Project Profile: Lemolo Camps A & B

History of the Community
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
Students from Lemolo A pose in front of their new school.
Students from Lemolo A pose in front of their new school.
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.
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Early Childhood Education & Feeding Programs

Lemolo students show off their new sweaters, thanks to Caring for the Children of Africa.
Lemolo students show off their new sweaters, thanks to Caring for the Children of Africa.
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.
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Water project
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.
Residents from Lemolo Camps are cared for during a recent medical camp.
Residents from Lemolo Camps are cared for during a recent medical camp.
Medical Camp
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.
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Caring for the Children of Africa provides food for Lemolo children

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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.

feeding 6VICDA 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.

Desks donated to Manjani Mingi Primary School in Rongai

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Once again, Caring for the Kids of Kenya (USA) has assisted IDP children in by outfitting Manjani Mingi Primary School in Rongai with 82 new desks earlier this month. The  desks will serve the 246 children in attendance where they can now sit comfortably at 3 children per desk. To date, VICDA partners have donated close to 400 desks to school children at Manjani Mingi and have thus assisted in their education.

 

Thank you to Sister Fund & Caring for Kids of Kenya!

Children at Lemolo happily carry their new chairs to their school
Children at Lemolo happily carry their new chairs to their school

VICDA would like to thank Sister Fund (USA) and Caring for Kids of Kenya (USA) for their generous donation to the IDP resettlement project at Lemolo A. As a result of their generosity, 130 chairs and 9 tables have been purchased for the children who attend Lemolo ECD school. Before the chairs arrived, the students were sitting on hard rocks during class. These donated chairs, along with other seats and tables donated from other generous individuals and organizations, have helped to complete the classrooms for the children in attendance and have contributed to their education.

As we say in Kenya, asante sana!

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The Woman Behind “Caring for the Children of Africa”

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Annie
Annie

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.”

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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.

Lauro on a visit to Kenya in 2011.
Lauro on a visit to Kenya in 2011.

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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.
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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.
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Annie visits a family with AMKA.
Annie visits a family with AMKA.
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.
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A food drop for the 7,000 residents at Manjani Mingi IDP Camp.
A food drop for the 7,000 residents at Manjani Mingi IDP Camp.
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.”
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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!”
Annie with Irene, donating desks for a classroom at Manjani Mingi IDP Camp.
Annie with Irene, donating desks for a classroom at Manjani Mingi IDP Camp.

Lemolo School Project Begins!

The current makeshift school in Lemolo.
The current makeshift school in Lemolo.

We are very excited to begin construction on yet another school today! The 378 school-aged children who live in Lemolo, a community resettlement farm in Rongai near Nakuru, have been attending school outside, under the shade of a couple of trees and a makeshift shed shelter. Currently the nearest school is 6 kilometers away, making it a 12 kilometer walk – much too far for these small children, especially during the rains.

The current classroom in Lemolo.
The current classroom in Lemolo.

VICDA is, once again, partnering with World Teacher Aid, the Canadian organization behind Shalom Primary School and Springs High School to construct 2  new schools in Lemolo. Like the residents of the Giwa IDP resettlement camp, these children have gone without proper education since their displacement at the end of 2007. Many of them have never experienced an actual school and this addition to the area will be a big step forward in the Lemolo community.

Springs High School

Students at Springs High School celebrate the opening of their new school.
Students at Springs High School celebrate the opening of their new school.

After taking on the project of Shalom Primary School in Rongai and visiting the community, World Teacher Aid recognized a need for a high school in the area. This area, an IDP resettlement camp, had no day school available for low income families and, as a result, students were forced to stop their education after class 8.

Opening day celebrations at Springs High School!
Opening day celebrations at Springs High School!

By again partnering with VICDA, World Teacher Aid raised funds for the construction of a high school and we are very happy to announce that on October 10th of this year Springs High School opened its doors! The school is starting small with only a freshman class of about 70 students from the Giwa area as well as other students who travel into the village to attend.  The next freshman class will be admitted in January, at the beginning of the 2014 school year. Springs High School has 2 streams in each class with a total of 8 classrooms, 3 laboratories, 3 toilet blocks and the construction of an administration block will be starting soon.

Once again, thank you to World Teacher Aid for their continued work in improving the lives of the needy people of Kenya. Thousands of children and several generations will surely benefit from your good and devoted work!