News from Kisumu
- Travel report Kisumu
- St. Clare Children’s home
- Support to individuals
- Therapy project
- 10th anniversary
- Invited guests open house
- Primary school ‘t Stekske
- Third World shop
News from the board
- Looking back on 2017
Maria and Lisanne in Kisumu
In November Maria and Lisanne visited Kisumu. A short visit this time because of the coming elections. We had a good time again in spite of the days we could not leave the Guesthouse due to the unrest in the city. Our stay in Kisumu was very much influenced by all the demonstrations in the city which made it impossible to visit all the projects. We had to make the best of it during the time it was quiet and safe to go. First of all it was great to see ‘our people’ again there, both children and adults.
A few topics of these weeks
- Sister Lucy has discussed a few issues with us. We try to think along and make plans where possible. As part of the re-integration another 13 children will go and live at home or with relatives as from December.
- We were real pack mules again: we could hand out nice clothes and shoes for the children of St. Clare, football kits and boots for Urusi, therapy materials and toys. Also here and there mobile phones were replaced.
- Of course we brought back many beautiful cards, angels and cribs to replenish our stock of Kenyan materials.
- We also talked with the football club, visited a match (which was cancelled after a two-hour wait), had contact with George and Francis about their business, contact with almost all mothers of the therapy children about their development, planning and payments for the coming year, talks with Samoo about the development and special needs of all therapy children, talks with sister Marcella, head of the boarding school for multiple handicapped children where we will place six children as from January 2018, visits to two families of the re-integration projects at home etc.
- It may be clear: time flew! In spite of the travelling restrictions we had a good time. It was not bad that we had shortened our stay: Kisumu might turn into an unsafe city during the elections and this appeared only to be true. We hope it will be quiet again soon, the unrest causes a lot of problems in many respects.
St. Clare Children’s Home
At St Clare it was wonderful to see how especially the youngest children have grown in a year, both physically and with regard to their level of learning. We were at St. Clare the day they were set their last tests of the year. After a morning of tests there was room to play in the afternoon. One and a half year ago we presented them with a suitcase full of Lego. The children enjoyed it tremendously but needed a lot of practice to build something. The suitcase was still filled to the top so they have been very careful with the material. Moreover, the children built wonderful constructions: cars, houses, fantasy figures. Great to see and to play together with them.
Support to individuals
Two mothers have been given a micro credit. Two years ago a mother was already provided with a sewing machine but she did not have a comfortable place to work. We have given her a loan to buy a good table for sewing, which is important because she has more work. The other mother has been given a loan to start a small shop with food products. She already has a small shop in mind and wants to start as soon as possible. She has more room to generate an income now that her two handicapped children go to a boarding school via Amara. Both mothers are very happy with this step forward!
In an earlier newsletter we mentioned the cooperation with the Disciples of Mercy. Together with them we finance an occupational therapist who works at school in the mornings during the schoolyear and in the afternoons and during the holidays in the hospital and the therapy department, where we pay the costs for several children. We have made our acquaintance with Felistas, the therapist. She is very happy with her job and talks enthusiastically about the children and the treatment. After an evaluation with all those involved we have decided to continue the cooperation. Samoo observes there is less relapse now when the children also get therapy during the schoolyear. A fine result!
Maria and Lisanne.
Next February 1 to 16: board members Evelien and Carmen will visit projects. For Evelien it has been 5 years since she was in Kisumu. They look forward to seeing everything in reality. They will keep you posted on Facebook.
On November 19th we celebrated Amara’s 10th anniversary with more than 100 friends. We think it was a success. It was a nice, relaxed, informative festive afternoon, including sports! We have received many positive reactions.
We especially want to thank JBC Plop, thank you for all your help and hospitality! Djembezig from Uden, thank you for the music. Hutten catering, thank you for all the snacks, Maria Vermeer for the drinks, and Tineke , Maria van Bergen, Rien and Irene: thank you for all your help that afternoon! Friends, sponsors: thank you for all your kind words, the envelopes, everything you have bought and all your good wishes for the future! We will carry on full of enthusiasm and hope to see you again in 2½ years!
Invited guests open house
Tineke is a volunteer who spent 6 weeks in Kenya with Maria a few years ago. Since that time she has done her best to sell Amara articles. On December 11 she will have an open house and hopes to receive many invited guests. Maria will tell about the Amara projects, there is coffee and articles from Kisumu are for sale
Christmas charity ‘t Stekske
Primary school ‘t Stekske supports a charity during Christmas time. On December 15 Carmen and Evelien will be at the school to tell all classes about Amara Foundation. As from December 11 there will be a stall in the school where Amara articles can be bought. On December 21 Carmen and Wiljan will be present at a Christmas dinner.
Third World shop.
Third World shop Berlicum and St. Michielsgestel now also sell Amara Christmas cards and a few other articles apart from their regular collection.
Sale of products
See our website for all products.
Looking back on 2017
The year started positively for Amara Foundation: since January 1st 2017 we have been recognized as CBF certified charity. We, the board, are proud of it. It means that we comply with strict quality requirements which are monitored by CBF. In this way you can be sure that we contribute to a better world, spend each euro carefully and are accountable. If you want to know more about this: check geefgerust.nl
A worrying aspect this year was the unrest caused by the elections. For our people in Kenya life was not easy. For the mothers it was sometimes hard to bring their handicapped children to therapy due to limited and unsafe public transport. Business for mothers with a small loan was low. The costs of living have risen enormously. For a few weeks there was a lot of unrest in the city and it was not safe. We hope everything will settle down soon.
In spite of everything we have been in contact with all projects in Kisumu. We are proud of the staff of all these projects: they work very hard and every time we are in Kisumu we see how everything develops in the good direction:
- a child that has shown so much progress at therapy that it can now go to school;
- another 13 children from St. Clare that can return to family or relatives;
- this year 5 football teams have played competition;
- in spite of the bad economy some loans could be paid back;
- beaming faces when the good school results of the children are announced.
During a visit I often think: if only I could show this ‘live’ to our sponsors. You would enjoy it!
What we have missed this year is realising a ‘big’ project. This is something we want to focus on in the coming year. Our great wish is to renovate the dormitory and sanitary rooms of St. Francis Primary School, which is of course also a great wish of sister Linet, who runs this big school. It is the school which we have already equipped with a computer room and a library. If you know a company, an organisation, a financial institution which want to support a charity please let us know. We also want to involve the ‘Wilde Ganzen’ Foundation which ‘doubles’ the donations. But it all starts with finding a few big sponsors as the project will cost around € 40,000! With enough hands this can be realised….can’t it?
Thank you on behalf of the board and all the people in Kisumu!
Finally we all wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Carmen van Bergen