Kenya, Africa

KEN06 - Fame Childrens Home, Maseno: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: February 2, 2014

Report from BHW Field Director

 

Recent Events

Activities

There are a number of ongoing developments since the last report. The Camp Moriah work (KEN06a) is based in the same location so there is quite a lot of overlap between the two ministries. 

Currently there are 16 children in the Home and four boarding at secondary schools. The numbers continue to decrease as per the plan. The remaining children are mainly boys. From discussions it is clear that the children are still doing well at school. Fewer numbers means they are able to be cared for a little better, though the apparent lack of funding is not helping in this. The children say they miss having so many others in the home and are a little concerned about it closing down. However, we have discovered that quite a percentage of the children are not orphans or as vulnerable as the team from MCO were first led to believe when the programme was handed over to them.

good discussionsBHW staff visited on two occasions in 2013. The first time was with the Foundations for Farming team, John Vlaming and Jerry Field. It was obvious from that visit that there is good potential to develop the land they have, both for income for the facility and programmes there, and for training.  

Discussions

While there we had many discussions with the key people about the future. This work is in a transition phase, the FAME Home is diminishing and the Camp Moriah work will continue and grow. However it is hard to put off some of the staff who are increasingly not required.

healthy cowsThe cows looked healthy although one had died during the year. We spent a lot of time talking about the need to have quality and that it is better to have fewer good cows than a lot of poor ones. 

The gardens were looking OK although it was obvious that water is an issue during the drier times of year. The greenhouse was being cared for better and had a good crop in it. It is obvious that Oscar is a good farmer. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the Foundations for Farming training in the future. 

We checked out the rabbit farming which is being developed. It was looking OK although still in the early stages. They had a setback with a number dying but have worked out the causes and adjusted their management. 

could be betterWe spent quite a lot of time in the existing maize fields looking at how it could be done better and comparing the methods used with the Foundations for Farming methods. There was lively discussion and a lot of eyes were opened, especially in regards to weeding, the need to do things in a timely manner and determining what area should be planted. Part of the cause for not doing things on time was related to planning and to having such a large field but also not understanding some basic principles. However there is a real willingness to learn and that is something we can work with. 

 

Ideas for the Future
doing wellThere are two significant future parts to the programme:

John Vlaming will go there in 2014 and run the Foundations for Farming training. While there he will also put together with Oscar a management plan for the development of the cows. If the cows can become productive they have the potential to fully support the place.  

Until John goes there will be no further funding for development of the self-sustainability programmes. These are now growing themselves, the main part being the increase in cows from natural reproduction. 

 
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Current Issues and Challenges
not enough waterHaving enough water is the single biggest issue they face. They want to harvest more by having some more tanks and work at using water more efficiently. Also, the main well does need to be deepened again.

Ongoing funding is also an issue. They were struggling by the end of the year to pay the staff and meet all the costs. This is an issue that is not going to go away while they have the children in the hostel and until the water can be sorted. 

 

Prayer and Praise Points

doing well1) There is a need for great wisdom in regards to slowly shutting down the Home so the children are not disadvantaged. The same applies to the handling of staff. 

2) There is good development from year to year in the income generation. Boosting this with further training will be beneficial.

3) There is good understanding developing between the children and the older children in the Camp Moriah programme. The older children help, encourage, mentor and tutor the younger ones. Having the younger ones also teaches the older ones to care for children and be aware of others.  

 

Comments

good income generatorI still endorse the plan to close this Home down over time and transfer the facility to become a full time camp base for the Camp Moriah disicplehip programme. In the context of the MCO work (KEN01b), I think that having more children is not sustainable but having this other discipleship programme is sustainable and is a key to preparing older young people for effective, productive lives.

I think the funding may be a little light and we may have to increase the timeframe by one more year as well, but that will happen later in 2014. 

The key to the next steps in self-sustainability is the visit of John Vlaming and a successful uptake of advice regarding the development of the cows alongside the Foundations for Farming training.