Dear family, friends and colleagues,
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018. Our friends at Mama Caren school in Bungoma have been very busy utilizing the funds that were raised in 2017.
The water tower that was defective has been restructured and is now functioning and filtrating water directly to the school. This makes the work of the teachers a much easier task. All 138 students attending the school are now benefiting from fresh, clean water and we know that the general health of the children has improved greatly. Unlike when we visited 3 years ago, many of the children were suffering from parasites due to unclean drinking water.
With the funds that we received from our generous contributors, we were also able to purchase 12 large dining tables which the children are now using. In the past, the children were given a meal and eating under the overhang porch which was not suitable during the rainy season.
The largest amount of the contribution was used to tile the newly constructed kitchen floor along with a large industrial cooking pot which will provide food for up to 400 children at any given time. We remain hopeful that the enrollment number of students will increase in 2018 unlike last year, which saw the worst drought in 40 years. A number of parents and guardians were unable to pay the school fees, and therefore, some did not send their children to school. This drought devastated parts of Kenya. We are so grateful that the well was in place and that our beloved school community not only had ample drinking water for themselves, and their cattle, but we were told that the surrounding community also traveled several hours to come to our school and take advantage of the only well that remained full in the entire region.
There were many trials for our friends during 2017. The elections held in the summer of 2017 did not go well. Violence erupted, and the results were contested by the opposition party. We received numerous emails from our friends asking us for our prayers that peace would be possible and re turn to their regions. A second election was also a very anxious time until the final results were announced and the incumbent President Kenyatta was reinstated to his post. We are grateful once again that our friends were protected and safe during this period.
Back at home in Toronto, we have been busy from September to December in the selling of our bead ladies and widow’s products. We attended 15 events and met wonderful and generous people who not only purchased the products but have invited us back to hear further details about the ongoing initiatives. The sales broke all past records, and we were able to raise $12,000.00 for this initiative.
At ACK Emmanuel in Kibera, Nairobi, the home of our ladies, we had been advised by Rev. Alice that a project is very much needed at the school. The classroom mentioned needs to be re-plastered and reinforced so that the children are once again able to return. The sewage in the area had been draining through and under this classroom and made it a virtual health hazard to the children. This is a new project we will be undertaking in 2018 and as you can see by the pictures, the need is great.
The classroom in desperate need of repairs because of sewage seeping through the walls.
We as a family are committed to our beloved Kenyan community and will continue to seek urgent projects and do the best we can to meet the needs.
We understand and sincerely appreciate all that you have contributed thus far. If you wish to continue the journey with us, we would be grateful. Once again, we wish to state that 100% of all donations are sent to Kenya.
Please know that none of this would have been possible without your loving support.
Pat, Jennifer, Andrew, Chris, Katherine & Noah