20 Things I learned in Kenya

(Heidi pictured second blonde from the left) In October we sent a team of 10 to visit, serve and play alongside the children of Hope Children’s Home in Kitale, Kenya.  One of the team members, Heidi, shared her reflections with us and we in turn share them with you… 1.      Squatty potties and airplane toilets take talent. Pure talent. 2.      A “ball” can be a plastic bag that’s filled with dirt and then tied. A hammer can be a stone. Food leftovers can provide a meal for pigs. Just don’t get too attached to the tiny bunnies and don’t ask them what they want to be when they grow up because the profession of “lunch” might depress them. The circle of life can sometimes put baby in a corner. (one of the empowerment projects in place at Hope Children’s Home Farm is raising rabbits for food) 3.      Red dirt + moving bricks + pouring rain + orphans’ smiles= Therapy you can’t buy. (the team helped build another one of our empowerment projects – aquaponics vegetable gardening and fish farming) 4.      Eating the meat off fish and chicken heads is known as zero waste. 5.      Kenyan churches put the “mega” in […]

Giving work to local women, tutoring for exams and fish farming

New pictures from Hope Children’s Home in Kitale Local women are hired to begin preparing the soil for planting of the 2013 maize crop.  Not only does our farm provide food for the children in our care, it also provides income for the local community. Orphanage Director, Fred Afwai, arranged for a friend from Nairobi to come to the local school where the grade 8 children attend to tutor the class and teachers on study habits and best approaches to taking the Kenyan National Exam in the Fall that will determine their secondary school placement. Having some fun on a day off from school.  Love these kids…and we see some neighbor kids have joined the fun too! Dropping nets in one of the fish ponds to check on the progress of the growing tilapia crop.

The farm is on the GROW!

The first planting of the farm on the new land in Kitale took place in May and thanks to the diligent work of our in-country partner, Fred Afwai, and the farm managers we are seeing some great growth already in the corn and beans.  Take a moment to see the photos of the way the farm is progressing and also pray for a GREAT harvest.  The better the farm yields, the more income will be available to support the children at Hands with Hope Safe House. [slideshow] At Light Up Hope we feel it is important to not just provide housing for the children, but also income generating opportunities for our partner in Kenya. These income opportunities will allow the orphanage to be self-sufficient rather than singularly dependent on foreign donations.  The farm will provide income as well as job opportunities for the children when they come of age to head out on their own.  We already have a group of high school age boys and girls who will be looking to support themselves in the near future, and we want to do our best to equip them to be successful adults.

Reasons Behind Soaring Food Prices and Food Scarcity in Kenya

An assessment of the contributing factors to the increase in food scarcity and food prices in Kenya and how that effects orphans, vulnerable children and the Kenyan population as a whole by Hands with Hope Founder, Fred Afwai. August 12, 2011 Hands with Hope safe house caters to 30 children. With the rising cost of living blamed for the rising cost of energy, this scenario portends a challenging future for these children and all of us as their custodians and guardians. The causes of the current situation are wide and varied but my personal assessment can attribute it to the following: The violent protests following the disputed 2007 elections in Kenya led to the internal displacement of farming communities. To date, most of them remain in camps and in some way this has stalled grain production, leading to high demand and grain prices hitting the roof. Most counties have shifted their priorities to fixing the effects of the global recession. Humanitarian organizations, philanthropists and corporations have scaled down their activities as a result. The depreciating value of major world currencies has deepened the crisis. It can’t get worse than this. Drought and famine are on the rise courtesy of global […]