Kenya - What a Trip!
Updated: Jul 20
The Kenya June 2022 - An amazing trip focusing on training and opening new areas for service. What I learned was so much more!
My sixth Kenya trip is in the books.
This was not the usual expedition that we typically run.
This time Heidi (Totten founder of 100 Humanitarians) and I met in Kenya - the plan - to open new areas and to train.
Wow! What an experience - So much more than I expected!
We trained in four areas (villages), three of them new. And we trained a team brought in from Uganda.
Our focus this trip was Garden Towers and HopeSaCs. Hands-on training on the whole process. How they are made, built and used.
At each of the new locations 100+ people were there to greet us, always with song.
It was fun to see how the community had already been implementing the programs and were engaged and excited to be involved. We spent time listening to the people - giving them a voice in the successes and struggles they are seeing - discussing possibilities and solutions.
I came home again realizing how blessed I am to have these opportunities. I am impressed by the things we learned and the impact we are able to make as we move beyond what we thought we were there to do. Everyone has their gifts that when combined create miracles.
In the End - It is ALL about Water.
Water is life, and that has hit home for us over and over while we were in Kenya, as every community has asked for help with water projects. Luckily access to clean water is one of the main objectives of 100 Humanitarians and we had many discussions about water.
Boreholes, springs, tanks - every drop of rain is needed.
We began our spring preservation program a year ago, when our Community Directors started sharing that most of the families we were working with got their water from springs and rivers shared with their animals.
Since then, we have been able to clean up and protect 14 springs in Kenya, impacting thousands of people. Diseases are reduced, and accessibility to water dramatically improved.
We can do so much more with your help! 100% of your donation goes to the water projects we have identified. Boreholes and springs will literally save the lives of children, who are at the biggest risk for water born illness.
While visiting a rescue center for girls we learned of a project to build a school which would be a safe haven for girls who have run from early marriage and female circumciion. We learned that for the school to be build they needed access to a bore hole that was already in place. The problem was that it needed repairs and they did not have enough money raised for the repairs.
A quick Facebook post on June 10 and most of the funds for the repairs were raised by the end of the next day. Exactly one month later the bore hole is fixed and the foundation started on the school. (The schools foundation pictured to the right).
I love how over and over again we are able to see first hand the needs of the people - reach out to others who want to help but do not know there is a need - And then the need is filled making a huge difference. - I see this happen over and over again.
People like you help make miracles happen!
We have the possibility of two big water projects - drilling 2 bore holes. 100% of your donation goes to these water projects - Here is a link to the fundraiser if you would like to help.
Unexpected Benefits of the Garden Tower Project
The Garden Tower project has really taken off thanks to the partnership with the Usana Foundation. Usana Foundations world vision is to feed the people. They saw the vision of what was possible with the garden towers when we approached them with the towers several years ago. They now send them around the world to help feed the world one tower at a time.
In Kenya the biggest challenge we have with out garden tower project is to supply the demand. The program consists of instruction, documentation and stewardship. Each family recieves two towers and a water tank (if water is a challenge). They are responsible to supply a fence to keep animals out.
The program has been evolving and in several locations groups of 20 families come together to be trained on building the tower, returning home assigned to groups with their tower and vegetable starts. These groups of families then work together to build the towers at home. Unexpectedly, what has been happening is a sense of communittee that hasnt happened before. The families are working together to help each other learn and succeed.
Want a garden tower at your house? Link to store
This trip we distributed around 50 HopeSaC thermal cooker kits to be given out in five locations. I was grateful to see them also going to Uganda. I do love sharing what I do. (for those of you that don't know - I teach thermal cooking)
I am very aware that my part in the whole is small.
But isn't that the point?
We all offer our piece.
And a difference is made to that one who recieved it.
And then another one.
In life we all have talents, skills, and/or resources.
It is what we are lead to do with them that counts. Not everyone is going to go around the world to offer a talent.
But maybe a thought leads to a call to a neighbor, a few extra $$$ can be donated to a good cause, or a skill can be taught to someone who needs a hand.
Yesterday we had a call with communittee leaders in Kenya to discuss a pilot project we started teaching soap making to teen moms. Here is a bit of the message we recieved today after sharing it with a group of girls:
"They are all excited and happy to be the first ones to start the Soap Project. One of them shed tears during the meeting when she shared her story. She said that she could not imagine that someone had remembered her in her ordeal and wants to help her to do something special to help raise her child. She was sent away from home by her father when she got pregnant in grade 10. She has been going around begging for accommodation in exchange for menial work. Many people are hesitant to hire her because of the child. She was thrilled that now she can start her own business and take care of her baby. They all shared very sad stories. They then sat down amid laughters as they did the soap mixing demo. Bravo 100H for another milestone".
My take-a-way, we do make a difference when we want to and the size of the difference can't be measured by us.