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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Safely home

We arrived home in Victoria on Wednesday this week. It is always sad to leave our good Kenyan friends who always shower us with warm wishes and small gifts. On the table in this picture is an insulated basket which is used much like a 'slow cooker' and keeps food warm. I am also wearing another gift--a necklace made of painted horn.
Now we are home (and once we have recovered from the jet lag) we shall be busy with presentations and reports that are due. There will be only a few messages to the blog. Please remember us and come back at the end of the summer.

The springs are done



The last Saturday we were in Kenya we were able to visit the two springs I told you about two messages ago. Just scroll down the blog to see the pictures of the contaminated pools where whole communities were drawing their water. One spring was completely finished at Shikoti. The other at Mukongolo needed a couple more days work.
Although the work on both springs was organised by Tembo-Kenya, the funding came through a donation for 'One Drop of Hope' Dedication plaques will be installed

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nixon's workshop

Nixon is our well contractor busy right now working on the two springs to be protected. Over the years he has done excellent work for us. He is a first class organiser (not always a Kenyan strength) and has a tabulated list of communities that want a water project, all assessed with a vi st and an estimate.

He has set up a workshop and makes the pumps for the rope and washer installations. Always looking for new ways to increase his business and also to help his community.

Here is his picture. The sign might not be clear in this reduced size, but he is advertising his concrete rings, his repairs and the pumps as well as window and door manufacture.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

more donations!

The generosity of Canadians is amazing. Just as I wrote the last message for the blog we heard of a donation of books for a school (our committee will take care of this) and a gift to protect water springs. Protecting a spring means that sufficient cover is supplied to prevent run off from fields and houses (particularly latrines) so that the water stays uncontaminated. Most of these springs (of which there are many in the area) serve 200-400 people per day. Very few of them dry out in the dry season, so they are in constant demand. Here are the pictures of the two we have chosen.

We have a list of communities asking for a well (about $2500), or a protected spring (about $750) or- for rocky areas- a water harvesting system (from the roof) (about $1200)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The last weeks

Ebumamu Primary Read for the Top finals

Our programmes have closed with the possible exception of Read for the Top in a secondary school which I hope to organize before we leave. We are also going around taking the final pictures of the water projects.

For anyone interested I shall be speaking at Victoria Rotary Club meeting April 28 and to the Vancouver Chapter of the International Reading Association in Vancouver on May 3. The first presentation will be an overview of our 6 months with emphasis on water projects and Read for Top, funded by the club. I shall also present the progress on the Adopt a Village project in Emmaloba.

The Reading Association is interested in Read for the Top in Kenya and the audience will be mainly teachers. For more information on either of these, or to request a talk for a group of your own, please contact me at kenyatembo@gmail.com.
We fly from Nairobi on March 21 so there will not be much news until we arrive home. I want to thank everyone who follows this blog and offers encouragement and support.
Kwa herini (Good bye)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


From time to time I have mentioned Margaret, one of the women who has done so well with the micro loans. She has just finished paying off her last loan, has at least two cows and is still ready to do more. Although she cannot read or write and has no English and little Ki Swahili, she has brains and determination.
She is a grandmother, bringing up her grandchildren since their parents dies of AIDS. For the past four years we have paid the fees for her grandson, Wilson, to attend a good secondary boarding school. He phoned me this evening to announce the results of the secondary leaving exams, which have filled the newspapers. He had an average of A-, an extraordinary achievement, and one that should give him a government place at University at much reduced fees.