The participants were eager to learn and appreciated the fact that the trainers, Millicent and Ericah, could hold the sessions in Kiswahili. Any technical English words used by chance were translated. Since so many of the concepts and subjects discussed in the workshop were new to the participants, it seemed the best way to help facilitate their understanding by holding the workshop in Kiswahili. This made it easy for participants to ask questions all the time and to allow lively group discussions during the workshop.

The amount of topics talked about was very many (see above-mentioned list). The participants were very diligent and motivated, and we were able to complete the amount of material we set out to do. Actually, it was an interesting session and there were no difficulties in delivering the materials home to the participants. We had thought that all the new concepts might overwhelm the participants. This was not the case. In fact, we had a very late lunch, not because the meal was not made ready on time, but because the participants kept on insisting that we continue with the lessons. They did not want any interruptions. Finally, Rev. Wasike went up and announced that he was going to teach the next topic “How to go about the business of eating lunch”, which made everyone laugh and agree that it was time to take a break.

We designed the lessons so that we were not only lecturing, since we thought it could be boring for the participants. Instead, we gave short lectures and asked them to make brief notes on what they were learning, and then we involved them in group discussions and practical exercises and calculations in between. This seemed to work very well.

Since there were so many participants in the course (over 20 persons), it would be better to hold two trainings over two days next time.

• Trainees send their heartfelt greetings to Lia and well wishers who enabled the training and phones.
• Available Youth and Men felt neglected hence requested the trainers to send the word to Lia.
• The women requested for more support to enable business diversification to enable them to be empowered further.
• In the weeks proceeding the workshop, many other women, even some physically not known to Rev. Wasike, are ever calling asking when is the next training is going to be done so that they participate to get knowledge about business.

by Lia

When Rev Wasike, Millicent Aswata, Ericah Kiptoo traveled from Nairobi to Kimilili to give the CBSM women’s co-op their first business training workshop, they were hoping to teach a small group of business women how to set up their Village Phone Salons.

So, you can imagine their surpise when they arrived at the CBSM school at 7 am on the day of the workshop, to meet with over 20 persons. They all wanted to learn best business practices and could not be persuaded to leave. After much discussion, it was agreed that 21 participators could take part int the workshop and the others would be receiving another workshop as soon as the funds can be raised.

The women and men of our workshop worked very hard throughout the long day. Everyone was anxious to learn as much as they could. We are very thankful to Ericah and Millicent for preparing the learning material and for their wonderful instruction.


by Lia

It constantly surprises and delights me that people from near-and-far are willing to help the children in Kimilili. Our needs are many and varied. We never quite know how much or how often we should make an appeal for help since there is so much still left to be done before our children have a safe place to live and learn in.

We have been blessed in the last weeks by donations from friends of the community both in Kenya and in USA.

Rev. Wasike, Millicent, and Ericah, of our fund raising committee in Narirobi, have been selling thank you cards to friends and neighbours to raise funds to buy food for the children. They have had some success and are determined to sell more of the cards in the proceeding months. The current nationwide food shortage will not be alleviated before the harvest season in September.

We have received two donations from Clayton H. to pay the monthly repayment f on the loan CBSM received at the beginning of this year to build temporary school facilities.

Lastly, Francis recently sent us a donation for the betterment of the school. His donation will be used to pay for school learning supplies, of which there is a great need.

Rev. Wasike and I would very much like to thank you all for having the needs of our children in your hearts.


Rev Wasike informed us recently that due to food shortages in Kenya, the daily rations for the children in the CBSM school are cut down to a cup of porridge at lunch time.

That gives a new sense of urgency to our Nutrition and School Garden Project, which aims to provide a sustainable food supply to the pupils in school. Our project goals are: the growing of diverse food produce, growing and strengthening of community, education and communication of the members of our CBSM women’ co-op and the HIV/AIDS Youth Vision Program.

Our concept for sustainability focuses on:

1. The purchase of land and setting up of a communal kitchen, as the foundation of the project, insuring that the CBSM community has the opportunity to grow and prepare food, as well as create a social environment based on mutual trust and empowerment. Once they exist, it is possible for the members of our women co-op and youth vision group to continue their work over the long term.

2. None of the funds of the grant will be used towards carrying the running costs of the project. Running costs (e.g. salaries, supplies, and seeds) are carried by the profits yielded by the sale of garden produce.

3. We (the facilitating team and LR) can assure that proper training and continued support is available (e.g. training workshops and training manuals) .The gardening and small-scale farming methods taught and practiced maximize produce and optimise nutrition and assure the regeneration of soil.

4. The project is set up and sustained by people in the CBSM community. Their motivation to make the project successful lies in their willingness to better their lives by creating household income and vocational training for the youths. This practice paves a way out of poverty and hunger for the members of the women co-op, as well as a way into self-sufficiency in the future for the youths of our HIV/AIDS Youth Vision Program.

We are working hard with various community members in Kimilili, Nairobi, and at Nabuur to see that the proposal gets written and submitted as soon as we humanly can. Yet, this will not help us meet the current challenges of food shortages.

If any of you can help us to with information or advice about who we can contact, we would be very thankful. Any private donations would also be appreciated


By Rev. Wasike and Lia
Three weeks ago Rev Wasike, Millicent Aswata, Ericah Kiptoo traveled from Nairobi to Kimilili to give the CBSM women’s co-op their first business training workshop. The workshop took place on May 16th, 2009 at the CBSM School from 8 am to 5 pm.

The purpose of the training was to empower targeted women with knowledge that could help them run the Village Phone Salon businesses profitably and be self-reliant in business environment. Also, the training needed to instruct them about how to keep records properly, so that they could know in the future if they are making profit or loss and what actions needs to be taken in case of either. Women were also trained on how to manage borrowed mirco-finances (loans) and repayments among others.

In order to achieve the above, the business practice training was designed specifically to meet the needs of the local available challenges in business environment.

Training Topics
1.    Introduction
2.    Factors considered in choosing a Business
3.    Basic Business Management Skills
4.    Business Communication Skills
5.    Time Management Skills
6.    Leadership Skills
7.    Marketing and Customer Care
8.    Setting SMART Objectives and Goals for VPS
9.    SWOT Analysis of VPS Business
10.    Business or Product Diversification available within Kimilili area
11.    Training on Phone Operations
12.    Handing and maintenance of the phones

Methods of Training
Instructional presentation of theories
Group discussions
Participatory class
Illustration of practical examples
Group asking specific questions

In the next post, I will mention how the day progressed.