News from Kisumu
– Corona in Kenya
– Aid projects:
Help to Individuals
Care St. Clare
News from the board
– Proud and grateful
CORONA in Kenya
Since mid-March we in the Netherlands have been flooded with Corona news in all media.
It is about Corona as a disease, about the many victims, about the consequences for children and adults in terms of school and/or work, daily life, how hard it is to keep your distance from people who are dear to you and about the people who, for whatever reason, can’t cope with it anymore.
All in all, a confusing, sad time.
Despite this, we as a board have decided to make our October newsletter also a Corona newsletter. As in the Netherlands, Corona dominates life in Kenya.
We would like to inform you about
- the state of the four projects and the impact of Corona for all people in these Projects
- we will inform you about the additional help we have achieved so far
A fact: each month we reach more than 100 families who receive a food package or an additional donation of €20. The current situation has been virtually unchanged since the previous newsletter.
Via the mail, WhatsApp and SMS messages there is regular contact with the Projects in Kisumu.
There is still a Lock-down. Many of you have probably seen on TV how the government comes down hard when people do not stick to the rules. There have been fewer casualties in the last few weeks. People even hoped that the president might reopen the schools in the short term. So far, no word has been received on this. All 24-hour care and all schools will remain closed until January 1st 2021.
As Amara Foundation, we always focus on a vulnerable group in Kenyan society. During this pandemic it appears that they are again being hit on several fronts. Amara’s support is now more than essential!
Help to Individuals
At the moment we support a person with partial funding for an education. The training started at the end of January. As of mid-March, as you will understand, all education stopped. After a few months, students were given the opportunity to do the course online and also to take the interim exams online. Luckily, this person has an old laptop, which she got sponsored several years ago by a friend of Amara’s. When we inquired last month how it was going, we heard that the cost of being online is very high. The rent was not paid last month due to the online costs of the exams. There was now a payment agreement with the landlord. That’s how it works in Kenya. As a board, we decided to support the student concerned, as long as the situation lasts and to donate half of the data bundle to her monthly as a donation.
A warm reaction came back.
“To the board of Amara, Thanks a lot, I do appreciate. The course was to take one year, and do 3 exams. We have only done one exam and studied for five months. We are remaining with 7 months of study. The university has not yet confirmed the starting of second semester study, perhaps due to reducing cases of corona virus, we may resume soon but not sure when. I am still waiting to hear from the university. I let you know when we are starting again.
Thanks a lot for coming in to assist as I study. I promise to work hard and move forward. Much love to all Amara members and many regards” .
At the moment there are ten people who, in previous years, received a microcredit from us and are still paying back. Seven of the women who received a microcredit are mothers of children from the Therapy Project. We had contact last week, almost all of these people via SMS. All business has come to a standstill as from March. Two people recently restarted their business. Of all the others, the start-up capital / the profit/ the money for new investments has been spent on living expenses. We’re considering as a board how to deal with this after corona time.
“My family is fine thank you, My business is down due to this corona pandemic, Melvin and Joash are doing fine. It is good to visit therapy again. Thanks for the support and checking up.”
“dear friends from amara, I am happy to recieve the regards from Amara and saying thanks for standing with my family during this time of covid19. My busines is not good by now my mother has been sick for long now, she has one leg am still taking care. I hope GOD will be with me and proceed well be bless and greet all amara members. Byron is doing well, thanks be blessed.”
Sport: Football Club URUSI
In Kenya there isn’t any sport yet. The members of football club Urusi do meet, children sometimes kick a ball, but officially it is still forbidden. On Sept. 26 this information was posted on the Internet: “President Kenyatta calls for speedy return of major sporting activities in Kenya”.
There is regular contact with members of the board. At the moment, however, this is mainly aimed at the provision of food packages. Since April, Urusi has received a monthly amount of more than €1000. Food packages are distributed to 4 board members and 58 families, one or more of whom are members of Urusi. Molly, our volunteer in Kisumu organises this together with the board of Urusi. Purchasing, assembling the packages and handing them out in a safe way is a huge task every month. Molly sends us a monthly financial accountability for all this. We’re very happy with her help. We received heart-warming videos from the board and members of Urusi, in which they thank Amara, but certainly also all sponsors. We will present them next week on Facebook and on our website.
Care: St. Clare Children’s Home
All the children who normally stay at St. Clare’s, are still housed with family. We reported this earlier in our previous newsletter.
Sister Lucy has received an extra €1000 every month from Amara Foundation since April. Together with the staff of St. Clare, she buys food with it which is then delivered to various families. Families living very far away are paid through MPesa, the African mobile banking system. They can then go and buy food themselves for the amount. Sister Lucy is responsible for these expenses every month. At the same time, Sister Lucy sends us heart-breaking stories about the poverty she finds during home visits and the distribution of food.
She thanks us for the extra support we can realize thanks to you! See her thank you letter.
All children participating in the Therapy Project are still at home. Three children get therapy at the local hospital by Samoo, our occupational therapist. Vicky has been in therapy since the beginning of March and is making enormous progress. Since the end of August, Joash and Melvin (brother and sister) also come to therapy twice a week with their mother. Samoo informed us that both children needed urgent treatment because he saw visible regression. Both children appeared to need new braces but there is no more material available. We contacted T-Tape Company in Putte (N.Br.). They have been sponsoring Amara for years with the so-called Turbocast. (TURBOCAST® is a unique low temperature thermoplastic material with thin foam coating on both sides. It is ideal for splinting, casting and bracing applications.)
And wow, even now, we’re being offered a full box again. Thanks again T-Tape Company!!!!
Because of course we can’t go on a working visit, we as a board decided to forward the package. The shipping costs are high but because of the high need, we decided to allocate money for this anyway. In Kenya, this material is terribly expensive.
Last week there was contact with almost all mothers of the therapy children via SMS or WhatsApp. All the kids are doing well under the circumstances. No child or any of the family members has had to deal with Corona. These families will receive €20 monthly in their MPesa account as from the end of March as additional support to buy food.
We also get a lot of response from them: “Thanks, may God bless you, say thank you to all the friends off Amara” etc.
“Greetings my friend thank you so much for the support you have been giving us we are okay. Though we are passing through this hard time.we are trying our best but the income is down. “
“Greeting for all We thank God we are well and fine because we had a hard time about Covid 19. There was no movement, no business. Now we are looking how we can get to work but thanks a lot for the support you give me for the hard time of Covid 19. God Bless you Amara and friends.”
Facemasks for sale: the sale of facemasks is still going on, we have sold them for over €2,000. But we still have a supply!
Donation food package: An additional donation for the food packages for the coming months is of course more than welcome.
Sales products: We still have nice stuff for sale in our online shop, next week we also expect a supply of new cards! Go to our online shop!
Ideas?: Or …. Do you know a fun 1.5 metre activity to organise, which allows us to generate income for Amara Foundation? Do you have an idea for the festive month of December? Let us know!
Proud and grateful
What surprises us is how the people in our projects react. They trust that they will also overcome this setback, with or without the help of God. The obviousness that everything runs smoothly in your life, is really experienced differently here in our view. George, who started a welding company with support from Amara, put it this way: “I myself knowing very well that in this world we must have challenges in everything that we’re doing or we plan to do! But after a while, everything will be okay with me and nowadays is not yet. “
Freely translated: “In this world you all have to deal with challenges/ setbacks in everything you do or want to do. But after a while, everything will be fine. But unfortunately now that time has not yet come.” If you can look at adversity, problems like that, you can look to the future with a more positive feeling. This is the drift of many messages we receive.
This was a look at Corona in Kenya.
As a board, we decided at the September meeting that we would continue with the monthly food packages and donations until December 31st 2020.
We are particularly proud that this help
THANKS TO YOUR AMAZING SUPPORT
was made possible the past few months.
Lisanne Henuy-Rooijakkers – Evelien Hommes-Romonesco –
Carmen van Bergen – Maria Vermeer – Martine Plantinga
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