We are in the process of setting up a women’s co-op, or business initiative, called Village Phone Salon (VPS). Our Kimilili VPS will be a small wooden structure near the residence of its business owners or in a central market place. Phone Ladies or operators run the VPS. The Phone Ladies run the various phone services. These tasks are selling prepaid telephone cards to customers who have their own mobile phones, managing the salon phone services (customers making outgoing local and international calls, as well as noting down messages of incoming calls), charging customer’s mobile phone batteries, and selling snacks and beverages to customers. All of these services are offered for fees.
Gabi's class, from Luebeck, Germany participated in a Computer World 2008 contest at the University of Luebeck and won the 2nd prize. The contest was for school projects that explore syllabus material with the help of digital media.
Gabi's class project submitted the Our Song Circle- Wimbo Mviringo website and her classroom's project "Where is Mario" in the contest. The judges particularly commended Gabi's class participation in Our Song Circle - Wimbo Mviringo. They feel that the children in all schools benefit from hearing each other songs and learning about each others' cultures.
We now have members from Cameroon, Kenya, Canada, Germany, England, and the US.
The Community Breakthrough Support Mission recently had some visitors to Kimilili. Can you guess who they were? Well, Esther and Judith from Our Song Circle - Wimbo Mviringo site. Isn’t that wonderful?
We had wonderful time. We took a tour of the CBSM facilities, met with our children, and discussed possible school exchange projects in the future. Esther came with Caleb, one of the children from her school. We all appreciated this opportunity to meet and get to know each other.
We talked about the role of technology nowadays. Judith has regular access to computers and the Internet. Esther is learning how this technology works. Even though we all have different levels of media competence, we are equally convinced of its importance. Technology is essential to facilitate connection, collaboration, and communication.
At the moment, we are in the process of exploring various possibilities ourselves. Eventually, we hope to be able to have the means to let our children have access to this technology and create projects with the support of this technology.
Well, we managed to complete our first school year in Kimilili. What a fine celebration we had.
I would like to extend a special thanks to all our teachers, school volunteers, and children guardians. Without your tremendous help, we would never be able to care for our children as we do. My gratitude is great.
By Daniel Kiptoo Kasis
Our life depends on clean drinking water. For example, a person can survive for up to two months without food but they can’t make it for four days without water. Water is a need that we cannot, as human beings, live without. We’ve been giving this topic a great amount of thought. As a result, we’ve decided to start on a water project. Contaminated drinking water is a worldwide crisis and Kimilili and surrounding areas are not an exemption.
The impact of having safe drinking water
* Lives are saved
* Illnesses are greatly reduced
* Health is dramatically improved
* Economic conditions improve as a result of reduced medical expenses
* Educational opportunities improve
* The focus of the project will be based on two basic sources of water.
Springs are the most common sources of water in the area we plan to focus on. These springs have continued to be the greatest cause of the waterborne diseases, as they are not well maintained. The water from springs needs to be harnessed properly and the spring water flow properly constructed/routed to enable sufficient drainage of water. Also we need to ensure the reservoir is clean and secured from dirt and germs.
A spring before and after it is maintained
The plan is to completely improve the springs that serve the community with water to well constructed springs. The picture above shows an example of a spring that was later constructed into a very nice piped spring that provides clean water.
Secondly, water wells are a steady source of clean water for the community. There are two basic ways of constructing the wells. They can be drilled with machinery, which is expensive. The second method, is to use people to dig the well. This is common in the village and we have specialized local “fundi”, a group of experts, who have actually specialize in digging of the wells and pit latrines.
After the well is dug, a pump is installed to the well. The well can be utilized by the households who live in both near to the well and those residing in the surrounding area. There are several types of pumps that are made locally by the local artisans. Pumps have been devised that can be made from locally available materials. In the future I can provide picture of the pumps that are currently being used by some of the communities.
For now, there is this example of the such a possible pump of well water.
The available resources
The community is very much willing to provide any kind of labor that will be required. The materials that are also needed are locally available and the expertise is available from the government’s water department-the district water officer.We are setting up a work team locally and with our neighbours at Nabuur and will keep you posted on the developments. If anyone is interested in sharing their experience with such projects or has information to give to us, we would be very happy to hear from you.