Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kukuhut and progress in Kenya

I'd like to introduce the gorgeous Amanda, pictured here with Diana. (Click the photo gain access to the FB album for more photos).

Amanda is director of the Tumaini Centre and the Vision Centre in Khalaba, a neighboring village community in the Matungu District of Kenya, Western Province. The nearest town is MUMIAS and is only a ten minute drive away.
On a standard day, Amanda may be seen in Kibera, sitting with Raila Odinga, or providing surgery to change the lives of disfigured people, building houses, feeding malnourished children, finding the support needed for shunned disabled children ... and much more .

The Vision Community Vocational Centre has a goal to train troubled and uneducated youth in a new skill. Currently they have two programs; tailoring and a brick-making project. The tailoring (dress making) has been running for 3 years now and last year alone enabled 30 students to pass the national exam with some already finding jobs. The brick making project actually obtained a tender in January to supply 15,000 bricks to government school production putting the project in profit. Amanda says "we would like to train more people in brick making and also find a way to market ourselves to the outside communities ..". They've also started a small class of 25 children, nursery age, as there was a need for it in the community.

TUMAINI Community Development Centre (Tumaini = Hope) primarily deals with orphans and vulnerable children in a village called Eshibanze. Open since 2006 they now have 4 classes, including ‘baby class’, Nursery A and B, and Standard (Grade 1). Standard 2 is starting in January although it will be a tight squeeze due to a lack of funding to build another classroom. The kids all have homes that they live in but in some cases they are not fed and taken care of properly. The school provides some food each day which they would otherwise not get at home and their educational standard is much higher than the government school nearby that charges all students school fees.

Amanda has been responsible for the creation of a new women’s group of about 20 members who have a poultry project as well as a garden through which they provide food and pocket money to some of the poorest families in the area.Through her craft business KukuHut

started in Canada this past year, Amanda ships crafts from Kenya and surrounding East-African countries to help the people in the projects. The women’s group will be trained in craftmaking, sponsored through the profits of Kukuhut e.g. a 2 day tie and dye workshop for 30 ladies was held recently with a professional tailor brought in from Nairobi. In January 2010 they will hold a 3-4 day beading workshop for 60 women (and a few men too!) with $500 's worth of materials provided as well as salaries for the 2 teachers, suppliers who also teach.

Volunteers will be going to spend time with Amanda and the communities in Feb/ March 2010. For more info please contact us or Amanda