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.
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.
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!