Newsletter March 2018

News from Kisumu

  • Volunteer Lars in Kisumu
  • St. Clare Children’s home
  • Football club URUSI
  • Therapy project

Activities

  • Jumble sale Schijndel
  • Bottle box AH Mierlo
  • TRAP-in Uden
  • Jumble sales
  • Bottle box Emte St.Michielsgestel
  • Joint visit Kisumu

 

Lars Rutjes in Kisumu
At this moment Lars Rutjes is at St Anthony’s school for multiple handicapped children in Awasi as a volunteer for Amara Foundation. He adjusts and repairs wheelchairs and teaches the caretakers everything about sitting and positioning. He has done a lot of work in a week. With his knowledge and the enthusiasm of local fundis (craftsmen) all wheelchairs are as good as new but most important: the children can sit well in their chairs, which leads to more activity on their part. In the next newsletter Lars will tell more about his stay and experiences in Kisumu / Awasi.

 

Therapy project

There have been a few changes in the project. Altogether 16 children participate in the project. As from 1/1/2018 12 children attend school. We are proud of that but the parents, mostly mothers, much more so! Proud of their child but also happy to be able to generate an income. Where do the children go? 4 children attend a primary school with a few classes for special needs children, run by the Disciples of Mercy. 6 children have been placed at a boarding school for multiple handicapped children in Awasi. Number 7 will probably go there in May 2018. 1 child was placed at a boarding school for deaf children and 1 child attends a large primary school near where he lives and where integrated education is possible. During the holidays all children come to the hospital for therapy. For continuation of therapy during schooldays we have agreed to work together with the Disciples of Mercy. They employ a certified therapist (Felistas) and we contribute to the costs. During the school year Felistas works at school, during the four-month holiday she works with Samoo at the occupational therapy department of the hospital. Felistas has arranged, together with Samoo and the mothers of two children to give therapy at home once a week as from April (the next holiday month). By now these children are so big, heavy and active that transport to the hospital is too strenuous for the mothers. Instead of travelling costs for mother and child the therapist is compensated for travelling costs. Ewan, who works at the therapy department to gain experience already worked in Awasi (boarding school for multiple handicapped children) one day a week during the past year.  In consultation with Ewan, Samoo and sister Marcella this is going to be two days a week. The number of therapy children has decreased considerably during the schoolyear and in Awasi there is more demand for therapy. Amara will pay for Ewan’s travelling costs and stay in Awasi. We hope that the children will develop even better thanks to these adjustments.

The board appreciates working together with motivated and loving mothers, with enthusiastic and expert therapists and good teachers for these children, and has great admiration for all of them.

 

St. Clare Children’s Home

As planned several children have gone to live with relatives as from the Christmas holidays. Some children attend the local primary school. In consultation with the relatives quite a few children are placed at a boarding school. This is more expensive but guarantees better education. Apart from that it makes it easier for the relatives (uncle, aunt, grandparent) to adopt the child. In general the costs are paid for by sponsors. At this moment Amara Foundation pays the school fees for 14 children. During the four-month holiday the children live with relatives in their own surroundings. Whenever we are in Kisumu we always visit at least one of these addresses. It is quite clear that the children really belong to the community and that the relatives look well after the children. Sister Lucy also keeps an eye on them as she pays the school fees on behalf of the sponsors. Altogether more than 60 children have been placed with relatives from St Clare. For a small group of children no relatives have been found so far; these children return to St. Clare during the holidays. While we were in Kisumu a lot of work had to be done in the garden: as soon as the rains come corn is sown. There were lots of mangos and bananas in February. Great for the children! In the picture fresh bananas are handed out.    

 

Football club URUSI

On Sunday March 18 the first league match was played in the new season. Just like last year the team plays in the SECOND DIVISION CENTRAL ZONE. Result: 0-0. We wish the seniors good luck! The four junior sides will start later this year but trainings have already started. On behalf of the board of URUSI and all players: thank you for all the football boots and kits. Because we were with four of us we could bring extra luggage!

 

Activities

Donations

To our surprise we received many donations during December!  We really feel supported by the friends of Amara. Thank you all!

Visit to Kisumu

In the first place it was special to be there with four board members. If you want to know more: see the daily reports on Facebook and the travel report by Evelien in this newsletter.

Open house Tineke

On December 11, an extremely cold day, Tineke kept open house. Over drinks Tineke and Maria talked warmly about Amara. Beautiful things from Kisumu were on sale.  

Altogether a successful day with fine proceeds for Amara. Thank you Tineke for this nice initiative.

Jumble sale and sale ‘Marktplaats’ (Dutch eBay)

Lisanne’s garage remains the depot for everything people bring to be sold. The Schijndel jumble sale, also with the help of Rina (thank you!), raised more than € 200. Apart from that we try to sell finer, more beautiful things on ‘Marktplaats’. This raised € 150 the last few months. Thank you, generous givers!

Primary school ‘ ‘t Stekske’.

The school – Carmen’s children attend the school – had chosen Amara as charity for their Christmas activity. It is heartwarming to see how sometimes very young children do their best to raise money for their contemporaries in Kisumu. So sweet! Thank you team, children and parents!

Bottle box

In January our bottle box was located at the AH supermarket in Mierlo. Many people donated their receipts. If any of the friends of Amara want to try this at a local supermarket please contact a board member.

 

Agenda

Bottle box at the Emté in St. Michielsgestel.

The box will also be there in April. Friends of Amara: you can leave your receipts there. Thanks!  

Jumble sale St. Michielsgestel.

On April 2 (Easter Monday) there will be a garage sale in the Beekkant district in St. Michielsgestel. Amara Foundation will be present there. You can find us on the square of the old primary school situated at the Beekkant. Lisanne will be assisted by Marielle, so make sure we don’t get bored!

Benefit dinner Heerbeeck College Best.

Board member Evelien works at the College as a teacher. A number of students from the school are organising a benefit dinner on April 10 next. Evelien was very surprised that the students had chosen Amara as charity. Lots of success with organising the event, lots of fun and THANKS!

Trap-in Uden

Make a note in your agenda: Whit Monday, May 21, the Trap-in again organises a cycling tour to raise money for charities. Also this year Amara has been chosen as one of the charities. Great! We will remind you in the course of May. A wonderful event, in beautiful surroundings for great charities.

 

Board members Lisanne, Maria, Evelien and Carmen visit Kisumu

After postponing our trip from October 2017 to February 2018 the time had really come: we are going to Kisumu! For me it was already 5.5 years ago.

I was extremely happy to finally see with my own eyes all the good work Amara Foundation had done in Kisumu.

However, I was not going alone: Carmen and I travelled together to meet Maria who had already been there for a week and where Lisanne, so we heard one day before departure, would join us as well. Was it efficient to be there with all of us? Well, beforehand we didn’t think so. But it was very special as Amara Foundation has existed for ten years now and that calls for celebration, unfortunately without Martine. With hindsight it appeared that apart from very special it was quite useful to be there with the four of us. Not to celebrate our tenth anniversary but also in the ambience there to be able to evaluate and make decisions over dinner each night.

But let me start at the beginning. On day 1 we were welcomed at the airport by Carmen and Maria. Wonderful! Unfortunately our plane was delayed for a day due to a defect so we were quite tired and mostly slept the first day. Our luggage hadn’t arrived yet so we couldn’t unpack and sort out the stuff for the various projects.

The ‘lost’ day was completely made up for. We have done and seen a lot and I am so proud of everything Amara has done and is doing.

For the care project we visited St Clare Children’s Home, we visited several children at home with regard to the re-integration project and we went to the boarding school in Hambale. Playing with the children at St Clare, the happy faces there, the wonderful talks we had with the teachers have done me a lot of good. The house visits have not only shown me that the children don’t end up easily at the children’s home but also that the re-integration project is essential. The help these families get definitely gives results, leading to better health conditions in the long run and a real home for the children.

Then Hambale, which made me really proud. I hadn’t been there before but the computer room, the library and the floor in the dining room, which had been realised by Amara, are super. At the school in Hambale I attended part of a Science lesson. It is completely different from what I know but beautiful to see. This also is a place to which we can definitely contribute a lot in future.

For the therapy project we went to the hospital several times, we visited Moses and his mother at her house and we also visited Mercy and her mother at their house. Apart from that we also went to see the Disciples of Mercy where I could play wonderfully with the children and where we met the new therapist. We also visited a school for deaf and blind children in Awasi where by now several multiple handicapped children who are in a wheelchair attend school.

When you haven’t been there for 5.5 years you see big changes and that is very special. Projects have been extended but also within the projects you see how children are growing and can do more. You also see positive developments in the adults. 5.5 years ago we could hardly communicate with Tirza’s mother. Now, after schooling, she even acts as a translator for other parents: she speaks very good English now. Wonderful!

At the school in Awasi I was itching to do something because the wheelchairs really needed repairing and the caretakers needed good instructions. Unfortunately time was too short and we also wanted to visit other projects. After talking this over with Carmen and her earlier experiences we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t do anything in the short period we were there. What we needed was an expert volunteer.

As a physiotherapist my heart fills with joy within the therapy project. I enjoy everything to the full. So many things go well, so many things can still be done.

Unfortunately there was no competition in February so we didn’t see a real football match fitting into the project. One late afternoon we went to the slums. The trainer showed us around, showed his family and took us to see the chairman in his shop. Then we went to see the training ground which is across an enormous asphalt road which wasn’t there 5.5 years ago. Part of the slums had to be taken down for this road but you don’t hear anyone complaining because the road is good for the economy.

On the training ground the sun is setting so it cools down enough to start a training. We hand out our kits and boots and look at a very dry and dusty pitch which is used for training. While we are looking a few drops start falling and we see a rainbow. So apart from the things we brought we also bring a good omen: the terrible drought is almost over.

For the project Help for Individuals we went to see Francis at his Coca Cola stall, George with his welding workshop at home, mama Mercy with her sewing studio and mama Evans at her market stall. Business is low in all of Kisumu due to the political unrest in the country. Yet they are all very grateful that they have been given the chance thanks to the Amara loan and they work very hard for a better future. Great to see the happy faces.

On the day we were to fly back to the Netherlands we celebrated our tenth anniversary with the whole Amara family at a place which is symbolic for the start of Amara Foundation: St. Clare Children’s Home. Ten years ago it was established on the grounds where we now had our party. At the start of Amara we were even smaller. We supported a number of handicapped children in the therapy project and supported St. Clare Children’s Home. On the spot where we met Francis, who lived there at the time, for the first time he now has his own ‘canteen’ (Coca Cola, French fries) and that is where we had our party. The grounds were filled with all kinds of people and the party was heartwarming. I couldn’t stop looking at all the people and the way they interacted. And all the dancing and eating children. It was a real party!

Not only that afternoon but the whole trip I have experienced as a PARTY. I look back on a wonderful trip with pride.

Dear sponsors, so many good and beautiful things would not have been possible without you. Asante Sana, thank you very much!

Kindest regards,

Evelien, of course also on behalf of Amara Foundation and Maria, Lisanne and Carmen.

 

 

Lisanne Hénuy-Rooijakkers

Carmen van Bergen

Evelien Hommes-Romonesco

Maria Vermeer

Martine Pool-Plantinga

Copyright © 2017 Amara Foundation, All rights reserved.
Rekeningnummer: NL52 RABO 0148319394 t.n.v. Amara Foundation
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