May 2012: This is now our 5th year helping Bondo progress to independence with our assistance and so now it is time to re-assess some future plans which will eventually be approved by the Kirk Session and reported in Contact.
Winnie asks me to convey her thanks and good wishes to all who have made this possible.
Bondo: Winnie writes that they are very happy in Usenge, more so because they will soon have a new well to supplement the first one we provided. With clean, safe drinking water the rate of water-borne diseases will go down even further. However, with the huge increases in the price of basic commodities and fuel, together with Kenya’s new constitution and administrative reorganisation, the survey fees, labour costs and materials involved in building the new well will rise sharply. The second instalment of money for the well was sent at the end of September. The well is now almost 40 feet deep and it is hoped that it will provide a 10-12 foot water table which cannot dry up even in the drought.
With the profits from small businesses, they have now built three crèche classrooms and are building a church/school, which is now at lintel level.
Winnie says, “I appreciate all that you at Maxwest are doing for us and I can assure you that not a cent donated for the community will be lost or misappropriated.”
World Church Team
Disappointing news from Bondo regarding Winnie’s second visa application refusal, despite assistance from Russell Brown MP.
The WCT decided not to pursue this matter any further meantime. The money raised for her visit will be used for the food programme and help to reimburse her application costs.
Although I have some bad news due to drought – animals are dying, food costs are doubling and people are again using polluted lake water which brings illness – the good news is that our deep well is the only source to provide the area with clean water, so the whole community queues for hours and Winnie has had to put limits on its use. The goats and chickens are surviving along with some crops. The Tuc Tuc which was provided lately, is hired out when not required and the profit used to give ninety 3-5 year olds a meal at Winnie’s new crèche.
Many other small scale businesses are making a profit and the money has been used to start a church building.
Bondo is progressing and we are told the people have much higher self- esteem now. However, as we know, water is of prime importance and when asked, this was Winnie’s next priority. In view of this we asked for estimates to dig another DEEP well. The WCT are delighted that this was the correct choice last time and we now are beginning to see this community on the road to becoming self-sufficient.
Julie Smith and Sharon Fyall’s Charity Run in aid of our two Kenyan projects raised a wonderful total of £850.00. Congratulations and grateful thanks to both ladies.
A D, WCT Convener
It is just over two years since a formal arrangement was drawn up to support a community in Usenge, near Bondo in Kenya – an area with a history of desperate poverty that is still prevalent today. The lack of rain in recent years has led to crop failure and huge increase in food prices.
Our primary focus is the 300 orphans attending four nursery schools established by Winnie Owuor and her friends. We have provided books for the Sunday school, schools and shoes for the children. Money from the Bondo appeal fund has financed the following projects:
• The purchase of a water pump & pipes to irrigate crops adjacent to Lake Victoria, which borders onto Usenge
• Provision of mosquito nets for each of the children
• Construction of a toilet at one of the schools
• Installation of a well that is supplying clean water to approximately 500 families
A plaque on the toilet block and well reads ‘Donated by Max West Church of Scotland, Dumfries’.
We have recently released funds to construct a toilet at a second school and provided £200 to purchase goats in line with our policy of helping the community ultimately to become self sufficient.
The ongoing project is the provision of food for the children. Until recently we were providing £130 per month, which enabled the children to have one meal per month. Members of Max West are now generously donating £200 per month, which enables Winnie to purchase food at more preferential prices and thus extend the feeding programme.
Ideally we are hoping that we will eventually be able to send sufficient funding to provide at least one good meal a week for the children.
Report to Congregation at the Family Service on 21st March 2010
At the World Church Team meeting on Wednesday night, 17th March, it was suggested that we should update you on what projects we have undertaken for Bondo since last Christmas, writes Rosemary Slack.
The Christmas appeal for blankets was successful and the final instalment of money has been sent to Winnie and the blankets bought and distributed to those responsible for looking after the orphans. About 300 orphans have benefited from this project and the blankets will help to keep them warm at night especially if they go to bed hungry.
We also sent money for the purchase of goats and these are now in place with 5 families. When the original goats have offspring these kids will then be given to other families in the community thus enabling them to have a supply of milk and meat (if this becomes necessary). However, the main purpose of supplying goats to the families is so that, in the future, they can sell on the goats and have some money to buy other necessities such as food and clothing.
Our main project since the New Year has been to send money for a water tank to be used for irrigation. This tank will hold about 5000 litres of water that will be pumped from the lake and will then allow the pump, which we have already supplied, to be moved to another area for irrigation thus doubling the capacity of irrigated ground for growing crops and vegetables. The people involved in growing the produce will then be able to sell this and hopefully that will be the beginning of self-sufficiency. It is difficult to get a project such as self-sufficiency off the ground as there is very little money available for anyone in the area to be able to afford to buy produce but this has to start somewhere.
With further regard to self-sufficiency, we have now sent £500 which is the first instalment to start a credit bank system which will be run by Winnie and her committee. This will work on the basis that an individual can be ‘loaned’ a sum of money to start up some sort of business eg bee keeping, setting up a stall to sell produce, or perhaps a fisherman may be given money to buy nets or a boat and after a period of time when he has become established and is selling his fish, he will be able to replace the money on a regular basis back into the fund which can then be used to assist someone else to start a business venture.
Once we have established the above is all in place and working, we will then look at our next project for which we will be fundraising later in the year.