TEACHING-EMPOWERING-MENTORING-BUILDING OPPORTUNITY Mission: to partner with individuals and communities in Western Kenya to support entrepreneurial activities, education and health through training programmes, scholarships, water and sanitation projects

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Meet some of our friends

Last March I ran a Virtues training session for an group in Nairobi that does a lot of organizational development. They are offering a Youth Leadership conference in December and were good enough to give me an application extension so three of the boys we support could apply. Here is a picture of Wilson and Eric at Chavakali High School with one of their teachers. The first test of their initiative will be if they send in a letter on time.

After Christmas last year we handed over the computer school we had run for five years to Vincent. Vincent was one of our first students, became an instructor and did technician training. He opened his own business in computer repair and accessories and was delighted to take over the school. I must confess we were a little anxious whether it would survive in hard times, but it is holding its own, has expanded packages and is receiving students. Vincent is a happy camper and an invaluable resource for us in the town. Here is Vincent at the top of the page with his neat classroom.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

News of the last few years

Anyone interested in learning about the work in Kenya since 2001 can find all the information at http://www.patriciacrossley.com/

The work of Tembo Kenya is made possible by generous donations from friends and well wishers. To donate, contact donations@tembokenya.org

We have arrived

We arrived safely on Saturday. Kenya Airways was very unsympathetic about the two boxes of medical supplies we were carrying for Homa Bay. They made us pay extra baggage even though the flight was filled with people going on safari, mostly with one smallish bag each, and there was at least one empty seat. There will be a letter forthcoming to the powers that be at KA.
Saida, our former computer school administrator and now with Kenya Airways was unable to meet us as she was called on duty at the last minute. Our other 'daughter' Isabella had no money even for the fare to the airport. We are concerned about her and trying to find a way of helping her through very lean times.
On the way to Kakamega from Nairobi it was distressing to see the many fields of maize standing stunted and brown through lack of rain. There seems to have been some rain in Molo and in Kakamega itself things don't look too bad. We'll know more when we have a chance to drive around.
On a brighter note, we received the warmest of welcomes from our family who live below us and today we spent a good visit with Johnstone (studying to be a clinical officer) and Margdalene (at university studying Math & Physics) We gave them the text books we had carried and had a good chat.
The power is off officially in Kakamega on Tuesdays and Fridays (during the day) but we have had several outages in the past 24 hours. Although we have candles we brought some battery operated LED lights which have already proved useful.
Today we were able to finish unpacking. During the next week we will meet with key people who work with us and set up our preliminary schedule. We can start work on Virtues and water and micro finance without the confirmation of the Rotary grant. We'll also go out to our adopted village, Emmaloba to see how things are.
Will post some pictures if possible next time.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vanishing grants and cancelled flights

Our departure on Monday is fast approaching. We have learned over the last few years to begin packing and preparing early since something always seems to crop up at the last minute. True to form, the Rotary grant we had applied for had to be rewritten over the past week. Rotary International lost a great deal of money from their investments earlier this year and had to cut down their humanitarian grants to about 30% of the previous level.

Our grant was not successful for RI (everyone applied very early hoping to make the cut) and we had to re do the budget and aims to fit in to a reduced allocation. Most of the funds we do hope to receive will come from my own club, Victoria, and other clubs on south Vancouver Island. Until we receive confirmation that this reduced application is successful we won't be able to start that part of our planned projects.

Just as we breathed a sigh of relief when the grant application was acknowledged, yesterday we received a call from our travel agent to let us know that Kenya Airways will not be flying to Kisumu next Saturday when we arrive in Nairobi. This is the second to last leg of our four stage journey. The small commuter airlines which are still flying will not take the large amount of luggage we're carrying. Kenya Airways is talking of running a bus for passengers, but there is no information on departure, route, stops or time estimated. We are trying to talk to the driver we use in Nairobi to make our own way to Kakamega. The advantage would be that we would not have to overnight in Kisumu. The problem is that we have two boxes of medical supplies for Homa Bay Rotary Club which we planned to hand over to a Rotarian in Nairobi.

In addition we really wanted to spend some time with two young women we have sponsored over the years. One is now working as cabincrew for Kenya Airways and the other has finished an advanced diploma in business management. Here is a picture of Saida and Isabellah when they worked for us at the computer school.

The work of Tembo Kenya is made possible by generous donations from friends and well wishers. To donate, contact donations@tembokenya.org

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where is the web site?

Some followers might be wondering what happened to the web site (http://www.tembokenya.org/) The domain name is ours and we are using a couple of the webmail addresses: info@tembokenya.org and donations@tembokenya.org. The rest of the site will be worked on perhaps while we are in Kenya, but certainly when we return with lots of pictures and updates next spring. As you can imagine, it's not easy posting pictures and designing layouts from Africa, so please be patient while we are "under construction"

The work of Tembo Kenya is made possible by generous donations from friends and well wishers. To donate, contact donations@tembokenya.org

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wonderful news!

As some of you know I (Patricia) am a Rotarian and much of the funding for water projects over the last few years has come from Rotary Clubs in North America. While reading the latest Rotarian magazine, I noticed an ad for 'First Sight' which offered a testing kit, frames and lenses for 100 people at a very low cost. I usually take the small, cheap reading glasses from the dollar store and never have enough. Besides that, I am unable to help those who are short sighted.

I contacted the organization, planning perhaps to buy a kit. They have sent me a complete kit with extra (unbreakable) frames for children totally free of charge! How wonderful is that?

All they want is for me to report on the testing sessions and if possible send pictures! Hakuna matata (no problem!)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some good news and some not so good

Our Society registration is on track with bank accounts and structures set up. We should have our BC registration number very soon.
SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP: An annual donation of $100 or more will confer full membership with the right to vote at the AGM
An annual donation of $25-99 will confer the status of "Friend" and you will receive the newsletters and special announcements.
(NB If you are interested and have already contributed through the Cathedral this year, please let us know. We will be happy to list you as a 'member' or a 'friend'.)
It costs: $2500 to put in a well in a village
$ 500 to protect a spring in a community
$ 500 per year for 4 years to send a student to High School and approximately the same amount for some post-secondary programmes
$200 per session to conduct Virtues training in Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice in schools and communities for up to 40 people
$200 for a woman to receive microloans ranging from $15 to $150
$500 to provide an eyetest & glasses for 100 people
This does not include the many people we help with personal and family difficulties throughout the year.
The account of last year's work can be found at http://www.patandrodkenya.blogspot.com/.
The not so good news is that Rotary International has exhausted the grant money before our submission could be assessed. A meeting tomorrow will hopefully give us an idea of the possibility of an alternative funding. At that point we will start to trim the project destined for the community of Emmaloba which includes help for the school, adult literacy and income-generating projects.
The work of Tembo Kenya is made possible by generous donations from friends and well wishers. To donate, contact donations@tembokenya.org