We have reached our 100% funding at betterplace! This means that the 470 USD we asked for there is now covered and we will be receiving the funds soon.
As many of you know, we have a goal of raising 1,800 USD by the end of September so that we can make a downpayment on our school land. We have reached a total of 1,175 UDS to date counting the donations given through PayPal on this website and the money from betterplace. We are very close to reaching our goal!
So, for all of you who have donated so kindly so far, thank you so much.
Dear Fund-raising Committee and Online Volunteers,
We are happy to write the good news that CBSM has received more donations towards the down payment on the land for our school facilities. Sue G, Julie M, Giancarlo M and Andrea N have kindly sent in donations.
We now have received nearly 50% of the money we need.
Please continue working hard so that we might be able to make the down payment and thus be able to continue with the school next year. If we are not able to make the down payment, we will have to relocate once again and this would be such a shame. The children need a stable and safe place to go to school.
Lia and Rev. Wasike
P.S. Part of the down payment is being collected through PayPal and another part is through betterplace.org and the rest is through fund raising efforts of the CBSM women co-ops.
Today is your big day! The first Kimilili Football Tournament! Good Luck and Fair Play!
Even though you will be cheered on in the Kimilili Stadium by your friends and families, please know that you have a large number of fans cheering for you from far-off places as well.
One spezial sponsor of yours is a wedding shop called Champagne & Strawberries* in the UK. The owner and workers of the shop think so well of your football playing, they have made a donation of £48 GBP.
Christina, a CBSM volunteer, wants to ask you if you will send Champagne and Strawberries a photo of your team with all of your names. Do you think that is possible?
We’ll be looking forward to Rev. Wasike’s stories of all the day’s going-ons.
All the best,
Your Fans from Afar
Champagne & Strawberriesare a wedding shop based in Taunton, Somerset, UK. They sell a large variety of wedding dresses, other wedding clothing and accessories.
We would like to welcome Helmores Estate Agent in Devon, South-West of England for generously signing on as sponsors of our Kimilili Football Tournament. This family-run estate agent are donating £100 GBP towards the tournament and the down payment on the land.
When one of our UK volunteers, Christina, recently approached them about the possibility of acting as sponsors, they immediately said yes. They are strong supporters of their community locally, and happily extend their support to faraway Kimilili. For they recognise what a good thing the tournament is for the community, and that the children badly need their school land secured. Their website is www.helmores.com
Clayton, Francis, and an anonymous donor from the US have kindly donated funds to help pay for the teachers salaries and to pay for some school supplies for the children.
I am just about ready to send a care package to the children with the supplies. I decided to include a few items that might not be pedagogically useful, but certainly some fun. The list of the items to be sent are:
School supplies: pencils, scissors, tape, colouring pencils, chalk, children’s bible, math work sheets, pencil sharpeners, colouring stencils, paper cut out figures, and blackboard brushes.
The not so school supplies: water balloons, ping pong balls, and soap bubble kits.
I hope that the children and teachers enjoy the new supplies. Thank you very much for helping us.
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.
We always rejoice to learn that we are not alone with our struggles and worries. It is very moving to know that others think about us. Such a moment of joy came this week when Kathleen H. decided to send us some money to buy Stella medicine she badly needs.
Stella is currently on and off in her attendance in school because of health problems. Now, Kathleen’s kindness and assistance will add value to her life. Doctors tell us that well use of antiviral medication and good observation of her diet will soon normalise her life.
On Stella’s behalf, may God remember Kathleen too for remembering others.
Immediately after Jennifer donated the money, I called the families through the one of board members and communicated about the donations and their intended purpose. When Kundu’s father received information about the donated seeds, it was God's timings that the father and Kundu plus others in the family seriously became engaged preparing their land for planting.
This gift really enabled this particular family to approach the year in a different style. Kundu and his siblings plus the father are without mother, and though they have land they have been compelled to hire out the same land at a small fee for many years since they never had means to farm the land themselves.
Now they could finally grow their own food. Since the family could not afford a tractor or oxen to come by to plough the land, they had to do it by hand (hoe). Even though this is a slow way of preparations, they had completed a big portion of their land by the time we went to buy the seeds.
Kundu, his father, and Rev. Wasike
Originally, I had wished to buy the seeds in Nairobi, but communication with the family forced me to go and make them select what type crop seeds they thought they could manage without more inputs from outsiders. They had very set ideas about what they wanted to grow. So when I was in Kimilili last week, right away Kundu plus his father and I went into town to buy the seeds in the Agrovet shop.
At this stage, I was a bit surprised with Kundu’s reaction. He did not indicate much happiness, but acted as if it as normal for him to receive the seeds. Then, I looked at Kundu’s father and was challenged when I saw tears flowing, upon receiving the seeds. In fact, he said that did not believe it would happen. He had done all the preparation not quite believing it would actually happen. When handed him his seeds, he wanted to leave immediately. He didn’t even want to stop to take a photo.
It was a cloudy day and showing signs of rain. He just excused himself, saying that he wanted the day's rain to find his seeds in the soil. Two or three hours later, I went to his home because I wanted to discuss with him a difficult situation that persisted for the last few months. And that was, he refused to let Kundu go to school and instead got Kundu casual work looking after cattle for the neighbourhood.
Upon reaching the home of Kundu, I was shocked to see everyone out on the plot of land planting the seeds. It was almost impossible for me to get Kundu’s father to sit down with me to discuss this matter close to my heart, even though I sacrificed time needed with other community members to go there.
As far as one could see, there was a beehive of activity on the plot of the land of Kundu’ family planting the seeds. The father and elder children plus Kundu himself were at peace; joyful and energetic to go the extra mile as long as it meant planting their own food.
I had a short chat with the father and he promised to send Kundu back to school when the school terms start again. Not, only do the seeds provide the family with food, they also enable Kundu to go to school. Among all those who received gifts from Jennifer, my personal rating noted that Kundu’s family saw God through the seeds.
For the average child born in a developed country, Christmas, Easter and their birthday bring many opportunities to garner myriad of toys from friends, family and acquaintances alike. Most of these toys do not hold the child's attention for long, or maybe they are abandoned for another favorite" toy, or eventually they are passed on as donations to the thrift store or the less fortunate when a new "fancier" toy is acquired. However, this little fact does not take away from the utter joy that a child feels when being showered with a gift, regardless of which corner of the world they grew up in.
So, when little Fadhili, a young student at the Community Breakthrough Support Mission school in Kimilili, Kenya, received a football as a gift from Jennifer (in USA), the utter joy and excitement that he and his classmates felt at receiving such a gift rivals the excitement any child would feel if they were to stay a month in Santa Claus’s toy workshop or even at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!
Reverend Wasike purchased the deflated football in Nairobi and brought the gift up to Kimilili to deliver it to Fadhili. When the ball was handed over to him, he was in the school compound with his other schoolmates. In its current deflated state, the ball was not much fun to play with, so Fadhili and his friends rushed into town with much exuberance to inflate the ball. With the task completed, the boys headed back to the school compound and were ready to show off their skills on the playing field.
Having never seen an actual football until then, chaos fueled by overwhelming excitement ensued amongst the kids, as one could only expect. Their childlike squeaks and squeals of excitement drew the attention of the adults who were having a meeting nearby, out into the playing field to see what was happening. What greeted them was nothing short of a comical performance by several young boys staging a display of their football skills.
In their excitement and attempts at play, all rules known to the agile game of football were quickly abandoned. There was no order to the game; the boys were jumping for the ball, running up and down the field, left and right, with each player trying his best to kick the ball. They were all so overwhelmed by this new toy that the game they played had no rhyme or reason to it, but then nobody cared. Each boy was trying furiously to shoot at the ball with his little feet or head. Since there was only one ball for the whole lot of them, many spent the day kicking their feet, or shooting their heads into thin air rather than connecting with the ball. But again, this did not matter. Even the ones who never got the chance to hit the ball would have it no other way. This realization did not devalue the fun they had playing with the football.
The teachers were also drawn into the field, as the noise got louder. They tried their best to impose some order to the mayhem. First, they attempted to isolate Fadhili with the ball so he could play alone with it; after all it was his new toy. But, this was a completely unrealistic situation to enforce and everyone could see that it did not and would not work. The other kids were too curious to stay away from Fadhili. The teachers decided it wise to allow the kids to play freely. Fadhili did not mind in the least sharing his new toy either as long as he was elected team captain.
Even though some kind of decorum was established, the teachers had to still be on high alert. As the saying goes, “boys will be boys”, so it did not take long for complaints of injuries and the like to start flocking in. It seemed the neighborhood children were also being affected by the overwhelming joy coming from the school playing field. It wasn’t long before the boys from the neighborhood were also running for the ball along with kids from the school. Everyone wanted to get involved, everyone except the neighborhood girls who stood by watching in awe from a distance.
Faster than you could say “hello”, the school playing field became too small for the game at play. The teachers and people watching believed that this was one of the reasons why there were so many injuries amongst the kids. But, other than a scratch here and there, no major injuries were reported. This was quite possibly the best day at school the children ever had! The boys will certainly attest to that.
As for little Fadhili, he proudly left the school compound that day with his new football and a guardian for security. In tow were his friends, some old and some new, but all tending to follow him around town with his new toy. Who knew that something as inconsequential as a football – one of the most undervalued toys of this modern day could bring such joy to a small community, and turn a little boy into a Star. Fadhili will remember this day for a very long time coming.