Dairy Cow – Donated to Shelter Children Home in Ngong January,2015:
This donation came through a group of individual donors who support other projects in Kenya through VICDA. The donation will help the orphanage to cut the expenses due to availability of milk which is mostly used by children in the orphanage.
As you can see, the children at Shelter are excited by the new addition!
The last week of September 2014, Anahuac University, one of the most recognized private universities in Mexico because of the social impact, in its 50 anniversary developed an Internacional Social Commitment Congress, CICS, which had the goal to encourage young people to be the change makers the society needs
Key Note Speakers such as SG Kofi Annan, Dr. Patch Adams and Maickel Melamed from Venezuela, gave the 3 days that the Congress last, their testimony of how they had change the world and how young people can do it so.
In behalf of Kenyan international social organizations, Irene Wairimu was able to participate in the Cics in Mexico City to talk about her experience founding Vicda and how they had been changing the reality of Kenya and the way the world perceives Africa, offering them an integral opportunity to volunteer in Kenya.
One of the cultural activities that were part of the Cics was a photographic exhibition of the experience of being a volunteer in Kenya.
Where we print the emotions, feelings of each volunteer in this unique experience.
Made by Marco Perez and Joanne Joloy
“Nosotros hacemos lo posible… Y Dios lo imposible..”
We are so excited to share with you that Kimugul Primary School at Lemolo A is officially open and children are already there, busy learning!
At the end of July the Nakuru county governor, His Excellency Kinuthia Mbugua officially opened the school and celebrated with the community. In addition to his official duties, Governor Mbugua generously donated 400 school uniforms, sanitary towels for the girls, 500 tree seedlings and 40 bags of maize. These donations were a complete surprise to the people living at Lemolo A and, as you can imagine, the celebrations were joyous and full of thanksgiving.
VICDA would like to thank World Teacher Aid who made the construction of this school possible and who have changed the lives of the children in the Lemolo community. Thank you, also, to Governor Kinuthia Mbugua for his generosity and support.
67 Anáhuac University Volunteers from Mexico arrived in Kenya to work with VICDA on 31st May. Their two weeks in the country was primarily spent in Nakuru, working on projects for the Lemolo Community.
The group arrived at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyata Airport and headed straight to Nakuru where they volunteered on different VICDA projects for a duration of two weeks in Lemolo Community. The groups consisted of students from different education grounds, lecturers and coordinators. Volunteers were able to participate in different project such 2 week medical camps, teaching in school both Lemolo A and B, digging trenches and connecting water pipes, digging pit latrine toilets, construction, cooking in schools and sports with children and youths. A lot was achieved during their two weeks volunteering and they enjoyed every moment working in the community.
Irene Wairimu also received an award from Anáhuac on behalf of VICDA for all of the positive community work the we have been able to accomplish. The trip and award ceremony was a part of Anáhuac University’s 50 year Jubilee celebration.
Irene will travel to Mexico for an international congress in September where she has been invited to deliver a speech about VICDA and community work in Kenya.
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.
Gitaru Farm, located about 7 kilometers away from the nearest health facility in the area, was happy to have a medical camp for its residents in early April. The funding for the camp was donated by Caring for the Kids of Kenya (USA) through VICDA and facilitated in conjunction with the Ministry of Health in Molo. More than 500 men, women and children were treated on April 1 and 2. On behalf of the residents of Gitaru Farm, VICDA would like to thank Caring for the Kids of Kenya for sponsoring this medical camp.
In mid-November Irene, VICDA’s founder and executive director, had a small request: to fundraise in order to provide Christmas dinners to the 331 families at Manjani Mingi IDP Camp. For about 450 Kenyan Shillings (about $5.50 USD) Irene hoped to purchase a half litre of cooking oil, a kilo of lentils, a packet of chapati flour and a few biscuits for the children for each IDP family in residence. She sent out this request, via email, to a couple of supporters around the world and each former volunteer and supporter worked to fundraise in their own corner of the globe.
The result was nothing short of a Christmas miracle! Irene’s original goal of raising 148,950 Kenyan Shillings (about $1860 USD) to feed the 331 families was completely crushed when nearly 300,000 Kenyan Shillings (about $4,000 USD) of support came in! With the money raised over 700 families at Manjani Minig, Lemolo A and Lemolo B were able to celebrate Christmas this year. For many of these residents, they haven’t been able to celebrate Christmas since 2007, several of the children in the community have absolutely no memory of Christmas celebrations.
A note from Irene, sent out Christmas morning to donors along with several photographs:
Hello VICDA Partners and Friends,
Thank you for embracing the appeal made for Christmas celebrations for the families at Lemolo. Thank you again for entrusting me and VICDA team with your finances.
You have remained very precious and dear to us and your Chrismas gifts have been overwhelming. You gave more than we expected for and due to your giving all the 700 families (4,700 persons) will joyously be celebrating their Christmas. Apart from your kind and cash donations for the foods and clothing; we also received two special Christmas gifts from two of the donors which mean a lot to the Lemolo families. They donated cash for building of a pre-school (attached pics of ongoing pre-school construction) and piping of water for both Lemolo A and B. Some of you also decided to donate your cash towards Christmas gifts for the children homes in VICDA’s program; I am so much overwhelmed with your commitments and support towards VICDA work.
I started a journey and you took the risk of following me not being sure where I will lead you to. Thank you for remaining faithful towards your giving and you make things happen. As you celebrate your Christmas holidays please take good care of yourself and do not compromise your joy/happiness for anything.
Happy Holidays – Enjoy your Christmas and Happy New Year.
Please find the attached photos of your Christmas gifts.
Irene and VICDA Team.
It’s amazing what can happen when people come together from all over the world with a common goal. Christmas wishes from sunny Australia, snowy USA and nearby Nairobi were all felt at Manjani Mingi. On behalf of VICDA, thank you to all who donated to make this the merriest of Christmases for these 700 families. And a special thank you to the kind donors who are piping water to the camp and constructing the preschool at Lemolo. These are gifts that will be appreciated for generations to come!
VICDA and Global Volunteer Network, GVN, have worked together for nearly a decade with the common goal of feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and giving hope and a home to the homeless of Kenya. GVN’s volunteer program regularly sends new volunteers to Kenya to work in various projects and the GVN Foundation has fundraised for and donated generous funds to VICDA’s many projects.
Each year GVN Foundation’s global fundraiser, Eat So They Can, asks people from around the world to host a dinner party in order to raise money for those who are struggling, primarily children. The funds are then distributed to GVN’s many projects, primarily in South America, Southeast Asia and East Africa. As GVN’s Kenya partner, VICDA projects have benefited directly from these funds and donations.
Ushirika Clinic is a community health center, located in the Kibera slum in Nairobi. Ushirika is a relatively small clinic that serves a vast population and they are more often than not short of supplies and medicines needed to treat their many patients. VICDA has sent GVN volunteers to Ushirika since 2006 and GVN Foundation’s recent donation of medical supplies and medicines will be of great assistance to the Kiberan community, literally hundreds of thousands of people.
This past year, GVN Foundation has taken a great interest in VICDA’s Spirulina program. Spirulina is a nutrient rich algae that can be mixed into foods or taken as a capsule and VICDA has established Spirulina “farms” to grow the algae as well as implemented feeding programs for HIV patients and children in particular to benefit from the protein, vitamins and other nutrients found in this “super food.”
Water is a resource that is hard to come by in much of sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in rural areas. Maasailand is especially known for being arid and Maasai women oftentimes need to walk up to 6 hours a day, just to collect 20 L of water and carry it back to the camp. This is oftentimes the reason given for pulling Maasai girls out of school at an early age, so they can assist in the water collection for the family. By providing a new water tank, GVN isn’t only giving water to the community but they are giving back valuable years of education for young Maasai girls. GVN Foundation is assisting an area of Maasailand called Olshoboor, at a schooled called Ronesa School.
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!”