To all our Associate Members and supporters our sincere thanks for making our fund raising efforts in 2015 a success story. It has been a special year. We get asked, why send money to Kenya when there are homeless families and real poverty even on this relatively rich island. The answer is simple.
It is one thing to queue up for food at a warehouse in Arrecife run by Sister Ana, or one of the Caritas centres. It is another to be involved in the building of schools and health centres which have not been and would never be provided by local government. Thousands of families live in the mountainous rift valley with no amenities, no roads, no electricity, no piped water or drainage. We began with children’s education.
Tomaini School had two hundred children who had to sit on wooden planks balanced on chunks of rock. To write anything they had to kneel in the dust and use the plank of wood as a desk. They had a disgusting loo, a hole in the ground, and no water. NTM provided water and desks for Tomaini and several other schools and rebuilt part of another school. Every year a lot was done with relatively little money. Wages are basic. Health became urgent and The Nelson Trust built a medical centre for us at Nyamathi which serves a huge area of countryside and has a maternity ward with twenty beds. It now has a staff of three nurses and has just completed a de-worming project. Worms are rife and affect the health of many children.
This Christmas we have also contributed 500€ towards family Christmas hampers for the very poor. With donations, membership fees and fund raising we have been able to send twenty thousand Euros to Kenya this year and on top of that a further ten thousand given by the Lawson Foundation, so thirty thousand in all. A large part of this money has now been spent on two dormitories for boys and girls at the Pangani Special School in Nukuru. It has a staff trained to help children overcome mental and physical disabilities. Some children who need help cannot travel each day. We, and the Lawson Foundation, have made it possible for children to board from Monday to Friday. Each dormitory was designed for thirty children with staff rooms and washing facilities but they are already oversubscribed. Parents have asked for sixty two to be able to stay.
Our Field worker is Farah Mushtaq. Her grandparents emigrated to the UK and she was brought up in Manchester. She is dedicating her life to helping the poor in the highlands of Kenya. These are her words: ‘I promise with all my heart I will never let you down. I live a simple life, with bare minimum materialistic access, I have never felt happier. Everything I owned or had has been given to others now, I feel like a millionaire. You have no idea how much your support means to people.