Newsletter December 2019

News from Kisumu

  • Maaike and Lisanne in Kisumu
  • Funeral therapy child Joyce

Activities

  • Pub quiz ’t Spitje in Mierlo
  • Music in the church
  • Confirmants Langenboom
  • Jumble sale Schijndel
  • Uden World Wide
  • Open house Tineke
  • Sale at Plop
  • Empty bottle action
  • Bookfair Vincentius Society ‘s Hertogenbosch

News from the board

  • Agenda
  • Donations, a warm heart for Amara
  • 2019 in retrospective

 


News from Kisumu

Maaike and Lisanne in Kisumu

Four weeks Kisumu with Maaike as fellow traveller was a special experience for me, Lisanne. It was an enjoyable and interesting time. Interesting to have a laugh with someone who looks at the ‘strange’ things we meet with fresh eyes, to discuss the why of our help, the differences in culture, the place of Amara, the situation of our “Amara” family etc. Also the last week with her parents: great! 

Here I want to thank Maaike for her efforts for Amara, also all the sponsors she has mobilised. Thank you! 

 

Travel report Maaike

Finally, it was October so I could spend a month to get to know the famous Kisumu together with Lisanne. As long as I can remember I have always been curious about Africa and the good work that foundations like Amara do here. During my impressive Kisumu experience I got to know the real pure Kenya and could also take an exclusive look inside the Amara projects. 

One of them was St. Clare Children’s Home. Not only for the children but also for me each visit was a treat. It was great to get to know these children and I had a lot of fun with them. Of course we did not come to just have a good time there; we also discussed the complete daily routine together with sister Lucy in her office, including developments in the home and re-integration of the older children. For me it was interesting to see and hear what exactly the support by Amara actually means. Of course we have also visited the football club regularly. It was nice to see the children being busy there, most of them come straight from school to the club to kick a ball. Without any doubt a great project. Apart from enjoying the young players I have also got to know the set up and development of the project. I was present at a board meeting and I could hand out several bags full of (sponsored) football materials to players and trainers. 

I was very much impressed by the Therapy Project. During the month Lisanne talked with practically all handicapped children and their mothers about their development at which I was present. It was special to get to know these strong mothers and their wonderful children. I very much admire both the strength of these mothers and the way Amara coaches them. I am convinced that this very vulnerable group would not be able to manage in Kenya without this support. 

Apart from all this I have been able to make my own small contribution thanks to several generous sponsors. I could buy mosquito nets for the children’s home and a generator for the football club and I had a therapy table made for 24-hour treatment of handicapped children. And last but not least: at my request sponsors donated money so all the families that participate in the therapy project could get a NHIF card (health insurance) in 2020. 

The last week we received high visitors, namely my own parents. They had suddenly become very curious about my life here in Kisumu and wanted to see it with their own eyes. Together with them we visited a few projects and several families. Altogether it was an unforgettable, fantastic adventure that I will remember the rest of my life. I expect that my first experience with Africa will not be my last. 

Maaike  

Funeral of therapy child Joyce

We already mentioned the sad news that Joyce, one of the children of the therapy project, passed away October last. The funeral was three weeks later. I, Lisanne, was in Kisumu at that time and attended the funeral on behalf of Amara Foundation. Together with seven mothers who also participate in the Therapy Project we travelled to the village where Joyce’s parents live. It took hours. Joyce’s mother made this trip with her child twice a week, for four years. Fortunately, we could organize therapy in a city closer to where she lives but this still took almost half an hour on the back of a moped on a bad road. I have growing respect for these parents /mothers. 

We arrived in a practically deserted area with with about ten small houses made of sand and corrugated iron and…………six big party tents including a hundred chairs. Surreal! 

First we pay our respects to Joyce, offer our condolences to the family and I give the mother framed pictures of Joyce and an envelope as contribution to the costs on behalf of Amara Foundation. There are around 200 to 300 people that sing, pray, make speeches and last but not least have something to eat. All very expensive, with a contribution of the local community but still very high costs for the family. The life of the deceased is celebrated, as one of the guests told me. There is a great social pressure to bury your beloved in this way. Joyce is buried on the family premises as is usual with the Luos. One of the speeches I found rather shocking. It was about the way how some people still think about handicapped children and how the mother is blamed. Really harrowing. 

In her speech the mother thanked Amara Foundation and asked us to please continue supporting handicapped children and their families. 

We (the seven mothers and I) had a lot to talk about on the way back. Really ‘one big family’! I felt sad and proud at the same time. 

One thing was clear again: we are relatively small but mean a lot to some families. All that thanks to you, our sponsors. 


Activities

Pub quiz ’t Spitje

Friday night October 4th there was a very successful pub quiz in ‘Gasterij ’t Spitje’ in Mierlo, thanks to Jeroen and Stanley of ‘Jansen and Jansen Pub Quiz’. In this newsletter I want to thank these men that they donated all proceeds of this evening to Amara Foundation. 

 

Music in the church

On Sunday October 27 the theme in the Holy Family Church in Langenboom was music. Soloists, guitar players, groups, children’s choir and adult choir, together with a local band made great music while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. The proceeds were for Amara Foundation. There was a fair crowd and also the sale of products was a great success. See you next year!

 

Confirmants Langenboom

On March 14 13 children will have their confirmation. The confirmation group has chosen Amara Foundation as charity. Friday December 13 Carmen did a presentation in class. All group 8 children are writing letters to children in Kisumu.  Carmen will hand these over personally in February. A nice and educative experience for the children here and in Kisumu who are going to write back. Apart from that all children are going to raise money for Amara Foundation. 

 

Jumble sale Landsman Unie Schijndel

Like each year Rina and Lisanne were present at the jumble sale in Schijndel on November 12 with a stall full of beautiful things. Joke and Miranda have helped  transporting everything. Rina, Joke and Miranda, thanks a lot for your help and your support of Amara Foundation in this way.

 

Uden Worldwide 

Each year we can submit a project to Uden Worldwide in the hope that they will support it with an amount. We are happy to say that also this year we have received a handsome amount from Uden Worldwide. In 2020 they will support our therapy project. 

 

Open house Tineke 

On Saturday December 7, Tineke opened her house to friends and family for a Christmas activity on behalf of Amara Foundation, just as last year. Maria could sell Kenyan articles there and it was a great success. Tineke, thank you for this wonderful activity.

 

Sale at Plop

On Wednesday December 12 Maria was present at jeu-de-boules club Plop to sell her Kenyan products. It was not really crowded but sales were alright nevertheless.

 

Empty bottles action

Early December children went from door to door in Langenboom to collect empty bottles, raising a nice amount. All children, especially Yara, Milan, Kenza, Gieske and Suze who took the initiative and mamas Claudia and Mireille: thank you for this super action.

 

Bookfair Vincentius Society ‘s Hertogenbosch

Early October we got fantastic news: after extensive discussion the working group of Vincentius Society ‘s Hertogenbosch decided to choose Amara’s application as main charity of the 46th book fair. Purpose: re-integration of orphans aimed at reuniting with family, supporting foster families, and schooling of these children in Kisumu. 

The 46th book fair will take place in January from Friday 24 up to and including Sunday 26 2020. Depending on the proceeds of this fair we expect an amount of € 10,000. With very good proceeds we can raise this amount. We count on you for support to meet these expectations. 

This month the book fair will ask us who can help to make the fair a big success. If you want to help, taking one or more shifts, organizing the stalls (Thursday and Friday 23 and 24), sale of books or catering activities (Friday evening 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26, please contact one of us. As Amara Foundation we hope to give support with a number of people. 

During the whole weekend Amara Foundation will be present as main charity in the hall of the fair with an information stall. If you are unable to help: feel free to drop by during the fair.


News from the board

Agenda

Third world shops St. Michielsgestel and Berlicum still sell cards from Amara to which Christmas articles have now been added. 

Third World shop Nistelrode also sells cards from Amara.

December 10 to 12: sale of products from Amara Foundation in the staffroom of Heerbeeck College in Best.

December 16: for €10 an entertaining Christmas bingo in the assembly hall of Heerbeeck College in Best, at 19.00. Are you coming?!

December 17: staff of the Heerbeeck College gets the chance to donate (part of) their Christmas boxes to Amara Foundation

December 19: Christmas market at primary school ‘t Stekske in Langenboom

December 20: Christmas activity with all classes of the Heerbeeck College

January 12: church mass Holy Family in Langenboom on behalf of confidants and Amara Foundation

January 13: charity dinner at restaurant de Buffel in Best for € 30, excl. drinks. If you want to join: please contact expeditiekenya@heerbeeck.nl

January 24,25,26: main charity of the Bookfair Vincentius Society ‘s Hertogenbosch

February 16: study trip Heerbeeck College with seven students

 

Donations, a warm heart for Amara 

The past few months several people have contacted us asking what the best way is to donate to Amara Foundation. In the board we have decided to pay special attention to it in this newsletter. 

  1. Friends /acquaintances give an amount to one of the board members. This is immediately paid into the Amara bank account
  2. Friends/acquaintances of Amara donate directly into the Amara bank account. The donor can choose what amount to donate and when. This can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. 
  3. Friends/acquaintances of Amara authorize Amara to collect an amount monthly, quarterly or annually. This amount can be deducted from your income tax. 
  4. A DONATION THAT IS COMPLETELY DEDUCTABLE FROM TAXES IS CALLED A PERIODIC CONTRIBUTION
  5. Support Amara in your will.

You can find more information by clicking here. For any questions please contact one of the board members or mail to administratie@amarafoundation.org.

 

2019 in retrospective

Seeing 2019 in retrospective is looking at back at beautiful moments and very sad moments.

With regard to the Therapy project we had to deal with three very sad events. The death of Lavin and Joyce were very sad, in the first place of course for the family. Bridget was very badly burnt at home and is still recovering. The past few months but also in the months ahead we do everything we can to help mother and Bridget with all possible means like dressing materials, nappies, therapy and extra compensation for travelling costs. 

Fortunately, there are also nice things to be mentioned: 

The number of children at St Clare is decreasing, thanks to the fact that that the number of children placed with family is growing. This re-integration is strongly supported by Amara. St. Clare  Children’s Home is a good place where children are well looked after. But you hope for every child to have a ‘home’.

From the Therapy Project 12 children attend school; the parents are very proud, and so are we. Three children attend a regular primary school with a special needs department, a school where children can stay for 8 months a year. During the four-month holiday they live with their mothers. Eight children attend a boarding school for multiple handicapped children. For two children, given their development, school is not yet possible. They have therapy in the hospital a few days a week.

Sammo, the occupational therapist, the core of our therapy project, has written an extensive letter of thanks for this newsletter, not only meant for us but certainly also for you as sponsor. 

In Project Sport more than 150 youngsters play football almost daily coached by enthusiastic trainers. They play competition in 5 teams, very fanatically. 

From Project Help to Individuals the micro credits are being paid back bit by bit. A few loans have been completely paid off. Great! Respect for these hardworking women.

We will continue these four projects in the years to come. Every year again there is something to add and/or a change in policy in consultation with the people in Kisumu. 

 

2019 topics

A NIHF (health insurance card) for all families belonging to the Therapy Project. 

We finance a full-time therapist for all multiple handicapped children at the school in Awasi. 

An adapted aid programme for one of the families that look after 5 children from the re-integration project during the holidays.   

The start of an income generating project for football club Urusi. They have built an Amara video hall where people can come and watch matches for a small amount.

We retain our ANBI status but have also received the official CBF certificate for 2019. It shows that we are on the right track. The paper work is in order, we are transparent, we share our donations as promised. 

Of course, we also want to use the end of the year to thank everyone for supporting Amara Foundation. Donations big or small, monthly or financed, donating stuff for jumble sales, free printing materials, the volunteers that partly look after the bookkeeping, a free audit certificate, helpers at jumble sales, buyers of our African products (among others Third World shops Berlicum / St. 

Michielsgestel, Nistelrode), schools that do their very best for us, donors that make and bring materials for the projects in Kisumu.  A large group of people ensures that we can offer support in Kisumu. Thank you everyone. We hope you will support us again in 2020.

In this place we want to remember our donor Francien Rovers. She died on 20 December 2018. During her memorial service people were asked, instead of flowers, to make a donation to Amara Foundation. 

 

We wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy 2020!

 

Lisanne Henuy-Rooijakkers – Evelien Hommes-Romonesco – Carmen van Bergen – Maria Vermeer – Martine Plantinga

and all people from Kisumu!

 

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