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May 2011

This trip seemed to come hard on the heels of the last one and was short and packed. There were some
tremendous rainstorms in the evenings which were good for the crops. However, food prices have more than
doubled since February and people are noticeably thinner. Our tank filled up quite
well. We took the two teachers from The Kingsway, Cheadle, with us again to finish
off what they began in February. We flew this time from Nairobi to Kisumu. Jetlink
had offered us 10Kg extra each and we were to pay for the rest. Prayers answered
when the awkward customer at the next desk took up everyone’s attention and our
bags were just sent through! We arrived early Friday morning and after bank,
shopping and hardware business in Kisumu we drove to Nyandiwa so that work could
begin in the afternoon at the school.

Water
Monday and Tuesday Steve and I visited five of our feeder primary
schools, Nyandolo, Abuoye, Ponge, Omuga and Alaro. At three we
have built gutters and tanks to collect rain water for drinking. “It’s
wonderful that the children will no longer need to go to the river to
collect water.” These have been funded by Luton Rotary. On the
following day we drove to Maseno, on the equator, to check out the water project started
since February. We were met by James and Zac, committee members of Maseno Rotary.
This project is in partnership with Hazel Grove Rotary. Zac owns a hardware store and bar
in a small roadside town called Luanda and he intends having a filter outside his shop to
give cups of clean, fresh, cold water to customers as an incentive to buy a filter. It really
does taste wonderful and when you know it’s pure, that’s even better.

The lack of rain over recent months has meant crop failure plus the cost of fuel has
given opportunity to hike food prices. One evening a local lady who makes baskets
called to ask if we would like to buy any. We have already brought lots back on
previous visits and saturated our market but Chris and Helen bought one each and
ordered three more. As she only asked for the equivalent of 80p they gave her
double. When I asked Everline if Rizpah was pleased she said, “Very pleased. She
used the money to buy some beans because she had nothing in the house to eat.”

Education

We again took with us hundreds of pens and pencils etc donated from a variety of sources.
Thankyou. I’ve already mentioned Helen and Chris. They did an amazing job enthusing both
staff and students and encouraging them to use new revision and exam strategies. Chris
worked hard initiating databases for results so that progress can be monitored and
remedial work targeted. Kolweny Kingsway is well in the top third of the region’s high
schools and has amazing facilities for a community school.
Queensgate Primary School in Bramhall again donated uniform which is the same as
Kolweny Kingsway Primary. It was ideal for the pre-school pupils.

Things don’t always run smoothly and we had some very difficult discussions about
payment of exam fees and the uniforms we buy as things have not been as clear as they
might be since a group from Australia began sponsoring a few students through a
different person who is not as straightforward as Ayugi. We have made everything crystal clear to staff and
students alike and, hopefully, there shouldn’t be any misunderstandings in the future. We were out on our travels one day when we were met by two of last year’s Form 4 boys. The one
on the right, Robert, will be going to university to study Banking and
Finance. He got a pair of glasses from the dispensary just before his
exams and they must have helped! We have had our first graduate. Helen
Alosi graduated in Teaching in March and Ayugi attended the ceremony.
Her life prospects have been radically altered through your donations to
Projects. She would otherwise be married by now with probably a couple of children and no
hope for the future.

We had to make some difficult decisions about the Hope beyond Form 4 candidates as we have too many! We can only
sponsor 8 per year so we have had to draw up a set of criteria for choosing. It isn’t easy when these opportunities
change people’s lives but we can only do what we have the finance for.
We asked in the last report for suggestions on sourcing tents for the scouts. We have had
donations to buy at least two tents, available at the hypermarket, Nakumatt, at £50. Our
primary school scouts are through to the regional finals of their competition as is the troupe
from Oogo Primary, where we are building a new classroom for the pre-school, thanks to a very
generous donation from Bramhall Methodist Building Fund. We took them lots of goodies again
this time including Duplo which was greeted with utter delight.
A primary school here in Denton has raised enough money to also
complete a classroom at Oogo begun by the government in 2007 and to buy 80 desks at another
primary school, Ponge. This involvement in seemingly forgotten schools has really encouraged
the parents to send their children to school and motivated both pupils and
staff.
We had the sad duty of visiting the family of one of our students, Jackline
Atieno, who died suddenly earlier in May. We don’t know the cause of death as you don’t pay
for a doctor when the patient is dead. She is buried at the back of the house. The picture shows
her family round the grave with her younger brother who also studies at our school.

Health

We again took out with us the usual thousands of paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin and
cocodamol capsules/tablets, bandages, plasters, needles, small
instruments, spectacles and the requested laxatives and
multivitamins. We were donated literally tens of thousands of pairs
of latex gloves which actually weigh quite a lot but we did manage
to take a several thousand. We took some to the dentists who
trained at the dispensary last year. We shared in February about the twins born during our
visit named Steve and Angela, well sadly they died at two weeks old from a preventable problem, not Edwin’s fault at
all. We visited their tiny graves at the back of their parents’ house.
The dispensary was being used during our visit as the distribution
centre for a consignment of 800 mosquito nets given free by the
government. Households had been visited and members were
allowed one between two so 1,600 more people will now have
nets.

Small Businesses

There’s not a lot to report on the small businesses. The donkey cart is doing well and the cow is in calf again so the
first calf will be sold soon and the group can then repay some of the loan. One of the goats gave birth to twins!

Karowley We are still plagued with the bat(s). We think the only thing is to be philosophical about it. We went
to collect our new toilet only to find the shop closed as it was Madaraka Day – Independence Day. Ironic!

Thankyou yet again for making this work possible by your donations, interest, prayer and insights. Thankyou
from everyone in Nyandiwa and indeed many miles afield. We attempt to be culturally sensitive in everything we
do and our watchword is sustainability. Whilst we admire many of the Luo traditions concerning care for the family
and community spirit, you could pray that the community will be more open to see the folly of a few of its
traditions which are causing more problems than they solve.

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