New classrooms at Yepa Primary School
During 2011, Yepa primary school experienced an unfortunate collapse of one school building due to a downpour of rain. It was fortunate that this collapse happened overnight when the children had returned to their homes. The following weeks the children had to have their lessons under a tree, whilst the re-build took place. Food for the Hungry supported the process of rebuilding the classrooms through giving encouragement and contributing for part of the building materials to construct two classroom blocks. Through continuous prayers and lobbying by the community and FH, God opened more doors in this community enabling the school to attain a total of new classrooms for the children. The children now have a good classroom environment which will facilitate their learning.
Despite causing disruption with the school the rainfall had benefits elsewhere in the community; the Soya bean garden that the CFCT promoters had developed reaped the benefits, out of 10kgs planted the total harvest was 250kgs! The community members are planning to replant the seeds and use the yields to generate income for their families.
Entrepreneurs in Kenya
Eric on his motorcycle waiting for customers in Isiolo town
Earning an income in Kenya is no mean feat; you have to be creative and innovative. People have found it is better to work in groups to find ways to maximise family income. By September, 2 Income Generating groups (IGAs) had developed ways of generating income. Following this they underwent training and received support materials geared towards improving and expanding their activities. Since then 2 more groups have developed so there are now 4 operating in the community. Two of the groups have already had great success and reported profits by the end of 2011!
Here is a story about Eric Murithi Mugo, a 27 year old, a young entrepreneur who has a Boda Boda Business. The Boda Boda is a motorcycle or bicycle used as public transport, providing an affordable and accessible means of transport to many people living in rural areas of Kenya. Eric has set up the business because it is more profitable than activities he used to do, including tree nursery planting and bee keeping. He makes a min of 400Ksh (£3) per day and a max of 800Ksh. His main customers are livestock traders, vegetable vendors and small scale retailers. He saves some money per week and uses the rest to cover living expenses. One of the challenges he faces is that he cannot afford to construct a house for himself and his future family. He is hoping to acquire further training in other business skills in agriculture and irrigation so that he can get good returns in the future. Eric say ‘FH have empowered me through trainings on how to operate small scale business, regular focus group discussions and encouraged us to network with other organisations and government departments to gain support.
Progress in Maisha Bora
During the last few months of 2011 there has been much unrest due to violent incidents that arose in Isiolo. Sadly, there were 20 people killed and many hoses burnt down in a period of about 3 weeks. When the violent clashes began in October there were heightened tensions within the community and althoughnot directly involved they were severely affected. Learning in schools, business and farm activities were all disrupted. CFCT responded swiftly through provision of emergency relief food and school learning materials.
At Maisha Bora nursery there have been Bible and health lessons which continue to equip the young pupils with life skills necessary for their progress. Children were able to appreciate the word of God through Bible study and practice at home the new simple hygiene tips they had learned. There has also been an improvement in hygiene practices in the community after the construction of latrines. CFCT facilitated trainings as well as providing materials. There is motivation within the community to work towards having latrines in each home.
Overall, 2011 has been a busy eventful year for community members with many successes along the way; 168 families received relief food and 13 children who had minor illnesses were referred to CCS health centre where they received medical examinations and treatments. The up and coming months of 2012 are set to be busy with the organizing and carrying out a spiritual youth rally, Bible study and health lessons for the nursery pupils, youth guidance counselling and awarding the eligible secondary school students with their scholarships.
Excerpt from Bernie’s diary – Nov 2011 in Bufukhula
Children recieving gifts at Bufukhula School
I made my way down to Mbale by bus before heading over to Bufukhula, it was an interesting journey, thankfully without too much pain. It was 6000 shillings for a single ticket on the Kampala Express - better than the 20000 I paid returning back on a small coach, where the conductor said he had no change! I walked from the bus stop over to the FH office, where I was met with a flourish of greetings from staff members. It was good to see them again. Unfortunately one of the FH team called Bananaman was involved in a motorbike accident in which he fractured his skull and he is now suffering from memory problems and trouble walking. I’m hoping he will get well soon; it has been a very tough time for his wife and him.
I travelled with Paul, another FH staff member, and Bananaman by car from the FH office to Bufukhula. We went to the school for the deaf where Monica, a sponsored child, studies. She was very pleased to see us and said she was still enjoying school.
We then went on to Bufukhula School and met with the head teacher. She updated us on the progress being made and the gift money they had used to do repairs, road improvements and buy tools. The children have cultivated the land behind the school office into a banana plantation so are using the tools daily. They have also planted hedges to create paths around the site. After meeting with the head, we met with 3 of the sponsored children, Andrew, Ester and Abineli, who were all waiting patiently on a bench. It was really good to see them again.
In 2013 the FH 10 year contract in Bufukula will be coming to an end, there are plans in place for a big celebration and it has been suggested I travel back down for it so I don’t miss out.
End of 2011 in Nkunga
Another year has passed in Nkunga and the community are doing very well; the rain has been plentiful and the crops growing well. The parents and children have been busy weeding their crops and the school water tank is full. Thanks to the hard work of parents and school management all of the school’s broken down guttering was repaired before the rains came along! The children were off school for their longest holiday of the year over December for the Christmas festivities.
Rewinding to September, when the school term began, it was necessary that the school feeding program continued. Many children lacked food at home in turn causing school absences. The feeding program encouraged and motivated children to remain in school and as a result most of the nursery children were able to fully attend the school term. They can now recognise shapes, read simple words, count and write from 1-50. While CFCT (Child Focused Community Transformation) assisted in the school feeding program, the HIV/ AIDS program provided beans, maize and water storage tanks to the parents.
During the rainy season, the Ministry of Forestry alongside CFCT supported Nkunga School in planting 1300 different tree species in the school compound. Hopefully over the next year both the trees and the community will continue to grow and thrive.
FH Bangladesh starts a partnership with Dhaka AG church
Relieving the suffering of millions of people in Bangladesh can seem like too much for one organisation to do. We’ve spent 40 years in Bangladesh, learning how best to serve people, and help them to help themselves out of poverty. But there are always more people in need. Poverty is everywhere, with half of the 160 million Bangladeshis living on less than £1 per day.
We’ve started work with Dhaka Assemblies of God church, training their staff so that they can serve the poor without the need for ongoing funding from outside Bangladesh. Over the next three years, we want to help them to contextualise biblical principles, and learn how to help communities work towards realising their God-given potential.
Sixteen AG church staff members and their group leader are sharing this journey. A few weeks ago they had their first orientation training in FH’s Staff Development Centre, led by FH’s regular trainers. They went on to put it into practice, working in four slums areas around Dhaka, and on October 22nd they started the first of FH’s biblical Vision and Values courses.
Two working together can make a bigger difference than one working alone. We’re excited about our lessons benefiting more people through Dhaka AG, and we pray that the warmth and enjoyment in these sessions will turn into transformation and shared hope for thousands more people in this country
Huntington Team visit Kyoga for 5 th year running
This summer saw another team of 14 people from the parishes of Huntington in York and St James in Woodside, Leeds to return again for a fifth year to the Kyoga community in Uganda to continue our work in partnership with Food for the Hungry.
After 4 years of development at the local Kyoga Primary school, the focus of the team’s building activity this year and for final completion in 2012 will be the provision of much needed category 3 local health centre and some support buildings on land donated by the Church of Uganda.
Current health provision in the surrounding Kyampisi sub county with a the local population of about 28000 people, consists of only one category 2 health centre, which is some 7km walking distance from most of the local community. The new facility in Kyoga will offer general health care treatment, some In Patient care, maternity services and Out Patient treatment plus HIV & Aids support and forms part of FH-Uganda’s wider project of health & livelihood provision for the Kyoga and the wider community.
It’s a long road away from the kind of poverty that kills you young. After 5 years, Bokul group is coming up to a massive milestone on that road.
The women of Bokul group have lifetimes of hardship written on their faces. But we have seen them change - from people trapped in hopelessness to women leading themselves and their community to a better life.
They’ve saved together, and learned together. They’ve shared each other’s struggles, and celebrated together as they’ve discovered their gifts.
The criteria for group graduation are tough, but we know Bokul could reach them. During this year, they’ll celebrate their graduation, but that won’t be the end of their journey.
They’re making plans to go on to form a Community-Based Organisation, an independent body which will allow them to help those in their communities who are still suffering. The savings and profits they’ve accumulated will go to ensuring that everyone can share their empowerment.
Bokul group are preparing for a great achievement, but they’re already planning for even better things.
Progress continues in Maisha Bora, Kenya
Project work alongside the community of Maisha Bora has now entered its forth year. The latest update has just been released and can be read on our website here:
The community have made great strides over the three year period to date and we look forward to the future in store for them.
The most recent report highlighted the progress being made with People Living with HIV (PLHV) in the community - a major problem to date in both the community and the region.
If you would be interested in joining the support for this community, please visit our donate page and select the Maisha Bora project from the drop down menu.
Nkunga Kenya a success Story
This is a story of Lucy Kanja, a 17 years old girl who dropped from school due to early pregnancy. Her parents who have 5 younger children and are casual labours cannot provide basic needs for them, leave alone physiological /health support .The whole family of 9 lived in unhealthy single room. Both the parents and children lacked privacy.
Upon delivery, Lucy was chased away from home by the father .Her young baby Kiende was left behind without proper attention and care. Rosemary, the CDP staff visited the home found her all alone on a filthy bed. The condition was pathetic. What she found left her with a lot of pity for the poor Lucy. Other than lacking shelter, the children looked malnourished, sickly and lifeless. Upon sharing this predicament with the community, family members, CDP and HIV program, people were so touched so much that they assisted in putting an extra room for the family.
On sanitation, the family is to put up a pit latrine and the children were referred to health centre for treatment .At the moment the family is happier and hopeful than ever before.
Friends and community helping to build a new room