Newsletter July 2014

Dear Friends

As you will already know, the security situation in Kenya has become so uncertain that we, and many other schools, had to cancel our visit with children from Bedminster Down School. Fortunately, at the last minute, they were able to arrange a trip to Tanzania, working in schools there, so at least they were able to see something of the African way of life, though sadly not in Kenya.

P1010137 V1At the same time we realised that the situation there was causing great hardship.   Our people were without employment, and food, so we sent out a plea for funds to enable us to buy a ton of maize at a cost of £1,000 (about £1,000 was sent to us via the internet).   Pearl shared her concerns with our friends at St Peter’s Church in Portishead at their Sunday morning service, and by the Monday morning there were gifts totalling £1,500:   so money was immediately sent out for the first ton of maize flour.  The next week she reported all this to our friends at St Nicholas` Church, and immediately received gifts of more than £3,000!  So, another ton was bought the following week; and, last week, the 3rd ton was purchased, and the maize was immediately distributed to other Kanamai villages.

DSC_9531 V1We shall be sending out money in subsequent weeks until all the money donated for this emergency has been used up.   All in all, more than 8,000 people will each have received a couple of kilos of maize flour. We were quite overwhelmed by the response to our appeal; and we are so grateful to everyone who helped in providing this large amount of basic food within the Kanamai District of Kenya.  Together, we have made a difference!  It isn’t just about the food, it is also the knowledge that there are folk in England who care, and want to share in a small way some of the wealth we have here.

P1010130Despite the uncertain situation in Kenya, Paul felt it was right for him to go out, just for a week, and he has returned with pictures which we are attaching to this letter.   You can see just how your money has been used.   His prime reason for going was to provide ongoing medical care, and to ensure that people taking vital medicines for chronic conditions such as epilepsy, asthma, heart failure and hypertension did not run out of them, with disastrous consequences. He saw a very selected number of old patients, plus a few new ones. He admits that keeping  a very low profile was very frustrating, severely curtailing  what he was able to do;  but he accepts that going to Kenya may become increasingly challenging if the security situation doesn’t improve, as it probably won`t.  He thanks all those who prayed for his safety.

P1010120As you will see from the pics, he was able to join our ‘boys’ in distributing the maize in Mabambani village, where the school/clinic are located.   He stayed in a beach hotel within walking distance of the School.  He was often the only guest, which illustrates just what has happened to the tourist trade in that part of Kenya. It really is tragic, that a country with so much beauty and tradition, is failing miserably to cope with both corruption and Al Shabaab.

P1010134The politicians blame each other for their failure to protect their people from the terrorists who are killing poor Kenyans along the Northern Coast on an almost daily basis.  Kenya is now in desperate need of guidance and practical support from its friends in the West but, like most `post-colonial’ African States seems determined to cure its internal and external ills without our help –other than, of course, `Aid` (money)!

Sadly, we are discovering that small charities such as the KDT are now needed more, not less, by the very poor, frightened people of Coastal Kenya.

Paul and Pearl

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