Sometimes it is good to hear from someone else…
Mindy Miller, Partners for Care board member is here with me this trip. It is truly a blessing to have her here. She is supportive of the PFC staff, patient even in long traffic delays and has been a great observer of what is happening here in Kenya. Sometimes it is good to hear from someone else. Here is the 2nd update she sent out.
Hello, again, from Kenya!
On Tuesday, I was able to attend the Partners for Care staff meeting. Each person covered their respective projects by telling what their vision was, where the project was at the beginning of the year, what they accomplished this year, what their challenges were, what they want to accomplish next year, and what needs they have in order to accomplish their goals. It was so great! I won’t be able to go through all of it here (it was a long meeting!), but let me give you some highlights:
IT – John heads the IT training, which is free to the community. John told a great story: he trained one of the women who did laundry for us at the PFC house. She took her new IT skills to apply for an office job. While she was at the office applying, the hiring person was having trouble with Skype. John had taught the woman to use Skype as part of the “internet training” (there are seven packages plus internet to complete under the IT program) – so, she was able to assist the person and was hired! John just beamed with pride! So precious.
Second Chance Educational Program – Sam M heads the second chance program; also free to the community. In the Marurui slum where the center is located, 85% of the adults never finished high school. In Kenya, getting a high school diploma is accomplished by sitting for exams. The second chance program saw four students sit for their exams in December – we won’t know until February whether they passed or not. There are currently 15 students enrolled in the program.
Football (soccer) – Sam G heads the sports program for football. To hear him talk of his vision was so inspiring: to capture the hearts of the young people in the slum in order to keep them away from bad behavior (idleness, drugs, etc.). You could just see the passion in his face as he talked about the kids. When they started the program, there were no teams in the Marurui slum – now there are twelve (with substitute players)! And two players did so well that they were recruited into what is the equivalent of the “minor leagues” here in Kenya – paid positions!
Poultry project – The PFC house has a poultry project led by committee. It’s actually chickens and rabbits. This was the last presentation and it had us all cracking up with laughter! Turns out, it’s sort of hard to be a farmer. 🙂 But, the project is on the cusp of turning around! We all have high hopes!
Medical clinic – Dr. Vincent officially opened the clinic on October 5th this year. There are approximately 900 households in the Marurui slum. Dr. Vincent has seen 536 patients since opening! Wow. Peter and Charles, who also work in the clinic, have distributed bed nets to almost 75% of the households. They were very excited to report that some of their healthcare instructions to the community have been taking root – for example, they’ve seen people placing their captured rain water barrels on their roofs (it boils in the sun and kills the germs). Dr. Vincent and his team have great plans for this clinic!
It was such a great meeting! I loved being able to sit in to see and hear the passion and plans these guys have for their community!
On Thursday, I spent the day in Mathare slum with Community Transformers, an organization that PFC supports. Mathare is the second largest slum in Kenya with approximately 800,000 people. It’s always hard to see the poverty in the slums – I prepared with lots of prayer (thanks to those of you who are praying for me, too). The CT center volunteers visit the sick and help where they can. I tagged along for two house visits to clients. The women we visited were so grateful for how they are cared for by CT – I was encouraged. The center facilitates a beaded jewelry and note card making business to help cover costs of the center (the clients do the work). In addition, they have a cyber cafe.
I’m looking forward to the staff Christmas party tonight. We’ve all had a fun time joking about the killing of David, the sheep, for the celebration. This sheep was given to Connie last year as a thank you from Sam G’s mother. David’s life ended yesterday – I didn’t watch the killing, but caught a glimpse of the draining and skinning – glad to be a vegetarian! Ha! (And, by the way, Moses has been feeding me quite well with lots of vegetarian dishes!)
I hope you can sense my excitement about what PFC is doing in Kenya! Mindy