The Lemolo community was displaced during the Mau forest evacuation which is the main source of water in Kenya. The families lived in transitional camps on the roadside for 5 years before the Kenya government resettled them on their current land. There are 1,096 families resettled on Lemolo Farm. Each household was allocated 2 acres of land for farming and a quarter acre to build their home. Within the total 3,200 acres of Lemolo land, there were absolutely no social amenities such as school, health center, water and other basic human amenities
VICDA’s Initial Involvement
After VICDA and her donors provided social amenties to GIWA Farm community in Rongai Constituency, Nakuru County, the organisation moved to Lemolo community in Rongai constituency, Nakuru County. Here they have been working to provide social amenities to Lemolo community such as construction of a complete primary school from class 1 to class 8, toilet blocks and administration blocks, fully funded by World Teacher Aid (WTA) in Canada. Now the Lemolo A children have access to the education and the school has 357 kids so far. The Kenyan government has been good enough to provide enough teachers. WTA in Canada has also been kind enough to fund the buying of text books and school desks. From Lemolo A we are now moving to Lemolo B to build another primary school.
Early Childhood Education & Feeding Programs
An Early Childhood Education Development school for children from 3 years to 7 years of age is generously Funded by Caring for Children of Africa in Australia. This has been followed by school feeding programs in both Lemolo A and B which has also been fully funded by Caring for Children of Africa. It has been very difficult for the families to provide meals for themselves because they have not yet settled and they have no source of income within the area. Their only source of income is through farming where they hope to have their first harvest in six years – projected in October 2014.
Caring for the Children of Africa has also provided sweaters for children in the Early Childhood Education program. Sweaters were provided before winter arrived to Kenya and now littles ones will remain warm in school.
VICDA has also been able to provide water for this community through piping of water from a source 9 kilometers distance away. This project has been fully funded by Global Volunteer Network Foundation in New Zealand.. The project will be completed in early July 2014. At that time both lemolo A and B community will have access to water.
Lemolo community A and B community are 13 and 17 kilometers away, respectfully, from the nearest health facility. In the month of June ,2014 VICDA provided a two week medical camp to both Lemolo A and B. The government provided medical practationers and VICDA volunteers from Mexico joined them for two weeks to assist. The health situation within this community is very fragile and still in need alot of attention.
Caring for the Children of Africa, an Australian NGO, has provided food for the children at Lemolo A and B camps. Distributed through the schools where about 750 children attend, this program will feed them for 4 months. Maize, beans and maize flour were provided. This is valuable nutrition that these kids rely on to get them through the school day.
VICDA would like to thank Annie Copley and Caring for the Children of Africa for their continued work and generous contributions to the children at Lemolo camps.
Annie Copley of Adelaide, Australia first journeyed to Kenya as a GVN volunteer in 2006. Little did she know, the three months spent counseling HIV/AIDS patients in Nairobi’s slum areas would completely change the direction of her life. “This work has not only changed my life, it has become my life,” says Annie, ” I have a deep sense of gratitude today for the people of Kenya who, with their quiet strength and hope, teach me about real love, patience and tolerance.”
Not long after her return to Australia Annie and her dear friend, Lauro Martire, hosted their first fundraising dinner at Lauro’s restaurant, East Terrace Continental. Held in November of 2007, that first dinner raised $11,000 – funds that were sent to VICDA at a time of great need, following the election violence of December 2007. With the money raised by Annie and Lauro’s dinner, VICDA was able to purchase mattresses, blankets, food and cooking supplies for recently displaced Kenyans in the Rift Valley.
This successful dinner was the start of Caring for the Children of Africa, a registered non-profit run by Annie and directly benefited by several of VICDA’s projects. Annie credits much of the organization’s success to the many donors and supporters who have assisted along the way but it was her collaboration with Lauro that started the wheel in motion. “Lauro has generously supported the work that I began in 2006 when he agreed to hold our first dinner in 2007. Like me he has fallen in love with the people of Kenya and I am sure he will return one day when his busy schedule allows.” Annie’s 2011 trip to Kenya was especially memorable as Lauro was able to come along and see first hand all of the good work the organization has been able to do.
Since its inception, Annie and her donors have raised about $110,000. With these funds, Annie’s organization has helped tens of thousands of people in Kenya. They’ve funded mobile medical camps, major food drops, ongoing porridge programs in several IDP Camps, renovated classrooms, purchased desks and books and have supplied two orphanages (Shelter in Nairobi and Haven of Hope in Nakuru) with ongoing food and school supplies.
Each dinner fundraiser is carefully thought out and planned by Annie and Lauro. She presents photos and stories of real Kenyans whom she’s met and discusses with her guests about the specific ways in which the funds will be allocated. “At our dinner last month, I presented one of the many recent stories where we were able to relocate a beautiful family, HIV patient Evelyn, with her 3 small children, from an extremely dire living situation in the Nairobi slums of Ngando.” Annie is full of emotion when discussing Evelyn. “They were living in a torn, leaking, muddy tent literally on the side of a railway track – so dangerous for the toddler who could have easily have fallen onto the tracks. We rented a one bedroom ‘shack’ for her near St Josephs, run by the AMKA project. It’s a clean, safe, and secure abode for her and her children.” Caring for the Children of Africa continues to support Evelyn and her children, along with other families Annie has grown to know and love over the years.
The $13,000 raised at their most recent dinner held last month will go toward to construction of Lemolo Nursery School for the IDP children at Manjani Mingi Camp as well as continue a daily porridge program. “A lot of these kids in the camps still go hungry,” Annie explains, “the porridge program ensures that they at least get one nourishing meal a day.”
Annie works with Irene, VICDA’s founder and executive director, to determine the greatest need and personally distributes the funds and supplies on the ground – all the while keeping detailed notes to share with her donors. With her seven trips to Kenya Annie has been able to forge close relationships with many of the IDP residents and patients at AMKA, an HIV/AIDS counseling center where Annie first worked in 2006. Her obvious love for the people of Kenya is reflected in her ongoing dedication and commitment to the cause. “I know I’m going to die in Kenya someday with a big smile on my face,” says Annie, “because this is the work that makes my heart sing!”