Community Breakthrough Support Mission is excited to announce Margaret Biketi as the new Project Manager within our Woman and Youth Empowerment Program!  Margaret has been with CBSM since 2008 as Head Mistress in our school and will now be taking on an exciting new role in our Empowerment Program.

“When I started at CBSM we only had 30 children and a lot of hope to impact the lives of the hundreds of needy children in the area,” explains Margaret.  Since then CBSM is proud to support and teach more than 350 students at our school.  “Because of the great success of our school project I hope that our Woman and Youth Empowerment Program will grow to help the lives of others within the community just like our school has.”  

Margaret has been working closely with Zaida our accountant and leader of our Woman’s Table Banking Group to communicate with the woman involved in these projects to understand their needs, ideas and short and long term goals.  

CBSM has 10 active groups of woman in our table banking program that meet weekly and pool together funds that a member or members may borrow for a fixed amount of time with interest to invest as each group sees fit.  Some women use this money for short term projects and/or to invest in various tools/materials etc. to boost their personal businesses.  Businesses vary from agriculture, selling second hand clothing and farm products, brick making, shops and a food hotel.  

These businesses have been a lifeline for many woman and their families as it is their primary and sometimes only source of income. Margaret will be working closely with the table banking groups to provide materials, education and other tools to help them expand and improve their businesses.  

Margaret is excited to dive into her new role, “I am really looking forward to helping the groups and understand how to improve our programs for them so they can experience success.” 

CBSM is so thankful for Margaret’s determination, passion and positive energy and believes that she is the perfect person to lead our program to long term sustainable success!

Please check back for updates of the woman involved in these programs and how you can support them!

The last few weeks now have brought about great changes to CBSM. We were able to buy some further lots of land and begin building the foundations for our new CBSM Education Center.

These great strides forward towards building permanent facilities have occurred through the amazing efforts of volunteers from far away and near to home.

The project management and funding is realised through our partnership with CBSM-Kimilili in Switzerland.

We tip our hats to all of you who have offered your emotional, financial, and practical assistance. It is inspiring for all of us to witness your dedication in supporting us in our endeavours in creating a safe and rich learning environment for our children.

We also have to, of course, mention all the members of the CBSM community who have given us so much of their time, skills, resourcefulness, strong backs, and their unending willingness to help where ever help is needed. We are truly grateful.
by Lia

As many of you know, we are trying to raise funds to build a learning landscape, as designed by Project H Design. When Vicki came to volunteer at CBSM Education Center, she arrived with various learning games for the children to play.
Vicki and Rev. Wasike and his wife, Phyllis bought 25 buckets to make up a temporary playground (see post below). Upon arrival, Vicki worked with the teachers to set up various games.

Vicki's report of the success of these games is as follows,

"I am attaching for you some photos taken today of the children while learning/playing with the use of the buckets.  They have gone down a treat and the children think its amazing.  Yesterday and today we concentrated on english spelling and maths.  It was wondering to see for the maths that as soon as an equation was called out to a group they all hit the ground and started working out the answer in the soil! Apparently all they were asking today when in class was "will we get to play the bucket games today", the great thing about it is that you can involve all age groups so the younger ones watch and listen and hopefully learn as the games are carried out."

If you want to see for yourself, here is a slideshow I made up of the project so far,
This is what Rev. Wasike reported,

"I was wondering how the local children would cope up with it this new method of learning. After hearing various accounts from the teachers and Vicki, they confirm a local saying which states that a child's brain is a blank space and anything that can be supplied in occupies the memory for now to the future.

Thank you, Vicki for initiating the games. I hope the teachers will also find them interesting and maintain and expand on them after you ahve left. They used to ask me so many questions about how they could teach using tires or buckets for all subjects apart from counting and now they know.

The games are so good that a teacher from government school passed by and saw what you were doing within the school and called me to ask about the games. I suggested he make an appointment with our headteacher  and visit the school to learn more from you or the school  teachers."
I would like to mention that we have a new volunteer, Vicki, in Kimilili. Vicki has arrived from Ireland and will be helping the teachers and the children at CBSM Education Center to set up an improvised learning landscape: using buckets instead of truck tires.
Phyllis and Vicki at the wholesale store
Vicki printed out and laminated the learning games, which are now part of a learning network website. She is going to carry out an evaluation of pre- and post- surveys with the children to see if the learning games promote motivation, communication, and teamwork.
Wanswa, Phyllis, and Vicki after purchasing the buckets

The reason we have chosen buckets in the interim is because we are still trying to raise funds to build a permanent terraced surface area for our playground. The school’s playground is often flooded in rainy season and very dusty in dry season. We are working with the people at Project H Design and the CBSM board of management to come up with a possible long-term solution.

We also have to raise funds for buying the old tires. In Kimilili, tires are used on trucks until there is no possibility of driving on them any more, and then they are used to make all sorts of other goods: from building material to soles of shoes.  Where tires are concerned there are no cast-offs!
by Lia

Our dedicated teachers and volunteers know the importance of teaching math and languages (Kiswahili and English) to the children. We are always looking for pedagogically sound and imaginative ways to do this (see video).
Therefore, we would like to build a Learning Landscape. This is a grid-based playground for elementary math education. The playground combines active movement and competition with mathematical exercises, providing an outdoor classroom framework for fun and engaged learning.

We need 360 USD in funding for building- and instructional materials.