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Familia Education Exchange

On our last night in Wundanyi, February 21st, Education Exchange trustees invited everyone connected with our work in Kenya to meet us over a meal. There were eleven of us: one person was away on a training course and could not be there. this was the inaugural meeting of Familia Education Exchange (The Education Exchange Family)

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of this meeting. Three things emerged: firstly, the sense of common purpose shared by everyone around the table and the warmth of friendships that have been developed over the last ten years; secondly, the determination to ensure that we continue to work to help the needy far into the future (we talked about how our working relationship would look in 2030 and 2040); and finally the opportunities that each project currently had to help the work of the other three projects. (For example, with IT, with health, with practical skills)

Since we returned home, our Kenyan colleagues in the Taita Family have met again. They have committed to drawing up a joint action plan which they will share with UK Family members later in May. A massive step forward for everyone involved in this organisation- and that includes all our donors and sponsors!

Trustee visit, February 2019

Four trustees spent a week in February visiting all our current projects and meeting everyone involved. (They funded all costs of the trip themselves). Pictures and up to date news from each project feature on the relevant page under the current projects tab.

The headlines: all four projects are working very well, making progress and bringing real support to local people. We had time to meet leaders and participants and get a sense of how important Education Exchange donors are in the lives of hundreds of people in and around Wundanyi and Mwatate. We also spent valuable time with each project leader, hearing their perspectives on what is needed next.

For everyone involved it was a memorable and inspiring visit. We wish that every donor could come with us next time!

Hopton Primary school develops links with Mwatate

After Dave’s January visit to Hopton Primary School, the children were determined to do something to help Mwatate Children’s Home. Their sponsored walk in February raised over £1200. This money enabled us to take out toys and play equipment. Subsequently the funds have been used to install gutters and tanks on the roof of the Home to harvest rain water. For pictures and full details go to the Learning from Kenya page under the current projects tab.

This is a simply amazing effort from children, parents and staff. Thank you and well done!

TEI doing great work with the disabled

TEI (the community organisation which we support) continue to work closely with the Wundanyi Disabled Persons Group. They are always looking to offer financial support, or to point disabled people in the direction of grants.

For example: they enabled one disabled TEI member to access a grant from the CHIESA project (a national initiative looking to offset the impact of climate change). With this he bought a drip irrigation system to provide regular watering to his crops. He then needed 120m of hosepipe to replenish the tank feeding the irrigation system. TEI gave him the £40 needed for this- as it was beyond what he could afford. Now his onions are looking really good!

Just one example of how TEI enables local people to improve their chances of climbing out of poverty.

Record number of IT trainees

Our two Upper Planet IT Training Centres have this year trained 47 students, exceeding our target of 45 trainees. Of these, 27 were trained at our Mwatunge Centre: this is particularly satisfying, because it’s only the second year of operating at Mwatunge- and last we really struggled with numbers. So…well done to Centre Manager George Mwakisha and his staff!

Mvono Clinic extension

Mvono Clinic is currently extending its floor space. We have taken over the shop next door and are creating new larger rooms to improve how we care for and treat our our patients. The new facilities will be ready in the new year.

For pictures, go to the Mvono Page under the Current Projects tab

Children move in to new Home

How impressive the new building looks!

How impressive the new building looks!

Staff and children on the front porch

Staff and children on the front porch

 

Although there still is quite a lot of work to do, and  more funding needed from Education Exchange, the children have moved in to their superb new Home.  The rest of the work will be done as everyone settles in over the next few months. Fantastic progress! Less than three years from start to finish! And nearly £35,000 raised! Thanks to all our amazing donors!

Full details under the Current Projects tab

 

We’re close to moving in!

Progress has been so good at the Children’s Home that the plan is to move in before the end of August. There is some painting to do and glass to put in the windows, then the premises will be ready for the children to move in. Home Manager Habel says that “…. we will do the rest as the children enjoy their new premises…..”

 

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Our Kenyan evening went down well!

38 people came to our Kenyan evening on July 6th. It was a real mix of ages from a wide local area.

In the first half of the evening, Dave talked about the differences between life here in the UK and life in Kenya. He was at pains to challenge the preconception  that we do all the giving and our Kenyan friends do all the receiving. It’s much more of a two-way friendship, with both countries doing some things very well and other things far less well… Dave highlighted the Kenyan capacity to share and give, as well as the joyful faith that most people demonstrate on a daily basis. As one person remarked that evening…”in the UK we take ourselves too seriously….”

Then came the food: there were several traditional Kenyan dishes on offer and all were very well received:  pilau, matoke, sukuma wiki, green grams and ugali, with mandazis as a tasty pudding. All washed down with a cup or two of chai. People also appreciated the traditional beginning to a Kenyan meal, where, before grace is said, the hosts pour water for each guest to wash their hands.

On a beautiful summer’s evening,no-one wanted to go home and people stayed and talked for a long time……… that’s a very Kenyan end to the evening!

The roof is completed and we’re moving inside!

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This photo was taken mid June and shows our new children’s home with the roof completed. Compare this with how the building looked in January

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Education Exchange has now received copies of all the receipts for this work.This enables us to send the £7500 needed to finance plastering and electrics for the inside of the building and to pay for the two new stoves which will dramatically improve how food can be prepared and cooked in the new home.

We are now well on the way! This is such exciting news for all our donors!