Quick Summer Update – July 2022

12th July.

I have heard today that there is an outbreak of cholera, dengue and chikungunya in the area. The authorities have visited our school, and although we do not have any cases of any of these awful diseases in the school, they have forced us to close the school until we have changed the toilets, and sinks, and changed the floor and the taps in the kitchen and ensured new good drainage. The cost will be about £1200. Though I have not expected this expense, I have sent out the money. Food or drains – what a choice – but we must try and keep the children at school if we can.

Pearl.

Kanamai Trust newsletter – Summer 2022

Writing this, as I am, on a lovely morning, with the sun shining and feeling safe and secure, it seems so sad that in other parts of the world, despite the weather, many are living in fearful and dangerous situations.

The war in the Ukraine is awful, and it is heartbreaking to see what families are going through in that country. We are also now realising that this war is having serious consequences around the world, and in the last month or so we have faced this in Kanamai. Food, where still available, has more than doubled in price. There is very little fuel now, and the number of people who are completely without food is growing daily. Maize and flour have until now come from Ukraine, and so is in short supply; whilst the oil used for cooking has dried up. If you add into the mix that there has been a long drought, so Kenyans have been unable to grow their own food; and that the water levels are so low that their wells have dried up, you will see that our poor friends are in a crisis. In some parts of Kenya people are already dying through starvation. We know this to be true since we hear about it from our friends in Kanamai. And we see in the media huge siloes full of grain going to waste due to the Russian blockade of Odessa.

In past years, we have been able to help our friends by buying large quantities of grain when they have been unable to grow their own food due to drought, but it has never been as bad as this, with the price of grain increasing weekly. We have been forced to reduce the food we provide for the children to just one meal a day, and this is just scratching the surface I am afraid, since this doesn’t cover weekends and out- of- term time. Unless things improve fairly quickly, this will escalate to become a huge, global problem.

I am afraid I don’t have any answers to ease their pain, except to give as much money as we can, and hope and pray that this situation does not get any worse. We are continuing to teach the children at the Little Angels, but whether children will be able to continue to go to senior school is debatable. Even our teachers who have children at senior school are finding that, because of the cost of food, they are not able to send their children to school. For them it really is a case of food – or schooling.

If you feel able to give a little extra for food, we will gladly send it out on your behalf. Our friends are well organised and know which of the Kanamai villages and residents are in the direst need, and will endeavour to buy and distribute grain amongst the poorest. We are determined than no-one in Kanamai will starve.

We are planning for Paul to visit again in August, just after the Presidential election, which is always a time of unrest and often rioting, so hopefully the worst will be over before he goes out there.

Pearl has been asked to speak to some of the children at a local school here in Portishead in July. This will be her first visit for more than two years.

Meanwhile, we do thank you for your continuing interest in the work of the Kanamai Trust. We are so grateful for that, and it has been lovely to hear from so many during the time we have all been isolated through the pandemic.

Autumn Newsletter

Autumn Newsletter

Are you thinking – “Is it really Autumn?   Where has this year gone”?  It certainly has whizzed by.

We have continued to keep everything moving in Little Angels, dealing with the usual problems of malaria, broken bones, broken pipes, leaking roofs,  school fees, and school books, and in fact we have just sent out 10 boxes of medical supplies and some clothes by air freight.    It should be delivered either today or tomorrow, and if this works, then it does give us a way of safely sending stuff out, though at a cost of course!

We have continued to be ever grateful for the generosity of our supporters, and it is a great encouragement to us.

One important development is that Virgin are going to cease acting for us receiving gifts which are then passed on to us – with gift aid added.   This will end officially on 1st November, but we are asking that anyone who gives to us in this way, could please contact me direct about ways of supporting us – either through BACS or standing order.   In this way we will not have to pay any fees at all to A.N.Other  and all of your gift will come to us and we can claim the Gift Aid ourselves on your behalf.   We are really sorry to have to withdraw this service, but the initial costs and monthly fees are making it impossible.

The children at the school really do benefit from their education, but some times the difficulties they face are heart breaking.   Because of the lack of work in the area, and the terrible conditions in which they live, the constant fear of petty thieves, who will stop at nothing to get money, make even going to school hazardous.  This past week, one of our staff, who has a little business on the local beach, had a break in, lots of things taken, chairs broken, and the guard was badly injured and is now in hospital.  

With all the discussions going on here about having the vaccine or not, it seems ironic that there are no vaccines available to our friends, and if they are, then they have to pay for  them!  At present about £50.

We are still unsure when we will be able to go out again, but in the meantime, it is good that we can be in daily contact.

Thank you to those who have been in touch with us about the school and the medical work.   We really are grateful.

We will keep in touch.             Pearl Walker.     (pearl@kanamaitrust.org.uk)