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

Dear All,

The year 2010 is coming to a conclusion; the CBSM family in Kimilili is taking stock of its achievements and making comparisons to the same seasons in previous years. From all our hearts, we have a lot to thank you and God for the year 2010!

There is growth and stability of the projects than there was at the same time previous year. And there is hope. Together we have laid a foundation that shall benefit generations beyond our life span. Thank you for being part of this foundation.

CBSM board members, the women groups, teachers, and the confessions of children have moved from desperate talk to confidence. Thank you for being source of hope for the hopeless.

Thank you all for the school land. The generous donations we received from all over the world was inspiring for those CBSM members living in a rural area where they often feel isolated and left alone with their worries. There is now a solid home for the school, and the end to paying rents and a good step towards making the school more self-sustainable.

Thank you for women groups vocational training programs that has enabled them to do business with confidence against all the odds. They have learnt to overcome the challenges posed previously by lack of capital, information and face the cultural prohibitions that required women to be child bearing alone.

CBSM has functional structures in place for better service delivery to the community and this has been possible by sharing information, ideas, etc. Thank you very much.

Evaluation of overall our CBSM achievements include amongst other things the following:
  • Building a strong board of managers in Kimilili to take over the day-to-day running of the school and business supervision and community matters
  • Proposal writing by the UN online volunteer groups
  • Producing new learning manuals for our women co-ops and youth group vocational gardening training program
  • The start-up of three new small-scale businesses concentrating on bulk seed storage and distribution and running a bakery
  • Holding the first CBSM Kimilili Football Tournament
  • Holding four successful fund raising events in Kimilili, Nairobi, Ireland, and Germany
  • Raising sufficient funds for the purchase of school land and lease of a further plot of land for sports and school gardens
  • Receiving the volunteer assistance of Sebastian (Germany) and Vicki (Ireland) in our Kimilili community towards building stronger international ties and for cultural exchange
All of these events could only have happened through the rigorous engagement of the local team, as well as our international members. It would not have been possible without your participation.
Your monetary donations, information, ideas, willingness to be part of the team, sharing the life and work of the CBSM members with others has contributed greatly towards these achievements. We thank everybody for the role they played. It is the source of energy for our growth.

Thank you, Lia, for providing overall leadership to CBSM without which it would have been very difficult for the momentum to be sustained throughout the year. Thank you all for your teamwork, for sparing time for CBSM. Thank you and may God remember to bless you all.

Kindly, the CBSM family in Kenya wish every one a prosperous and successful New Year and continued teamwork together for the year 2011!


on behalf of the CBSM women’s groups, children and board of management
please forward to as many as all that know CBSM

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 Rev. Wasike

In Kenya we are told that a big percentage of human body consists of water. Hence water is an ingredient that life is made of, without which life is impractical. An initiative for clean water is a noble thinking if not task, and every life that wishes to live with potentiality needs clean and safe water to do so. God made all beings in a manner that interrelates a circle of benefits from everything that we have and to everything that we give onto others during our lives. In terms of water see the following:

  • We can support the UN by planting trees around us, hence we shall benefit from the sustainable rain circles which in turn makes water available for consumption.

  • We also need to stop deforestation and promote forestation.

  • We need to recycle water to avoid water wastage, in this manner it would be possible to save water for others to use.

  • Safeguard rivers and lakes in the areas especially its source. Poor management of rivers and lakes can easily turn to dry lakes or rivers hence lack of water.

  • Keeping environment clean is also essential tool in helping the UN to make it available safe and clean water for millions, clean environment does not pollute.

Improved modern ways of water harvesting, that we need to adopt modern ways of harvesting and storing water to avoid contamination.

Proper water treatment, for example boiling and cooling water before drinking, or modern treatment using water guard, chlorine etc.

  • Proper sewerage management reduces or eliminates water contamination hence clean and safe water.

Developing or construction of toilets, like in Kenya most parts toilets are not there and or most families cannot afford to make toilets. Many help themselves in the bush, and up country the society depend on spring water or bore holes during rainy season. Bodily remains can easily find its way into the bore hole or water springs  this can bring about contamination.

Water is life. Not only the UN but all of us need to participate at individual and family levels, at government levels and all levels of community. We all need to join hands and make it a routine way of living-by-doing, if we do so, we will help the UN to bring safe and clean water to millions.

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 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 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 Lia

Funds were raised during the Tea Party For CBSM Kimilili in Germany to make an improvised learning landscape playground of plastic buckets.

Our volunteer, Vicki from Ireland, who has just arrived in Kenya to work with the teachers and students, will be teaching everyone language, art, and math games which that are played on the playground.

We have been offered much assitance from Emily at Project H Design. In particular, they have set up a learning network that outlines a whole series of learning games for teachers wanting to teach outdoor lessons.