Autumn Newsletter 2015

Panasonic summer 2015 WellWe do hope you have had a good summer. Our weather seems to have had its highs and lows over the summer months, but I really can’t say that our barbecue has been overused! Maybe we shall have a reasonable autumn.

Paul had a good trip to Kenya in August. By that time the Foreign office had lifted the restrictions, which was a relief, and he was able to see 72 patients over 3 clinics, so not bad going given the hot weather, no air conditioning, and quite a bit of rain!

He was able to go and see the various projects we had been involved with over the past few months.

The staff classroom is a great success, so the staff at the school are happy.

Panasonic summer 2015 JiggersHe saw the new toilets which have been completed at Taliban, and looked at the feet of some of the children who had received treatment for Jiggers. A brand new well in Taliban is now complete. Photographs are shown of these projects, though Paul was unable to take photos of the inside of the homes which have been disinfected, as they have no windows, so are pretty dark. We have also been able to supply a good number of mosquito nets, and we have some money put by to provide more as required in the future.

The school block of toilets is also finished, which means there is now space for one more classroom to be built when we have funds.

Pearl has had several school visits recently, and our local Rotary gave us some money to provide Panasonic summer 2015 Toiletssome furniture for the staff classroom. The children at Longwell Green School had a wonderful Charity Fair one afternoon in July. Pearl was there, and enjoyed a great time, throwing wet sponges at members of staff, and eating the cakes made by the children. She also guessed the names of teddies, numbers of sweets in jars, and many other things, though didn’t win any prizes! The children themselves made approximately £400 from the Fair for the Trust, which is tremendous. Thank you to both Longwell Green Junior School, and St Peter’s School in Portishead, for their hard work, and generosity. St Peter’s held a sale of cakes and toys, which again raised more than £400. Pearl was able to help behind the counter, and wore Kenyan dress for the occasion!

In Kenya, now that the travel restrictions have been lifted, it is hoped that business for the locals will also improve. The hotel where Paul and Pearl stayed, is in a rather sad state, but they did have a few Russian and German guests when Paul visited.

It hardly seems possible that we are now thinking about Christmas! The children at St Peter’s School really wanted to provide money from their sale for the children at Little Angels to celebrate Christmas with extra food and gifts. Their gift will be sent out in November in time for Christmas.

Paul will go back in December, though Pearl will not visit this time, as she has commitments here in Portishead. We will monitor how things are in 2016.

So much has been achieved this year, two blocks of toilets, a new well, mosquito nets by the dozens, a new staff room, treatment for all the many children with Jiggers, fumigation of a whole village, extra food, some urgent operations carried out, treatment for those with malaria, broken bones, and other ailments. To say nothing of the day to day running of the school, continuing to provide two meals a day, plus full board for the children living in the dormitory, paying the teaching staff, and the ongoing upkeep of the school (painting, repairs etc) and the water and electricity systems, (which are a continuous headache!). Part of the fencing has been broken, so that also needs to now be fixed when funds become available. All of this could not be achieved without your support, so we would all want to say a very big ‘thank you’ to everyone.

There are plans afoot to hold a dinner/dance next year – more about that in our next newsletter!

With our very best wishes, and thanks

Paul, Pearl, George, Debbie & Paul.

Summer Newsletter 2015

Summer Greetings!

Since our last newsletter, Paul has been out to Kenya for just a week in April, and is due to go out Class Roomagain in August – again for just a week. By going every 3 months or so he can undertake regular clinics at the School, renew his patients` prescriptions and restock the pharmacy.

At present, due to our Foreign Office`s advice, I shall not be going but shall continue to do what I can from here. We have good links with a school in Portishead, and with another at Longwell Green. I have been privileged to visit the schools and take part not only in Assemblies but in classes.

I value these school links very highly, because they not only provide some valuable ‘extras’ for the children at Little Angels, but our own children here in Bristol are learning so much from the link with a school in a Third World Country, with all that entails. We were asked if we could provide 100 nets for the children in the school who do not have them, and we received gifts for that particular need. In May, I took mosquito nets to a school in Portishead to show them what they were like; and with the cheque they gave me (from the sale of cakes) we sent out money for a further 20 nets. This month the school is holding a table top sale, and the money will provide `extras` for the Little Angels School at Christmas. The school in Longwell Green have also held a Summer Fair for the last couple of years, giving the proceeds to the Trust for various projects. Last year they were able to supply the school with some beds for the dormitory.

photo (4)Since Paul went out in April, we have completed a block of toilets in Taliban village. We have also built a dedicated staff room at the school, since the one we built 3 years ago is now a classroom. There has been a fair bit of ‘making good’ too on some of the classroom floors, and also in the corridor in the dormitory, which is also being used as a classroom. This is essential to keep the `jiggers` away.

Unfortunately a large branch of a very tall tree – on a neighbour’s property – fell onto the roof of one of our classrooms, so we have had to buy new iron sheets. We have provided each of the children with a pair of shoes, and also managed to buy quite a large number of mosquito nets for the children who do not have one. We hope this might reduce the large number of children who have caught malaria recently and have needed emergency treatment. Fortunately, since all the children have been treated promptly we have had no fatalities. We see this as a high priority and, as we are able, we will purchase more nets to distribute. Each net costs around £5.00.

We were asked to move the toilets by the local council governor, since the new classroom was too close, and this has been done now. They were getting old and so we have built now ones – at our expense of course!

So what we have been able to achieve this year has been quite tremendous, thanks to your generosity!

We do have another big problem, which has only come up this week. Food costs have risen by about 30 per cent in the past year and, due to the high cost of food, it was decided – very reluctantly – by our school staff to stop providing breakfast for all the children. We were very disappointed by that, since this will make it hard for the children to concentrate and we are determined to re-establish breakfast. To do that we shall need to send out an extra £30 per week. This will provide a daily breakfast for all of our day-attenders; the children in the dormitory are still having breakfast 7 days a week. We have enough funds to pay for this for the next couple of months, but, in the longer term, we need to have something more permanent in place.

So, would you be able to increase your subscription? If all our lovely donors gave an extra £5.00 a year that would cover the extra cost; an extra £10 would give us a cushion for the foreseeable future. If you can help, do please let us know?

We cannot allow the children to start eating sand again to fill their tummies against hunger pains, which is what some of them were doing before they came to the Little Angels School.

Whatever you are able to send to us, please know that we will use it wisely?

Thank you for your concern and interest in our charity. If you are a tax-payer, we can, of course, claim back from HM Inland Revenue the tax you have already paid on your gift. We have forms available for this purpose.

Paul has also been very busy with the medical side of things. It seems to have been a bad few months for malaria and other water-borne diseases, so a number of the children have had to have hospital treatment. Nevertheless, he has funded several major operations and has treated an increasing number of patients in his clinics. As with the school, the medical work requires our input on an almost daily basis; but, as with the schoolchildren, is extremely rewarding.

With very many thanks for your help and with our very best wishes.

Pearl and Paul Walker,
Debbie, George and Paul

Spring Newsletter 2015

Paul went out to Kenya for one week in February. Here is an update on our work in Kanamai.

PlayingBecause of the political situation, there are still very few tourists going to Kenya and, of course, this continues to have an adverse effect on the poorer folk who rely on tourism for their daily bread. So life is hard. Hotels are closing – the one we used to stay in is one of them, and Paul now stays in a hotel which is owned by the University, so its guests are normally those attending conferences. For most of the week he was there, Paul was the only guest!

SleepingThis also means that the cost of living has gone up, and the price of food has increased substantially. This affects the work at the school particularly, but we are able at present to continue to give the children porridge for breakfast, and a lunch. The children living in the dormitory also have an evening meal.

As well as carrying out sessions at the clinic Paul was able to look around the area, and the need for toilets in some of the villages is still of paramount importance. We have just sent out money to begin to build a block in Taliban village (I would add this is nothing to do with the terrorist organisation, of the same name). We hope that we can get them completed before the ‘rains’ come in April.

Staff RoomWe have had to renew both the pipework and the electric wiring to the water pump at the school, and another classroom has just been finished. Our original staff room has had to be used as another classroom, and the teachers are asking if we could build them a staff room. At present funds do not allow us to do this, as we are committed to finishing the toilets in Taliban, but we have added it to `the list`! I think we could probably build the staff room for £2,000. Until then, the teachers are in the open air and at the mercy of the elements.

This week we have been told that 4 children at the school have gone down with cholera, and of course we are dealing with that. Malaria is still a constant problem: not in the dormitory, as we have mosquito nets around all the beds, but in their own homes.

Before Paul went out, we were sent confirmation that he has been appointed Adjunct Professor at Pwani University in Kilifi. Sounds good, but we wait to see what that means in reality!

Back here, Pearl visits schools and other organisations to promote the work of the Trust, and deals with the day to day running of the Trust. She is also on the end of a phone for all the problems which arise in Kenya.

Class RoomPearl is particularly grateful to those who help her: George, who deals with the website and publicity, and Shaun, who deals with the accounts and the accountant!

Because of the instability, it is now a year since she has been to Kenya, and for the time being, at least, she will stay here, where she has plenty to do! Fortunately the work she does is not dependent on her actually being there, though she does miss her contacts with the children, and without a doubt being there ‘in the flesh’ does get things done. Paul is going out again in April.

Thank you so much for your help and interest in the work of the Trust. If you have any questions, or information for us, do please get in touch with us – either through the website, or by email.

Details as follows:

Email@ info@kanamaitrust,