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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
VICDA was very excited to partner with World Teacher Aid, a Canadian organization, to construct Shalom Primary School in the Giwa IDP Resettlement in Rongai, Kenya. The children living at Giwa have had a very traumatic few years as they were violently displaced after the 2007 presidential election. In addition to living in small tents in overcrowded IDP Camps these children had virtually no access to education for about 4 years. The construction of Shalom Primary School was an important project for the Kenyans living in the area and serves as an enormous step forward as they begin to rebuild their lives in their new homes.
Currently 567 students attend Shalom Primary School. Shalom was the first primary school to be constructed in the area and includes classes 1 thru 8, an administration block and 3 toilet blocks. The construction costs approximately $110,00 USD and will be in use for generations to come.
Both VICDA and the residents at Giwa are grateful for World Teacher’s Aid and the work that they have done in the community. Last year donors from World Teacher’s Aid traveled to Kenya to meet the residents of Giwa and to search out new areas in need of schools and donations.
Imagine the excitement of the the students at Ndii-ini Primary School in Nairobi last month when they arrived at school to find brand new uniform jumpers waiting for them! K.I.D.S. Initiatives of Canada kindly donated the jumpers for the 529 students at Ndii-ini and will continue their support in the future with annual distribution trips.
K.I.D.S. (Kenya Initiative for Development and Sustainability) is a Canadian organization that promotes development, enrichment and sustainable solutions through educational programs and local fundraising in Canada. VICDA is proud to be an international partner of K.I.D.S. Initiative in Kenya and looks forward to their next visit!
Ndii-ini Primary School is located in the Kahawa area of Nairobi and has been in operation since the 1950’s. VICDA has worked with the school since 2009 and regularly places volunteers there. If you are interested in volunteering with VICDA at Ndii-ini, please refer to the volunteer page. K.I.D.S. Initiatives is always looking at new projects to support in order to meet the schools needs. If you would like to support their efforts, please refer to their website.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is grown in shallow water and offers numerous nutritional benefits. Since May one of VICDA’s projects has been growing and harvesting this algae in order to help deliver sustainable nutrition to children in VICDA’s many projects. Through this project, VICDA hopes to assist up to 50,000 people this year.
Quick facts about spirulina:
Spirulina possesses nutritional qualities of both plant and animal proteins but lacks cellulose so it is easily assimilated into the body.
Fresh spirulina contains the most protein of any substance known to man – 20 times more than beef, 20 times more than soy and 40 times more than corn.
When harvested spirulina is like a green paste and can either be consumed that way or can be dried and consumed in capsules.
Spirulina consumed 5-6 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare and emits over 16 tons of oxygen annually. It also doesn’t require soil to grow, making it an ideal crop for communities with limited resources and increased population.
Though spirulina requires water to grow, it uses significantly less water than other crops and once the harvested the water can be collected and reused.
VICDA is very excited about this new, self-sustaining project. It will supply quality nutrition to so many hungry, malnourished children. In addition to being a good source of protein and nutrition, spirulina has been shown to boost immune systems, fight common illnesses and ailments such as anemia, acidosis and cataracts and has been shown to lower risks of strokes and cancer.
More information about the health benefits of spirulina can be found here.