Taxi Fleet CBSM is happy to announce that we have been working along side two local youth groups to create our very own 'Taxi Fleet'!

After four years of teaching best business practices, a pilot project has begun with a vocational training program. Youth from the CBSM community will take part n a nine-month vocational and leadership program and upon graduation they will own their own personal bicycle taxis.

The program will teach these youths bicycle maintenance, repair and will include a one week apprenticeship at a local Kimilili repair shop.
Our main aim in building up a CBSM Taxi Fleet is to provide male youths with a new prospective on how they can achieve self-sufficiency through collaborative effort. The vocational and leadership training program will provide them with the knowledge they need to run a successful bicycle taxi business.

Everyone is very excited and many ideas, suggestions and support has been generated! Please continue to check our blog to receive more information and updates about our exciting new project!
by Phylis (Mrs. Wasike)

Much has happened over the last weeks. So much so, that we have not had time to sit down and write you all about the various developments. Firstly, we would like to introduce you to  Zaida Emali Namukhosi.

Zaida has kindly committed herself to work at the CBSM offices in Kimilili to improve our financial infrastructures and do our accounting for our various women co-ops and youth groups, as well as the running of our school. Admittedly, our finical accounting has not been functioning the way it should be and therefore we are very excited about having Zaida on-board. It was a long journey to find someone with her qualifications and strong commitment for social change.

We started by doing a campaign in Nairobi in various churches looking for a volunteer accountant. About six applicants offered themselves but their conditions and terms of contract requested were unattainable as per current situation in CBSM does not able us to offer a fixed salary. Unknowingly, in my church, there was an accountant well-trained and certified by government of Kenya, but not currently employed. This person was Zaida Emali Namukhosi. 

Over a two-week period, we had several meetings with the couple, whose husband works in Nairobi. I am happy mention the people who helped us in these meetings:
  • Palm Security Services Director, who is a leader in our church too
  • CBSM board members
  • Samuel Namihinda- businessman in Kimilili
At the conclusion of these meetings, Zaida agreed to come to Kimilili with her children and work for us for one year. The CBSM community will provide her with room and board, a two-acre piece of land for her household garden, ability for her children to attend our school. Palm Security Services will provide building material and the CBSM community member the labour for building proper office facilities for Zaida to carryout her work.

by Phylis (Mrs. Wasike)

This to confirm that all the toilets for both teachers and pupils (girls/boys) are now full in use! This means the problems that previousely existed with the school always being in collusion with the government agencies is now over.

Thank you all that got involved. Thank you once more for helping us to provide our children with a more healthy and hygenic place to learn in. A total of twelve permanent toilets were erecated and built:
  • 5 for the girls
  • 5 for the boys
  • 2 for the teachers (1-female and 1- male)
We have now complided with the government requirements.

Vicky, Alex, Agness and Lia,

Thank you in the roles you played in helping CBSM be where it is now.
God bless you all,

During the CBSM board of management December meeting, it was resolve that we must establish an office for CBSM in Kimilili town, as well as open up an account in Kimilili in the only KCB bank. As well, it was decided that if all goes well these two items are to be implemented between January and February 2011.

The lack of a functioning office has greatly inconvenienced the public, local government agencies in the past. The CBSM board members did not have a central meeting place to contact and make official transactions or for coordinating and facilitating the project activities. The board sited that it is also the lack of central office in Kimilili, which makes it difficult for normal running of its affairs.

We are striving to get the reporting of the CBSM Education Center and the various women co-ops flowing properly. Without a central place to meet, this has make it difficult for reports to be archived and for loan. Therefore, we have started with our preparations.

First, we have started gathering office equipments. Here is a list of the present status of this endeavour:
Palm Security has generously donated an office table and two chairs. We are making arrangements to transport them to Kimilili at the next opportunity.
  • The board decided that the two computers Agnes and Alex are currently using in Kimilili shall remain office computers for official use in the CBSM office.
Should we get an office then our current volunteer Matrine will use part of it for her and her child’s accommodations, as she continues to volunteer as a teacher for CBSM. 
  • Kibabii Engineering network has donated one telephone head for landline for CBSM office.
Rev. Wasike has handed over the modem for an internet connection in the office . This is the modem that was purchased and used by Vicky during her stay in Kimilili last fall, which she gave to Rev. Wasike upon her departure. This modem is currently being used by Agnes and Alex.

  • Phylis has been mandated to take inventory of available office tools/equipment and other requirements. The office must be connected to electricity.

The office set to start by early February 2011.

It will be the official contact point/place for the public, CBSM families and government agencies who have recently developed alot of interest in whatever we are doing. Hence there have been numerous visits at the school prompting interruptions of normal learning process.

No office staff shall be employed for the moment. We shall have to depend on volunteers. My wife, Phylis is relocating to Kimilili soon with our children and she will be a full time person in the office among others.

Rev Wasike

by Lia

We have some exciting news; two new volunteers from Switzerland are coming  to Kimilili in January. Agnes and Alexandra (Alex) both work in the same consulting company in Zurich. Recently, Agnes was talking to Alex about her dream of going somewhere far away for a while and how she had approached Rev. Wasike about realising this dream. Without a pause in their discussion, Alex asked Agnes whether she could come along as well. 

Agnes and Alex are taking their well-earned vacation time and going to work with the children and adults of CBSM, which we are sure will be a great learning experience for them, as well as those in Kimilili. The board of CBSM are in the process of planning workshops and various other events which the two new volunteers can hold or be a part of during their stay.

The CBSM community are excited by this prospect. There is work to be done both in the school, as well as with the women’s co-ops and youth groups, whose seeds Vicki sowed this last fall during her visit.

Agnes is going to hold a business-training workshop with several of the women co-ops and youth groups. The workshop participants will learn about and build free emission silos (necessary links). Agnes will also be working closely with the women co-ops teaching them about the necessary of M&E (monitoring and evaluation) of their on-going projects.

Alex, who studied art, will be taking off where Vicki left off working with the teachers and children of the CBSM Education Center. She is going to help train the teachers on various methods for teaching art. She will teach the children about collages and hold our first art contest. We plan to publish or print the winning selection as notebooks or postcards.

The two women are in the throws of preparation and are very much looking forward to their time in Kimilili. 

by Vicki

On the morning of the 31st October, 18 members of a little known community in the Northwest of Ireland, woke to the beautiful sight of a clear, dry brisk October morning. 

This was the start of a very good day indeed, a day these 18 people were going to walk some 10km to raise much needed money for a charity they had not heard of before until a member of their community, Vicki became a volunteer with in September of this year.
It was through the images and stories that Vicki sent home on a daily basis that this small openhearted community known as Enniscrone/Kilglass too became involved in the lives of CBSM.  Although some 7,500 kms away from their reality, they could see and feel the need of these women and children.  So, when asked by Vicki to help fundraise, there was no hesitation just willingness to do what they could to help.
At noon on the 31st October, all 18 people met at the starting point - the little village of Easkey to commence the sponsored walk back to Enniscrone.  Through laughter and high spirits they blissfully made their way, knowing that no matter how little or large the sum raised it would all go directly to a very worthy cause. 
At every passing car they rattled their collection buckets, smiled wholeheartedly and carried on their way.  Some 2.5 hrs later some walked, others were dragged but eventually they all passed the finished line.  It had been a wonderful day, the sun, smiles and laughter and the images imprinted in their minds of the beaming faces of the CBSM children made the 10km journey effortless.  

It was a day where one small community in the far corners of Northwest Ireland reached out the hand of friendship to a small community in the far corner of Western Kenya.  A friendship that over time will grow into one of respect and loyalty and a true understanding of the meaning of giving and receiving.

P.S. Rev. Wasike would like to extend great thanks to all the wonderful people in Enniscrone/Kilglass, Ireland for their unquestionably grand efforts to help the children and women of CBSM. The land purchase is now secure! We will also be able to purchase a soil block press to help construct more classrooms, install dry toilet latrines, and hopefully also a school kitchen.
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."
by Lia and Rev. Wasike

Well, we did it! We managed to reach our goal of raising 1,800 USD towards the purchase of land for the school. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped organise fund raising activities over the last six months and to the kind people who donated funds.

The majority of the money was raised over online efforts on our website and on the betterplace.org website. Yet, local fundraising in Kimilili, Kenya and Luebeck, Germany also played an important role in raising the final sum needed to purchase the land and pay for the legal fees.

Rev. Wasike called the landowner today and gave him the news. They hope to complete the sale of the land before the end of the month.

Numerous members of CBSM partook in a month long effort to speak to their community at large, often going door-to-door, asking for contributions. Some people kindly gifted food goods.
a kind donation of maize for the auction
Whereas, others attended a fund raising event where the goods were auctioned.

Wilfred, board member, talking to the CBSM members
Besides the auction, the children entertained the guests with song, theater and dance.
CBSM children's choir
Last Sunday, Lia held a Tea Party For CBSM Kimilili in her hometown of Luebeck, Germany.
Guests at the tea party fund raiser
Friends and acquaintances baked up a storm of fancy cakes and various small-scale businesses provided gifts for the raffle.
The organisation team were given the use of one of Luebeck’s nicest restaurants for the occasion.

A few of the children attending the event kindly painted baseball caps for the children on CBSM Education Center. We will be sending the children the caps soon!
The children in Germany  painting baseball caps for the children in Kimilili
by Rev. Wasike

We are in high gear preparing for our CBSM Kimilili Bake Sale and Raffle. This fund raising event is to take place tomorrow at the CBSM Education Center. Margret’s women co-op is doing the baking, the other women co-ops have been mobilising the local community to turn up in large numbers. We have involved local government representatives, women groups, and guardians of the children, friends and neighbours.

We are praying the sun will shine and many people will come and participate and make the event successful.
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.