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!
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!
written by Lia Hadley
I'd like to post a profile of one of the women in CBSM whose hard work and active participation has done much to build a strong community over the last years. Janerose Kuya epitimises how the empowerment of women does not stay with the one, but its goodness spreads to many.
Janerose Kuya is the business leader in one of our Village Phone Salons (VPS) situated in Baraki Area at the Kuywa Junction about 20 kilometres away from Kimilili, Kenya. She and her husband are the main caretakers of their nine children and four grandchildren. They have four acres of land; half of which they plant with maize and beans for livestock fodder and to sell in the market five kilometers away. The other two acres they use as a homestead and kitchen garden. They also keep cows, sheep, and a few goats.
Janerose started in June 2009 the self-help women’s co-op to improve women’s incomes. They opened up their VPS with the help of a private micro-loan (150 USD). In the first six months, they experienced many challenges and successes as local Village Phone Operators (VPOs). The initial challenges resulted from the nation-wide drought, since people
did not use phone services when they needed to use what money they had to pay for food. It was also difficult for the VPS to establish regular customers due to strong competition.
Yet there have also been many successes. Janerose’s co-op was able to pay off their micro-loan early. They received enough income from the VPS that all of the co-op members’ families were given sufficient supplies of milk during the famine months. Since the harvest late last August, there has been a steady increase in the number of regular
customers and, as a result, an increase in income for the co-op members.
Janerose has become a role model of a successful businesswoman within the community. She is now a group leader in a women’s gardening co-op. She has not only discovered new friends through this venture, but she has also achieved a new standing within the
circle of community elders.
If you want to read more about Janerose and her women's co-op please download this pdf.
By Rev. Wasike
Our garden project started as many project here start, by taking small steps with big hearts and strong wills. Since the plot of land that our temporary school stands on is too small, the planting was done in various places in the area; depending on the free portion of land donated for this season by the Kimilili community.
We managed to plant cassava plant, maize, cow peace, and kale (sukuma wiki). We are hoping to raise some funds so that we can purchase some land adjoining the school, as well as a plot of land 15 minutes walk away that is bordering on the river.
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.
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.
I haven't written in our blog for a while because we are so busy setting up various school and community projects. We are truly doing a juggling act at the moment.
Our school projects include setting up some more song and poetry projects for the young children's group, learning about various professions and trades for the middle children's group, and a short film project for the older children's group. We have completed the project outlines and now we are working on defining the various tasks and persons to carry out the tasks in each group.
We have also started on a new HIV/Aids youth program. We would like to create a project that goes beyond just information and counseling of our youths. We would like the youths to become active in various drama or storytelling projects as well.
I have made initial contact with persons concerning a clear water and catchment project for the community. As is often the case in the area we live, clean water is a scarcity and we have to try and find a solution to this problem. Our children's health and the health of the community suffer because they lack clean water.
We are proud to announce that we have set up a website for school classes from around the world to share with others their creativity and connection. The site is called Our Song Circle - Wimbo Mviringo. We feel very privileged to participate with you in this exchange of peace and fellowship.
Please spend some time looking through the school projects presented here. Our children would be delighted if you would consider joining Our Song Circle and making projects of your own. School classes of every age group are welcome.