News from Kisumu
– Projects: Sport Urusi
– St. Clare
– Help to Individuals
– Heerbeeck Active
– Donation ZLM
– Farewell with a warm heart
– Book fair Vincentius Association
– Web shop
News from the board
– Changes in the board
– Annual financial report 2020
Action: EVERYONE TO SCHOOL!
In Kenya, there is quite a difference in the level of schools. The best schools are the boarding schools. Education there is of such a level that children who can go there have a better future perspective. A boarding school in Kenya is a wish of many of the families and children. The families have fewer mouths to fill during the school months. And children do not have to help in the household (sweeping the house, working on land, walking the cows to the river to drink, help with cooking). In addition, Kenya is on the equator, so it is dark early all year round. When children live at home and have finished their household chores after school, it is often dark. Without electricity, there is no longer any possibility to study in the evening.
If children are allowed to go to boarding school, they have less worries and more time to study. It is more relaxed for the children, there is better opportunity to learn, the daily meals are guaranteed, a better future perspective: almost all the children Amara Foundation sponsors go to a boarding school. Normally we pay the standard school fees for these children. Families take care of the other necessities themselves, such as sleeping supplies, toiletries, kitchen utensils, textbooks, uniform, school bag or school supplies. Or we take clothes, shoes and school supplies with us in our luggage. However, due to COVID-19, the income of the families has become much less, we have not been able to bring stuff for a long time and therefore our contact, Sister Lucy, has asked us to financially support the families with these necessities this school year. Hence this action.
Below are some examples of what we can buy for one child from your donation:
€ 5,- kitchen utensils: plate, cutlery, mug
€ 10,- mosquito net
€ 15,- school supplies: school ID, folder, ruler, pens, pencils and eraser.
€ 25,- toiletries: sanitary towel, towel, toilet paper, soap, skin oil, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb, tub, 10 litre jerrycan or a uniform or a school bag or school shoes
€ 32.50 personal metal storage box with lock
€ 50,- textbooks: Bible, Oxford dictionary, Swahili dictionary, Oxford mathematics, Philosophy of life, Kiswahili.
€ 60,- clothing: slippers, socks, underwear, leggings, clothing labels.
€ 100,-sleeping essentials: mattress, fitted sheet, blanket, nightgown.
You can send your donation to IBAN NL52 RABO 0148319394 stating Everybody to school!
Jannet is one of the children who started secondary school this year. Below you will find a personal letter from her.
Sport: Football club URUSI
Since mid-February football activities have started again. Urusi always trains on a large pitch next to a college. On 19 February they started to prepare this lawn and on February 21st we trained again for the first time in a long time. Beautiful washbasins have been placed at the training pitch so that the children can wash their hands before and after training. It was great to be able to play football again. However, things can also go wrong. Desmond’s arm was dislocated. It’s good to see that this boy is immediately being looked after by the club. They went straight to the hospital with him. Unfortunately, we were told that sports had to be stopped again due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in Kenya. Also, in Kenya a lot of COVID-19 measures are taken. These are made mandatory. However, it is difficult to get the prescribed materials. They are scarce and often expensive. That is difficult for the football club but even more difficult in the district itself, where the children live. For example, Ayub, our contact person, is also a community health volunteer. In that role he goes into the district to see where health care is needed. However, he can hardly get protective material, such as face masks, gloves and disinfectant. The fact that the training sessions could start again is extremely important for the children. Because children still develop so much, social contacts with peers are of great importance. In addition to playing football, they also learn social skills. For example, they learn to take each other into account, they learn to accept everyone, they learn to work together (working towards one goal together), standing up for another, trusting one another and developing empathy towards other people. Of course, we will keep in touch with Urusi’s board to hear how they are doing.
|Care: St Clare Children’s Home |
The children have been cared for by family members from March to January 2021. In many situations this went reasonably well. For some families, there were problems, educationally and in the field of good care. All families received a monthly food package during those months, so there was regular contact with St Clare’s staff. In consultation with Sister Lucy, we have decided to give St Clare an additional donation to maintain regular contact with these families. Both telephone contact and a home visit where interviews with all family members are possible are important. In most situations, Celestine, a near-graduate social worker, visits these families. She often sends us the reports of the home visits accompanied by photos. In Kenya, a home visit also always means bringing “something related to food”. But also the families, however poor they are, often give something back for St. Clare’s, e.g. a few avocados from their own patch of land.
Help to individuals Last year has been a difficult year for people who started their own business with the help of a microcredit. In November we contacted them via SMS/Whats app to ask how the business was doing. Could they restart again? Some indicated that the business had started again, though minimally. Ordinary life began to get back on track in Kenya at the time. Four hardworking mothers said restarting the business was not possible without help. Since March 11 2020 trade had not been possible, stocks including savings had gone into necessary cost of living. These mothers also received a monthly food package but that was (we also knew) not enough to feed and cover running expenses for the whole family. We decided to help these women through a combination of donation and additional loan. The companies that were restarted: sale of vegetables and fruit / sale of corn, wheat and potatoes, / sewing as well as mending/making/selling second-hand clothing. We transferred the money last November. Clearly all women were very happy that they were given this new chance.
Therapy The children have all gone back to school or to the 24-hour care where therapy has started. It is now important that therapy is restored to a fixed frequency in order to stabilise further deterioration. Amara Foundation has also decided to use physiotherapy at the 24-hour care/school where 2 of our multiple handicapped children now live. At the end of February we received the following messages: “We are fine thanks the kids are doing great the business I restarted was successful but it’s a bit slow things are not moving” “yes covid is still affecting business here things are very slow but with time we are hopeful that it will be okay” “The business has not picked up well but I am making arrangements. I will drop something on Tuesday 2 pass my regards to all” “I will drop something on Tuesday” meant that we received an initial instalment of this loan on Tuesday. Great! In the last two months, COVID-19 has caused more victims in Kisumu than before that time, which means that the business of these four women has almost come to a standstill. We hope that trade will pick up again and wish these women good luck!
Heerbeeck active for Amara Foundation Heerbeeck College, where board member Evelien is a teacher, is committed to Amara Foundation. Last year Evelien travelled to Kenya for the projects together with Michel (fellow teacher) and seven students as an expedition. This year Michel and Evelien came up with a fun event. Because the students of Heerbeeck College were at home every other day they missed out on some PE lessons. To keep the students moving and to make them consciously engaged in international orientation the action: Together to Kisumu! was organised. During this action, students were supposed to travel the full distance from Best to Kisumu in kilometres (9055 km). That was allowed on foot, by bike, scooter, skateboard, roller skates, inline skates, or…..anything. As long as it wasn’t a motorized vehicle. Students had to find sponsors for covering this distance. There were two prizes to be won, which were awarded to an individual and to a class: the most mileage travelled or the most raised sponsorship money. From 15 March, the students had two weeks to cover as many kilometres as possible. The school hoped to get as close as possible to the 9055 km during the sponsoring campaign. In the end, they even passed Kisumu: together they ran, rode scooters, hopped, walked, cycled, skated, swam etc. more than 10,000 kilometres! Class 1iVa has achieved both the highest average distance and the highest average sponsor amount per class! One of the students in this class, Karlijn Limbourg, also managed to raise the highest sponsor amount €327,-! The longest distance was covered by Koen de Jong from 5iVb, he has cycled more than a tenth of the total distance together: 1039.52km! ! The best part is that all students have actively committed themselves to a fantastic goal. Together they raised the wonderful amount of €2774,- ! For the various winners there were beautiful (and tasty) prizes, ranging from ice creams and cinema vouchers to a real “archery tag” clinic provided by our combination officials! Finally, we would like to thank all the students, teachers and sponsors who have contributed to make this action a success. In one word: great!
Donation Wim Daniels via ZLM: Writer and presenter Wim Daniëls was in the section My Charity of the ZLM Magazine in March, which is published twice a year for customers of this insurance. Wim Daniels chose Amara Foundation for his donation of € 500,- because we give all children fair opportunities!
Trap-In: We were also chosen as a charity in 2021. Unfortunately, the Trap-In could not take place this year and our participation has been moved on to 2022.
Farewell with warm heart for Amara: Piet and Nel are sponsors from the very beginning. In 2016, together with board member Lisanne, they visited our projects in Kenya. They were present at all kinds of events for Amara Foundation. In short, a real warm heart for the foundation. Unfortunately, we heard that friendly and positive Piet passed away on 16 March. There was a beautiful text on the mourning card: “Celebrate life!”. Dear Nel and children: we wish you all the best.(captions)Farewell for Piet with a warm heartDonation Wim Daniels through ZLMAgendaBook Fair Vincentius Association: The planning was to organise a large multi-day book fair in the summer months. Unfortunately, it was cancelled. Most likely there will be a sale on the Parade, at the foot of the St. Jan, in Den Bosch. We’ll keep you posted! Web shop: Support our projects with a small gesture and buy a handmade product from Kisumu. Send a nice card: web shop!
In 2020, apart from the normal board meetings, we had additional online meetings to exchange views on Amara’s organisation. We are proud of what we have achieved from the start in 2007 to the present day. The current organisation and the four projects have been extensively mapped out. The division of tasks of the board members and all the activities necessary for the organization to run smoothly have also been mapped out and linked to the board positions and projects. Our contacts in Kisumu, the people who are part of our Foundation, have increased enormously. The number of sponsors has increased enormously. As a result, the work for board members has also increased enormously. It made sense as a board to think about this. The result is that the tasks have been rescheduled and we have also changed the board positions. Lisanne hands over chairmanship to Evelien, Carmen is secretary and Lisanne becomes treasurer. Maria remains a board member focusing on PR and volunteers. Martine remains a board member, contact person northern Netherlands. We are confident that the new reschedule of tasks will make everything work properly again. However, we continue to look for more people to join us.
Annual Financial Report 2020
Our annual financial report is complete again and can be found on our website: We hereby thank accountancy firm Meulenbroek for issuing the assessment report and volunteer Jan van Bragt for all the work last year and the expert financial report.
THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
EVERYONE FROM KISUMU
Chairman: Evelien Hommes-Romonesco
Secretary: Carmen van Bergen
Treasurer: Lisanne Henuy-Rooijakkers
PR employee: Maria Vermeer
Board member: Martine Plantinga
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