come to our meeting, it was the first time she had really been out for three years. It was great to see the benefit that Stacey (Stella’s new cow) would bring to that whole family. We were welcomed to Stella’s brother’s home (her nearest neighbour) for a cup of tea. Leaving their home, we visited families on the way back up the hill; it made us smile. We began, just Glyn, Pastor Ronald and I but as we continued our journey we kept adding people. At one point there was a line of ten people hiking up the hill together chatting stories and shouting greetings to others digging on the hillside in their farms! It’s a privilege to receive visitors and one way of appreciating their visit is to escort them on their way. We met many new and lovely people that day!

08-Oct-2015 06:42, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.0, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800

Kiriwa at Bob’s Place is a community nursery school whose teachers, Catherine and Margaret are doing a wonderful job teaching many young children from the area. Now they have their own building they are able to operate until 3pm, giving children lunch, as well as a mid morning break for porridge. Forty-three children attend the school, with three year groups being taught together. One group of children is preparing to join Mgambonyi Primary School in January, but more are waiting to come to join this fast growing school. Parents, teachers and locals are pulling together to build two extra classrooms and parents are being encouraged to make sunbaked mud bricks for the building. It’s a great community initiative! The children’s smiles are infectious, especially wrapped in their little, bright red balaclavas. Everyone enjoys play-time, “Make a circle, a big, big circle…” the children shout and then they breathe deeply in and out, taking in lots of refreshing air and continue with lots of songs, dances and games.

07-Oct-2015 08:23, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 3.2, 5.87mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

Zaidi (a Swahili word meaning, ‘more’) is an Education for Life project providing farmers with dairy cows, repaid by the farmers from the sale of their milk, generating income to provide a cow for another farmer. As the project develops, we’re also able to assist farmers to buy water tanks, which enables them to keep a constant supply of water for thirsty cows. This project is in it’s third year and it’s growing, our first calves are now pregnant, placed with new farmers and expecting young ones themselves! There are twelve cows within Zaidi at the moment, but watch this space, we’re growing ;0) With a high demand for milk in Kenya, the dairy will buy as much as the farmers can produce.

Thank you for your support and prayers, Zaidi is growing; there’s even ‘more’ to come!

06-Oct-2015 12:42, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 4.5, 9.61mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

06-Oct-2015 12:41, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 3.4, 9.61mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 100

08-Oct-2015 07:29, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.0, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500

08-Oct-2015 07:09, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

07-Oct-2015 08:16, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100

07-Oct-2015 09:40, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100

Passing the batton…

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

01-Oct-2015 13:25, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 3.5, 6.42mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
Relay races are always fun to watch (and participate in) anticipation and excitement fill the air, mingled with loud cheers! Maybe you’ll think I’m about to embark on a post about sports and fun day, that’d be a fair guess… Try again…

It’s exciting to see people passing on skills and developing responsibility!

Earlier in the year we were able to give kits containing washable sanitary pads, donated to us by ‘Days for Girls’ www.daysforgirls.org to a few of our primary school girls, but yesterday we were able to give even more, totaling 69 distributed kits. There are still more to come when we can get them here from England and even more excited young ladies eagerly waiting to receive their very own kit.

Maybe you’re wondering ‘OK, why the link with relay races?’

01-Oct-2015 12:34, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.0, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250

The first time we got the girls together to talk about ‘periods’ and adolescence, the session was led by three of us and we discussed many things, prompted by so many questions. Then, after receiving some kits from Days for Girls we got a group of fifteen girls from upper primary together, who we knew would greatly benefit from receiving the kits. There were a lot of happy smiles and words of thanks to the wonderful people who had made these kits for them. It was great!

But yesterday was really amazing! Our Deputy, Madam Florence began the session to a classroom of more than 100 primary school girls and then she handed over to four young ladies who received their kits last time. Two girls took one kit and demonstrated the uses of everything in the kit, another young girl talked about hygiene, how to keep the pads, how to soak and how to wash them and yet another girl was able to explain to her peers the importance of personal hygiene; how you can take care of yourself and the dangers you could face if you fail to look after yourself properly. It was amazing to see these young ladies sharing with their peers and each was celebrated with cheers and an enthusiastic round of applause. I was so proud of them!

01-Oct-2015 13:25, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 10.0, 6.42mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 100

Thank you ‘Days for Girls’, to all who give, to all who sew and pay for postage and to Madam Florence and our amazing team of teachers; your dedication is changing the future for so many young ladies. We know so many women who struggle with infection due to lack of proper care; as well as keeping girls in school, you’re raising a generation of healthy, happy, educated young women, ready to face their world!

God bless you and thank you!

Xx Janey

01-Oct-2015 13:25, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 8.0, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 100

01-Oct-2015 12:37, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 3.4, 9.61mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 400

01-Oct-2015 12:33, OLYMPUS CORPORATION TG-4 , 2.0, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320