Newsletter December 2018

News from Kisumu

  • Travel report Lisanne and Maria
  • Government measure
  • Re-integration project Care
  • Claus and André with Urusi

Activities

  • Pecha Kucha
  • Amara party at Tineke’s.
  • Christmas stall budo club Mierlo
  • Christmas market Langenboom
  • Christmas stall jeu-de boules club Plop Uden

News from the board

  • Agenda
  • 2018 in retrospect

 

Lisanne and Maria in Kisumu October/November

Four weeks in Kisumu: on departure you think wow that’s long! But once you are there time flies. We look back on four wonderful weeks. Two topics I want to mention:

Visit of Claus and André. In this newsletter they will tell about their own experiences. We, Maria and me, have enjoyed these two enthusiastic men. Apart from their football technical support to Urusi (which was great) they have also given new input to Urusi and us as the board in the sense of: what can Urusi as a football club mean in a poor district like Manyatta? How can a football club like Urusi be part of this district? This is what we are going to work on in 2019.

For all 16 children in the therapy project Amara Foundation will buy a NHIF card (health insurance). We have discussed this extensively with occupational therapist Samoo and all the mothers. Amara Foundation pays many of the costs for all the children in the therapy project. We were confronted with the fact that the costs were doubled: € 6 a month for therapy became € 12. The NHIF card costs € 5 a month and compensates the therapy costs at € 60 a year including the whole family father, mother and all children. It is not what we are used to in the Netherlands but among other things being admitted to hospital, examination for malaria and medication for it and therapy costs are reimbursed. For operations 50%. The therapy mothers were very happy with our decision. We have received extra donations for 6 children as a result of our message on Facebook. Thanks!

 

If you want to read more about our experiences: we have put an update on Facebook several times a week or read our experiences on the site:  (www.amarafoundation.org) under the heading News / travel reports.

We had a great time! Maria and Lisanne.

 

Government measure Kenya

In the middle of 2018 the government decided that all children that live in a children’s home must go the relatives during school holidays. They presume that all children, even if their parents have died, have relatives like grandparents or uncles/aunts. Children have a right to spend their holidays with relatives who are now obliged to look after the children of family members who have died or are unable to look after them during holidays. Children’s homes are obliged to find a place for the children. Sister Lucy already had a very active policy with regard to re-integration but now all children will have to leave during holidays. Since the summer she has been approaching relatives, also for children who have not had any contact with relatives so far. The holidays started on October 26 and a week later all children had been picked up by relatives. During that week the children were playing or sitting near the gate so they could see visitors arriving. It was very exciting for children who had not seen relatives for a long time. But all children left happy, full of expectations what the holidays would be like. Sister Lucy talked extensively with all relatives explaining that the children were used to having three meals a day, with special care for the young children. On January 2nd or 3rd the children are expected back at St. Clare. We are curious to know about their experiences. Sister Lucy will certainly tell us all about it.

 

Pecha Kucha

On Wednesday November 14th board member Evelien Hommes gave a presentation in the Dommeldal library in Mierlo.

Together with 8 other speakers she could tell about her passion in the form of a Pecha Kucha. Of course for Evelien this was Amara Foundation. With the title ‘a warm home for every child’ she mentioned each project, especially the way children were given a new home with family or relatives from St. Clare Children’s Home. It was a special night with many beautiful and heart-warming reactions. Amara Foundation is now better known in Mierlo.

 

Re-integration, Care project

At the end of the schoolyear (October 26, 2018) St. Clare said goodbye to 9 children: they are going to live with parents or relatives. Sister Lucy has talked with the family /relatives about the place where the children will attend school. For most children it will mean boarding school because, unfortunately, the quality of primary schools in remote villages is not very good. Nevertheless the children will feel at home with family/relatives because a boarding school is rather ‘normal’ in Kenya. In spite of this some children shed a few tears during the goodbye ceremony at St. Clare.

After extensive discussion with Sister Lucy the board of Amara Foundation has decided that as from January 1st 2019 the support/financial compensation for re-integration will be increased and support / financial compensation for St. Clare will be decreased. The number of children actually living at St. Clare is lower while the number of children living with family / relatives for whom St. Clare is paying the school fees is growing. The number of children now placed with family/ relatives is now over 50. The money Sister Lucy now receives from Amara (fortunately also from other sponsors) for re-integration is mostly used for school fees. Incidentally ‘foster parents ‘are supported if they want to start or extend a business or have to build or adapt a house. For 2019 Amara has estimated € 9,200 for re-integration.

As Sister Lucy will keep paying the school fees there will also be contact between the various families and St. Clare. Families call on St. Clare or a social worker if there are special circumstances. Board members always try to visit one or more families.

We wish all children a good new start in their new homes.

 

Uden World Wide

On November 24th  we were informed that we had received a wonderful donation from Uden World Wide Foundation on behalf of our therapy project. It made us very happy!

 

Budo ‘De Hechte Band’

Budo club ‘De Hechte Band’ in Mierlo allowed Amara Foundation to sell their Kenyan products in their sports hall. On Friday afternoon December 7th and Saturday morning 8th board member Evelien was present (her daughter is in the picture). There was a good sale and interesting conversations. Budo club and especially Peter and Lianne: thanks!

 

Christmas market ‘Eigen Kweek’ Langenboom. 

Also this year ‘Eigen Kweek’ Foundation organised a Christmas market near the ‘Kuulen’ in Langenboom. Carmen and her mother sold Kenyan products from their stall on Saturday afternoon. It was entertaining and they sold a lot!

 

Amara party at Tineke’s

Saturday December 1st Tineke organised an open house for a Kenyan party. Board member Maria brought all her Kenyan products with her which she presented together with Tineke, creating a Kenyan atmosphere in the room. It was a nice day with lots of people visiting and wonderful proceeds.  Tineke, visitors and contributors: thanks!

 

Sale at Plop Uden

A last minute sale at jeu-de-boules club Plop, organised by Maria. She could present and sell her Kenyan products there. Super!

 

Claus and André at Urusi

Impressive experience and work to be done!

On November 4th we left loaded with football boots, shirts, balls and small goals, sponsored by Decathlon with special thanks to Olger Smit. The customs officers turned a blind eye so we could make many people happy! We were on our way to far and unknown Kisumu, all organised by Amara Foundation, great! On arrival in Kisumu some 30 taxis were waiting but behind them a very tall Austin Power called Hey Andrew and Claus I am the Milkman! Your taxidriver. After a few hugs he brought us to our accommodation with his pick-up truck where Maria and Lisanne were also staying. Right away we noticed the open culture, both at the airports of Nairobi and Kisumu and our first meeting with Austin. The same day we met the board of Urusi who showed us around in their district Manyatta. Impressive!

On Tuesday we started training 15 trainers/coaches. Theory from 9 to 10.30, then to the pitch where we trained based on the theory with the trainers as players. In this way they could experience what they could use in their own youth teams. Lunch between 12 and 2pm, which we brought back to 1pm the next day because otherwise these guys practically fell over. In the afternoon the youth players came 010 (under 10), 012, 014, 016 and 018. We saw right away that they were technically good but lacked understanding, direction and purpose. When you are there you might as well spot talents among players and trainers. André and Claus:” Boy, look at those talents running around in their bare feet in the sand. If they develop they could be real talents”. It is not just football of course, it is also organisation. We saw that the trainers picked up the instruction quickly and used it in their own trainings, which was very satisfying. The football game itself is no problem, it is a matter of structure. In that respect Urusi is only just starting, and before we left we discussed this with the board and the trainers and have given them various options how to invest in their own youth players and trainers, based on a vision. What do they want with the club, what they are and how to organise that, based on their own inner convictions. We are not going to tell them what to do: it must be based on their own culture and values. We can also learn something from Kenya in the Netherlands.

After 7 intensive days Amara had organised a farewell party. Quite nice! There was a prayer by Irene, the only female candidate, and for each trainer we had a certificate, a shirt and an instruction booklet for trainings and matches. We could not have chips because of a power failure, but that is also Kisumu, so quite relaxed actually.

Apart from the course we also discovered Kisumu by joining visits to other Amara projects and through Irene (social worker in the prison) we could also visit prisons with male or female prisoners. It is hard to describe but what remains is the open culture. For the rest we went to markets, the Kisumu stadium, had something to eat in various places with local contacts. On the advice of Lisanne and Maria we went to Masai Mara to spot the big five. We would not have wanted to miss that!

It has been a few weeks already, it was a time with beautiful memories and a feeling of satisfaction. Yet we say:  “This is not the end. They aren’t rid of us and we will not let go”. If you want to do it really well you have to go there twice a year to monitor and train if necessary. We will keep contact with the club and the trainers for questions and advice. Most of them speak English, our contact Ayub even fluently, which is a big plus of the foundation. But again: they aren’t rid of us yet.

We want to thank Amara Foundation, Urusi football club, Decathlon and all the other support we got for trusting us and the wonderful cooperation. We look back on and forward to a beautiful project in far Kenya.

With sportive regards, André and Claus

 

Agenda

North Cape Challenge: on December 7th the team Flying Dutzmen left for the North Cape. Among other charities they drive for Amara Foundation and can be traced on Noordkaapchallenge.com. They will regularly post messages on Facebook. In our next newsletter we will write about their experiences. Roland, Jan and Dennis: good luck!

 

Sale of Kenyan products

The Third World Shop in St. Michielsgestel sells our cards all year long. As from December 10th Evelien will organise a table with Kenyan articles at her school, Heerbeeck College Best.

Primary school  ‘t Stekske: Carmen will organise a stall near Unit 1, after the start of the Christmas musical by group 7 at the entrance. On December 20th Carmen will be present there.

You can also order cards, cribs, Christmas angels, trinkets directly from board members or through our web shop.

 

Board member Carmen is princess: Carmen and ‘her’ Wiljan will be the prince couple of CV “de Verkuskoppe” in Langenboom. Saturday next, December 15th from 19.11 there will be a prince reception and more activities have been planned around this couple. Amara Foundation will be mentioned regularly.

 

Charity of Nappy’s

Amara Foundation is the 2018 charity of Nappy’s. At this moment the children in the therapy project wear disposable nappies which causes a lot of waste material. Apart from that the nappies are quite expensive and can hardly be paid for. The past year Nappy’s has saved for washable nappies and related articles for the children. We are curious to know how much has been saved. We will tell you more in our next newsletter.

 

2018 in retrospect

The board started 2018 in a special way: we visited projects in Kisumu with four board members. We wanted to do this in our anniversary year 2017 but due to unrest around the elections we decided to go in spring 2018. For Maria, Carmen, Evelien and me it was a special experience. Together or in couples we went on our way and shared our experiences in the evening. At the end we had a party with soft drinks and crisps to celebrate our 10th anniversary. What was also special: people of the various projects now met for the first time. In a nice ambience people from the four projects thanked the board and the contributors in their speeches for all he heart-warming support. It really touched us and we are proud of what we have been able to do together with you.

Developments in all projects are all very successful, in the first place thanks to the efforts of all those involved in the projects. Every year there are new developments, plans are adjusted, improved. In our view it is working TOGETHER…!  Modern means of communication definitely contribute: there is direct contact, we can react immediately, both with regard to long- and short term help. This was the case with one of the children of “the Amara family” who was admitted to hospital with serious burns. The board decided to help and also contributors decided to chip in. The parents involved but also we think this is great, showing enormous involvement.

 

Also in 2018 we have been given an official CBF statement. An independent review indicates that we are on the right track. Our documents are in order, we are transparent and spend the donations as promised. For you as contributors this must be reassuring.

 

Of course, at the end of the year we want to thank everyone for supporting Amara Foundation.

Donations, great or small, monthly or annually, giving things to sell at jumble sales, free printing, the volunteers who do part of the accounts, free audit certificate, all helpers at jumble sales, everyone who buys our African articles (Third World Shop Berlicum / St. Michielsgestel among others), schools that do their best for us, contributors that make or bring things for the projects in Kisumu. All these people around us enable us to give support in Kisumu. We hope you will support us again in 2019. We especially remember the contributors that died this year: Mia de Smit, Harrie van de Rijt, Maria van Bergen and Mario Plantinga.

On behalf of all the people in Kisumu: thank you!

Carmen, Evelien, Maria, Lisanne and Martine wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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