Friday, August 07, 2009

Building futures in Kenya

Alec and Deb have posted photos on Facebook. If you can't see them due to privacy please add them first as a friend and make sure you join the group too.

They've been through quite a lot already, emotionally and are now starting to see and understand real life as opposed to the tourist scenes. There is an unfortunate mindset that illness and poverty bring; despair, loss of hope and ability to help themselves. Edwards work in the area is trying to help these people to help themselves again.

I just spoke to Deb for a while and she told me about meeting a widow in the community who was really frail, suffering from HIV. The widow owned a large plot of land but couldn't do anything with it, yet there were perfectly healthy youngsters who could plant seeds and farm the land for her. The volunteers asked why this couldn't be done?

They also asked why an office couldn't be built for the organisation and they said it had to be bricks and a proper roof and they needed money for that, and skills. The volunteers asked "why not build a traditional mud hut, in a day, using the skills you already have" .. when the community could only answer that it had to be brick, the volunteers challenged them to build a mud hut office while they were there. We'll see what happens.

Everyone is being affected positively by this experience and questions are being raised and debates taking place. Low impact but making change nevertheless.

Click the photo to link to more :

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Harsh realities of disability in Kenya

Volunteers assisting LLK, based in the slums of Nakuru, went to visit a very special young man yesterday. George is 6 years old and autistic. He also suffers from cerebral palsy and cannot walk by himself, or feed himself.

On sight he is ostracized like most disabled children in Kenya but his parents refuse to hide him away as others may. They love him dearly. The brutal truth, however, is that their low wages cannot cover the costs of the private care he needs.

AVIF volunteers Laurence, Amy & Christina spent some time with George and the children and carers of the Star Special School in Nairobi, learning about the harsh realities encountered by, but also sharing smiles with, some of Kenya's disabled children and the carers at Star.

Laurence, Amy & Christina travel to Mombasa today and will be raising awareness and possibility for sponsors for some of the children. If you can help contact us for further information.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

ASANTE SANA for all the help and fundraising for AVIF

I'd like to thank 3 amazing girls for their efforts, big efforts!.. running the British 10K London Run 2009 and raising funds for our projects in Kenya.
We've already been able to contribute directly, today, to securing the land that the Ingrid Education Centre sits on in the Matopeni slum area of Nairobi where volunteers are currently helping out.

[Abby, Isabel, Frances & Zoe]

Zoe, Frances and Abby .. thank you so much.
If anyone wants to contribute you can visit the girls own fundraising (via Justgiving) pages by clicking on their names above.

Despite injuring herself training for a marathon, Zoe didn't think the 10km run was enough so the following week she did the Anthony Maynard bike ride from Reading - it's 190km but Zoe then decided that wasn't enough to ride in one day and so ended up riding 215 kilometres. Wind, rain, punctures and all!

AVIF Volunteers rock!!

Deb & Alec from UK are settling into Yala, western Kenya, making itineraries and ensuring they put their skills to good use. Beckee and Sam from UK continue to do amazing things at Ingrids and Laurence, Christina & Amy (from UK, US & CANADA) are settled into Nakuru as I've just read on Facebook!!! We eagerly await more updates and photos.
Asante Sana Everyone x
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