Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paul Harris Fellow

A quick update. By all accounts everyone at the orphanage is doing well, as is Sunrise and the chicks. I hope to get another update soon and will post it when I do.

This past weekend I was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Sunrise Rotary Club, for my work in Kenya. It is given "in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world".

Also, my friend Hannah Dingle has returned to Kenya to work with Uweza Aid Foundation. My Kenyan friend Daniel Mogere works with them as well and when I was in Kenya last year I met Jen Sapitro, one of the founders. If anyone missed donating to HOME or would like to help again, you can donate to Uweza through their website:

They are a registered charity, so you'll get a tax receipt as well!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

More thanks!

With Sunrise

In the Chicken Coop with Cosmos

Top are our broilers, the bottom is the breed the 100 chicks delivered today will be
giving both eggs and meat and being male and female

It feels like ages since I left Kenya, though it has only been 2 weeks. I miss the kids a lot and am trying to figure out how soon I can return. It will be awhile, for sure.

Here are more pictures from the project and there will be more coming. I will also post a report on our day in Kibera soon and am working on a financial report I can send to you all if you are interested in seeing where all the money (close to $7000) went.

More thank yous are in order and they go out to Anna Vigilante-Meyes, Dorte and Helge Jacobsen, Amy Bjarnason and Paul Mancell and Garth and Rita Green.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A thank you letter from Tunza's

Alice and me

It is really painful to see you going and leaving us alone. This is the song now stuck in my head, which was sung to me by the orphans many times before I left Ngong. I'm writing from a snowy Denmark and can't believe it is all over.

The last bit of HOME business was done on Saturday, I ordered and paid for 100 chicks that are hatching on the 3rd of January. This breed will give eggs (fertilized for the incubator) and can be eaten for meat as well. The third farm building is done, so our little chicks have a home.

Photos will be up next week if not sooner. While I have internet access, the batteries are dead in my camera, so as soon as I can they will be up.

I received many going away notes from the kids and wanted to share this one with you all, as it is also for everyone who helped with HOME. It's from Alice, who is 13 and I haven't edited it.

Dear Kelcy and Alisher

Thank you for your support we are glad to have you back since 2007 until now 2009 we are glad to be with you and also we are glad to have Alisher.
Thank you for all the things that you have done to us you and Alisher we have a new cow and also
chiken. Thank you for that and aslo thank you for the merry christmas gifts that you have brought to us.
I would like to tell thenk you all and I also appreciate for all you friends that they have also help us. When you go back to Canada just greet all you friends and your family tell them that we appreciate for all they have done to us.
I wish you a merry Christmas to you all your family, friends and others in Canada. Merry Christmas and Happy new year. bye bye Kelcy and Alisher
from Angel Alice

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Kenyan Christmas!

Wow, we have less than 36 hours to go. This week has been a whirlwind getting everything done for HOME. Unfortunately it meant spending a lot of time away from the orphanage and I feel like I've hardly seen the kids this week. But we have the rest of today and all of tomorrow to take in all the fun we can get, including a dance party tonight.

The incubator has been ordered and paid for and will arrive on the 30th. On Thursday we picked up 100 day old broiler chicks. They will be ready to sell in about 4 weeks. This afternoon I will pay for another 100 chicks to be delivered on January 3rd. This will be a different breed which can give fertilized eggs for the incubator. It's all very exciting.

I apologize for those of you reading the blog, I put that the cow's name is Sunshine. It's not, she is called Sunrise, as first reported, apparently I was in a daze when I wrote that on Wednesday.

Yesterday was our Christmas party and it was excellent. Quite the production, as we had gifts for 108 kids, from the 3 month old baby Ramsay to the older kids. Wrapping took over 4 hours on Thursday night. Everyone got a new to them piece of clothing, plus something fun like a book or deck of cards. They all got an orange as well. We made chapatis for them and cupcakes and had drinks.

It was all very exciting. They did a performance for us, with songs and speeches. I made two speeches as well (glad I'm no longer petrified of public speaking, must be all those presentations at Rotary). The kids had so much fun and were so grateful. I would have to say it's been my best Christmas ever, just seeing how happy it made them!

It's pretty hard right now, as kids are already telling us how much they'll miss us and not to forget them (how could we). The big question is when will we come back, which I can only answer as soon as I can.

Wednesday we did a tour of Kibera with my friend Dan. He mostly helps people with HIV, bringing them food, cooking for them if they are very weak, taking them to the hospital, really anything he can do to help. He also has one patient who was shot in the post election violence by the police and is now paralyzed from the waist down. He has 3 small children.

Our day consisted of meeting people and taking them food. I bought 90 kilos of beans and 90 kilos of maize flour (for ugali, the staple maize porridge they eat in Kenya) from the HOME funds, which will feed about 40 families for a week. Many of these people depend on this program as HIV and related illnesses have left them too weak to work.

Well, time to get back and finish off everything. I'm off to Denmark for a week over Christmas and should have time to put photos up and write more about the orphanage, the project and the kids there.

Happy Holidays to you all and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Introducing Sunrise

Here she is. Chickens in this week. The incubator will be bought tomorrow.

Today Alisha and I are touring Kibera (the slum I worked in last time) with my friend Dan, who works as an outreach worker for people with AIDS. Check out for more details. I'll post a report on the day later.

Then before we head back to the sticks it's time to pick up gifts for our Christmas party which we are holding on Friday. Each one of the 106 orphans is getting something and it should be great!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Latest

Went to see about the incubator yesterday. We visited one place where it seemed quite expensive, so I suggested we return to the orphanage to discuss with them. Their incubator is cheaper, but it's manual, so when the eggs are being incubated they have to be turned every 4 hours. Somehow they made a mistake and didn't turn them once and have lost 500 eggs!

So HOME will be shelling out for an automatic incubator with 200 eggs. We've decided to start there, as the kids and workers at the orphanage will be learning as they go. It's possible for them to just do 100 at a time as well.

We'll be building another chicken coop especially for the incubator and the chicks they hatch from it. The other coop, that is finished will be used for keeping broilers or layers.

So still some work to be done, but it'll be great. Thanks again for reading and your help!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Good News

The chicken shed is done and the cow shed nearly complete. Next Tuesday we go to see about the incubator with the staff from the orphanage so we can make a decision. I think it will be excellent, but someone is going to have to take responsibility for it to be a success.

We bought a cow yesterday! Now they will have two. There was one here when we arrived, named Glopa, and I bought one yesterday, named Sunrise. She should give milk by the new year. Apparently it is also good for the cows to have each other for company. And happy cows give more milk.

Paddy from the Tara Project, who built the orphanage, was here last week. He's rented the lot adjacent to the orphanage and had it plowed so it can be a vegetable garden. As long as there is more rain soon, it will be planted in the next few weeks. In the mean time I have been using some of the fund raised money to purchase fruits and vegetables for the kids.

I will get a photo of Sunrise and the completed structures when I find a computer that like working with my camera!

Thanks for the latest donations to Riyoko and Dale Charleston.