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.
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.
Plot of land CBSM is trying to buy. The temporary school facilities is in background. The success of our work often relies on creating a circle of help and participation. We are very fortunate to have a lively community of people in Kimilili, as well as in other places in Kenya and in other countries. We are all working our hardest to create a better life for the children and widows of Kimilili. At the moment, we are asking the betterplace.org members to join this circle.
The landowner has asked Rev. Wasike for a down payment of 1000 Euros by the beginning of September to assure that the children can start school again in their temporary facilities. This down payment will be 30% of the total cost of the land. If we do not raise this money by then, the CBSM school children will have to leave the land and start over again to find a place to learn.
The 380 Euros we are hoping to raise at betterplace.org represents 10% of the cost of the land we need to purchase. The Kimilili community members have made pledges to raise another 10% and have already raised half of this sum. The last 10% we are hoping to raise through a fund raising event in Germany this summer.
We believe this circle of help, where everyone carries a small load on their shoulders, is the best way to move forward.
We are very excited to inform you that various people have made donations of drip irrigation kits for families or small-scale garden co-ops in Kimilili. Dr. Thomas Winkler from Germany has generously donated the funds for a drip irrigation kit. Dr. Rikea Schoen from Germany held an open house for her veterinary practice and sold cake and coffee to all who came. The money earned on this day is also sufficient to buy a family drip irrigation kit.
Lia organised a Tea Party for Kimilili last weekend. Over fifty people came to enjoy the last of the sunny autumn weather. The donations given during this event will, hopefully, suffice to pay for the two planned workshops we are holding at the end of the month and three family drip irrigation kits.
The children and guardians of Community Breakthrough Support Mission had a very difficult time this past spring and summer due to food shortages. Now that it looks as though the drought conditions will persist into next year, the donations of drip irrigation kits will change the lives of the children from one threatened by hunger to a prosperous one.
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.
Here are a few isolated photos of the children wearing their new uniforms. These uniforms are being made for free from one of our sponsors, Palm Security Company. They promise to do uniforms for all the available children in the next weeks. If all goes well, the children will all have their uniforms when the new school term starts in May
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.
We all had wonderful moments during the end of school term ceremonies. I’ll post some photos soon and tell you more about the ceremonies. We were so happy that the ceremonies took place in the new compound of the school.
However, it was every busy day for me since I had to attend various meetings with different stake holders of our CBSM projects.
We had general meetings that involved the following:
1. Community –guardians, neighbours, etc. This meeting concerned the care and upkeep of the children and the school
2. Establishing a new fundraising committee. Fortunately, Mr. Edward Makona, Mr. Wanaswa , and Ms. Florence Ghety travelled with me from Nairobi to attend these meetings. They are our Nairobi elected members and we’ve voted in our Kimilili members during this meeting (more later)
3. A meeting with the community leaders
4. Board members
Top on Agenda besides celebrations was:
Members raised concern that the landlord had started selling the adjacent plots to the ¼ acre plot where our school now is. Hence locking us out to expand our current land size (to a needed ¾ acre) and reducing the playing ground of the children since the new buyer of the plot has already fenced his potion. The landlord was fortunately present at the meeting and defended his action by saying that he has not heard from the school board despite having approached them numerous times with offers to sell the land to the school.
We had hoped to rent the land for the next year or two, or until we could raise enough funds to purchase the land and build a new permanent school. It now appears as if we must act quickly and effectively to purchase the land (3/4 acre) or run the risk of losing our present facilities in the time ahead.
It was a very constructive and positive discussion. We all agreed that that the landlord should endeavour to moves the new land owner to another portion of land; to allow the children to play and to allow us time to raise the funds to purchase the land that we are on now, as well as enough land for expansion of the school to one meeting our needs.
This means expanding from our temporary facilities of a 5 classroom building to a permanent facility with 8 classrooms, 3 office (principal, teachers room, medical officer), and kitchen. Currently, the children have no playing field and a very small garden. We would like to offer them an area to play and a larger school garden. We estimate that the minimal amount of land that could contain these would be ¾ acre. That would cost 12,000 USD.
We must now pursue all avenues of fundraising to raise the needed capital. If you have any suggestions about what we can do, please write us (cbsmkenya (at) yahoo (dot) com). If you know how we could in the short term raise 10% of this sum to place as a deposit and thus insuring that the landlord will not sell the land, we’d be grateful. If you know of any organisation or company who would be willing to help finance this purchase we would be very glad to receive the information.
We have been blessed with news of some generous gifts and donations in the last few days from CBSM community members and people from far away. In this post I would like to give thanks to Jennifer, who has made a PayPal donation through the “Your Help” page of our website.
Jennifer’s donation will give Fadhili a real football. I cannot wait to see the smile on his face when he finds out about this gift. Jennifer also is buying Aminah's family a goat. Aminah lives with her siblings and her mother, who is raising her children on her own. A goat will raise the income of their family, enrich the children’s nutritional diet, and even help fertilise their garden. Jennifer’s third gift, will buy seeds for Kundu family’s one-acre garden. Kundu lives with his siblings and his widowed father. The garden nourishes his family and will be used for sale in the local market. The seed packages will include seeds for onions, tomatoes, kales and cabbages.