While we at Bread and Water for Africa® stay in regular contact with our partners in Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zambia and elsewhere who provide us with updates on the projects we support, there is no substitute for seeing the program in action firsthand.
As Executive Director of Bread and Water for Africa, I visited with our partners in Kenya and Ethiopia earlier this year to meet with the organizations’ leaders, and more importantly, speak with beneficiaries of the programs you enable us to support – particularly the children.
KipKeino Primary School, Eldoret, Kenya
KipKeino Primary School (KKPS), which was constructed nearly 20 years ago by Bread and Water for Africa® is among the top schools in the country in terms of the quality of education and based on the high percentage of children who pass the national exam, the Kenya Primary School Exam (KSPE).
In 2018, 15 of the 60 eighth grade students who took the exam scored a 400 or higher out of a possible 500 points, a full one-fourth of the class.
"That is quite an accomplishment," the school administrator Mrs. Sabastian told me, noting that countrywide, only 1 percent of the students who take the KPSE score 400 or more.
In addition, of the 486 students who attended KKPS from nursery school to the eighth grade, 36 of them were orphaned children and live at the Lewa Children’s Home, another project founded and supported by Bread and Water for Africa®. These children, orphaned or abandoned by their parents, would never have had the opportunity to attend school, much less one of the top schools in the country, without our supporters.
Lewa Children’s Home, Eldoret, Kenya
Lewa Children’s Home (LCH) supports 52 children from infants just 2 months old to young adults up to 19 years old. In addition, during my visit, LCH was also housing three refugee children aged 5, 7 and 11, from the Democratic Republic of Congo whose mother had settled in a refugee camp in Kenya and was critically ill and hospitalized in Nairobi.
During my visit with the staff and children, I noticed that the home’s operation and daily childcare routines are incredibly efficient and effective.
Bread and Water for Africa® has been working with founder and director Phyllis Keino, who is also our international spokesperson, for nearly 30 years since we helped her establish the children’s home in the early 1990s. Since that time, Phyllis has become “mother” to hundreds who she provided with all the necessities of life -- food and shelter – as well as an education, and most importantly, love.
The Guest House and Baraka Farm, Eldoret, Kenya
From our inception, Bread and Water for Africa® has been focused on having our partners such as KKPS and LCH evolve into self-sufficient entities through revenue-generating operations such as the Kokwet Guest House and Baraka Farm.
Our organization constructed the guest house to provide accommodation to visitors and tourists looking to get away from the heavily traveled areas of the country, as well as to support LCH’s orphan-care program and is managed by the LCH.
Staying at the guest house is very peaceful and surrounded by fields and a beautiful garden. Among the activities guests can partake in is spending some time with the children at LCH and touring the Baraka Farm. They can also enjoy a nice lunch at its cheese shop.
The produce section of Baraka (Blessing) Farm is currently at full capacity, growing vegetables such as cabbage, green beans, carrots, eggplant, onions, squash, lettuce, tomatoes and a few varieties of fruit for the children at LCH. The surplus is sold to KKPS, as well as at the farm store for local residents and merchants buying in bulk quantities.Baraka Farm also includes a major dairy producing operation, producing 800 liters (more than 211 gallons) of milk each day. In addition, the farm’s dairy operation includes a cheese kitchen which produces a total of 36 ten-pound wheels of cheese each week.
Kebeneti Community, Kericho, Kenya
In 2011, Bread and Water for Africa® established a partnership with the Kebeneti community, which operates both a secondary school and a dispensary. Both are very much needed in this rural region of Kenya.
In 2014, we also funded the construction of three classrooms for the first secondary school in the Kebeneti community.
Before we built these classrooms, students could not continue their education, with the exception of the few students who moved to other locations to attend high school. Unfortunately, most parents could not afford to pay for a boarding high school away from home, or arrange for their children to stay at relatives’ homes in other locations to attend school.
The first 67 students enrolled at the secondary school completed school in 2018 and took the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) last November. Of those, 15 earned the highest possible score, enabling them to enroll in a university, and 24 earned a high enough score to enroll in a junior college.
Over the years, Bread and Water for Africa® has funded the construction of a science laboratory, purchased lab equipment, as well as a clean water development project.
Presently, we are working on the construction of a dining hall and kitchen.
Five years ago, we established a partnership with Kebeneti Health Center. Over the following years, we constructed maternity care rooms, a laboratory, and
accommodations for healthcare workers for those who must remain onsite to provide round-the-clock emergency care.
In addition, Bread and Water for Africa® funded a clean water development project to ensure the clinic always had a steady supply of clean, safe water, as well as a solar power system providing hot water necessary for sterilizing equipment and sanitizing the facility.
Coming Next Month: My report on the Salale community visit in Ethiopia - Bethelhem Tessema, Executive Director