End of year closing ceremony

Newsletter November 2016

Many will have met Richard, the leader of the troupe of Maasai Warriors. When we arrived in Kenya a few days after he had returned from the UK, Richard was in considerable pain. A few days later, he had an emergency operation to remove his appendix. So what, you may be thinking. But it turned out that he was the Only Person in the community of about 1000 people who had had a general anaesthetic and an operation. A few Maasai had seen him unconscious in hospital and thought he had died. Once home, queues of people came to ‘view the person who had risen from the dead’. No free health care in Kenya.

The mothers preparing food for the ceremony.
The mothers preparing food for the ceremony.

It’s the end of the school year. The community are grateful to us and the school governors for providing the school, so they put on a closing ceremony to say ‘thank you’, all paid for by the community (each family contributes a little).  We are touched. This community have so little but they are happy to share to show their appreciation.

For the closing ceremony, the district Minister of Education attends – an honour for this school. The quality of the school has impressed the Minister so much that he asks us and the other school governors to make time to meet the District Governor on our next visit to Kenya. We must be doing something right.

Distributing the food parcels to the mothers.
Distributing the food parcels to the mothers.

Most of the sponsors have contributed to a food parcels for each school child’s family. As there has been no significant rain in this area for 7 month, this year it is a real life saver. The lack of rain brings its problems as mentioned by one of the school governors:

“I had a very rough time last Sunday criss-crossing the streets of Nairobi with my cattle heading to Thika town(40km north of Nairobi)to look for pasture for my herd! It is very dry in Olepolos and everyone is on the move with their livestock.”

We have reached a milestone with the school solar powered water pump. Over the past 3 years, it has pumped 4 million litres of water, that’s enough water to fill 12 large swimming pools. At the average cost of buying water in Kenya, the solar installation has now paid for itself in just 3 years. It should last for another 20 years or so.

Replacing the broken solar panel
Replacing the broken solar panel

However, it’s not so lucky at our 2nd borehole. Two weeks ago, someone tried to steal one of the solar panels. We had installed the panels in such a way that they could not be removed, but this did not stop the thief breaking a panel trying to extract it. The result – no water for the community in a desperately dry period.  The community were so angry that the elders got together and cursed whoever had been involved. The elders expect the person, or a member of his family,  to die soon.

The project to repair broken hand pumps continues. Eric and his team have now  repaired 210 pumps scattered across Kenya.

The house matron and 5 children in the orphanage enjoying some toys.
The house matron and 5 children in the orphanage enjoying some toys.

Since September, the orphanage has it’s first 5 children. These children really are on the bottom rung of the ladder, carrying with them all the usual social problems from constant bed wetting to breaking everything. Interestingly, in just 3 months, the house mother Nora says that all have improved considerably. It just shows what a little TLC can achieve.

The clinic continues to provide an excellent service to the school and community. The doctor Sylvester is building a great reputation having skilfully and successfully stitched up the scrotum of one of the school children. The boy fell out of a tree, ripping apart his testicles on a sharp branch. Sylvester is also a dab-hand at delivering babies in the African bush.

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In the above photo of the school, notice the 2 new classrooms (numbers 8 & 9) being built on the left. Many people contributed towards these classrooms over the past 2 years. They will be ready in January when 25 new children start their education.

In December we start the campaign to raise money for the 10th classroom. For one week only starting Sunday 4th December, your donation will be doubled by a kind donor – see here for more information – Double your donation. Perhaps you can help us build the next classroom.

As always, our thanks to the many sponsors and donors who make this all possible.

Finally, here are a few videos from the closing ceremony:

Lots more on the facebook page. You are welcome to leave a comment below

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14 thoughts on “Newsletter November 2016”

  1. This has brightened my day 😀
    What a wonderful report
    I, for one, will be donating in the “double” week
    Thank you for posting this x

  2. What a wonderful report of the good you are doing!! This made me so happy to read your update. Thank you!! Kiana and I are both so grateful for what you are doing and that we can be a tiny part of it. We will love to help during the “double your contribution” period ☺

  3. I too will double my donation with pleasure. The school is fantastic and your newsletter was really good to read. Cathy Miles

  4. After a difficult day dealing with another charity’s business I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful report A small and dedicated group of people are making such a huge difference in one of the poorest communities.
    Here’s a thought – the Winter Fuel Payments will be falling through our letterboxes about the same time as the Double Your Donation action starts.

  5. You are making progress by leaps and bounds…and tremendous hard work, I’m sure. I’m proud to know you and your outreach. May your blessings continue to multiply in the New Year. God bless! Sara Goff

  6. Another fabulous report from Olepolos, thank you so much Roger & Helen. We were so sorry to hear of Richard’s health issues, but so very glad to hear that he has “risen from the dead” and is on the mend! That did make us smile! As always the photos and videos are a great boost to see. It makes us feel so proud, but humble to have been a small part of this brilliant journey.

  7. Well done for a wonderful job. The videos and Newsletter are such a great way of keeping everyone in the picture. I love seeing the progress made, such lovely people they deserve the best we can give them, education, for both girls and boys. They are the countries future. I will certainly be giving again.

  8. Small is beautiful! I have experienced small charitable projects in West Africa (Sierra Leone and Nigeria) and the results are much better, £ for £, than the larger ones, where money is greater and the possibilities/temptations for expensive “professional” organisations, waste and corruption are much greater. A small dedicated team means that a much greater percentage of the funds actually reach their intended target.
    Well done to you all, Westerners and Kenyans.
    Doubling up next week, Eh? Count me in.

  9. Thank you once again for your very ‘newsy’ newsletter 🙂 – They are always so informative & it’s great to see how things are progressing. Sorry to hear the news about Richard…….We hope he is recovering well. It was good to spend some time with him, when the Troupe visited South Cambridgeshire.

    Received your letter this morning, along with beautiful drawings & necklaces from Jemmimah. It’s lovely to see how she and the other children have progressed throughout the years. Love to all, Bob & Kath xx

  10. Well done Roger, Helen and Tracey for your tireless efforts. Makes me more appreciative of the rain in Britain! The children look happy and well cared for.
    Blessings on all your projects

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