Dear friends, colleagues and loved ones,
After three years of being away, I am finally returning to Kenya in January for my 7th trip! I have missed the people, the country and the experience tremendously so I am excited and am returning with enthusiasm and a full heart.
Our 2020 trip to Kenya, as always, will be focused on a number of different projects. I will be meeting with many of the women’s group who make crafts for Tuko Pamoja www.tuko-pamoja.com, participating in the Women’s Workshop we organize for them, and will once again be directing the Day of Remembrance in Nyumbani Village, a village built in rural Kenya where 100 grandparents raise 1000 rescued AIDS orphans. This is a special ceremony to honor all loved ones who have died, but especially all of the orphaned children’s parents, who have been lost to AIDS. https://plopsymd.com/category/nyumbani-village-day-of-remembrance/
We will be fundraising for several different projects, but to simplify things each of us is taking on fundraising for the projects that are dearest to our hearts. The various fundraising efforts include medical supplies, water management and collection, entrepreneurship and business education for high school graduates, and the food programs for 2 schools and others. My focus will be to make sure there is enough funding to feed a total of about 600 students in the 2 schools with whom we have an ongoing relationship. We will continue to support the Maasai school children of PCDA (Pastoral Community Development Alliance) as well as the newer Mutungu Primary school. We will visit local vendors to purchase the corn, beans, oil, porridge, and dry milk. We interact with the Maasai community in many other ways by supporting their educational programs and working with the Women’s Self Help Group who make crafts for Tuko Pamoja. At the Mutungu school, two local women have been employed by the parents, as their contribution to the food program, to cook the porridge and Githeri (traditional meal of beans and maize). Since the school exists in a rural farming community, the families are all participating in growing kale and carrots to add to the beans and maize to increase the nutritional value if the food. There has also already been work done to install gutters on the schools to catch the much needed water in storage tanks when it rains. This is something we supported in the Maasai community years ago. So each of these projects is multifaceted.
In order to continue to support these programs, we need to raise $7,000 this year to provide these 600 children with 2 meals a day for the entire school year. The school food program becomes more important every year due to the extreme droughts that Kenya has been experiencing. Last year the Maasai children who we sponsor were the only children going to school for miles around them; they had food to eat and therefore the energy to walk to school. The communities, and especially the parents, contribute hard work and the resources which they do have to collaborate in keeping these programs running and are enormously grateful for our support.
I would be most grateful for any size contribution to support continuing these programs—-really, scroll down and look at those faces! If you feel so moved, please send a check made out to me at 80 Raymond Rd, Brunswick ME 04011. I have a dedicated bank account for donations which I deposit here and then bring to Kenya. You will get an official acknowledgment from the school and a heartfelt personal thank you from me. I leave on January 20th and as always, since 2009, will be blogging the experience at www.plopsymd.com. I promise wonderful photos and stories that will touch your heart.
P.S. I also always gather donations of yarn for the basket weaving grandmothers of Nyumbani Village and socks and underwear for the over 2000 children with whom we interact. Never enough of those and not only monetary donations are welcome. I have to transport donations with me so these small and lightweight items are the best.