Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"You Give and You Receive"

This is the statement that Mwalimu Dennis reminded the students of today at our first Farming and Horticulture Vocational Training meeting. We had a hall full of students interested in the program that the staff and I are starting. Today we briefed them on how important it is to take accountability and responsibility for the garden and animal keeping. Their enthusiasm is immense. As I talk more and more about this program I am realizing the benefits it will have for the school.
After explaining the aim of the program, Mwalimu Dennis asked the children (grades 4-7 and special students) to name the reasons that it will be good for the school. Here are some of their answers (they were not prompted at all, these are their thoughts):
--Lately their has been a lack of milk in the school. One student mentioned that the milk that the cow produces can be used in their chai and they no longer have to drink “strong” chai (a.k.a. American-style tea).
--The manure that the cow produces will help grow the produce in the garden.
--People in the community can buy the milk and make money for the school (a young entrepreneur!)
--By planting the veggie garden, the school can save money and the boarders will have a variety to eat.
--The garden will help prevent erosion.
--Over time, with the money saved, another cow can be bought, expanding the program.
And my three favorites:
--The school will look more beautiful. The air will be clean because trees produce oxygen. Water will be plentiful because trees act as water catchments. The school environment will be improved.
--The things they learn in class can be put into practice. Dennis added: The Kenyan Development goals for 2030 include self-sufficiency. By learning animal keeping and gardening skills in school they can succeed in caring for these things at their homes in the future.
--Fruit salads! Now they will have a wide range of fruits to include in a salad. (Avocados are considered a fruit here. They already have guava and pawpaws.)

These children amaze me! The staff amazes me! I am working with great people. They are encouraging. They are making this idea come alive.

Today we started the day with clearing the cow shed in preparation for renovation. Once we have the funds in place, we have a fundi (skilled worker) ready to start work on it.

I was able to make an announcement to the staff at break about my plans. They are backing me 100%. I will not let them down. My next goal is to get my fundraising proposal in order so that I can do some outreach to generate funds to continue. If you believe in this project, get the word out and direct people to my blog. I will send you a fundraising letter to hand out if you would like. REMEMBER: This is DIRECT service to an organization in Kenya. Unlike World Vision, UNICEF, Compassion, etc., all of the money raised will go DIRECTLY to this program. Ask questions, make comments, give me suggestions. I want everyone to realize that even a small act can make a huge change in the lives of these students. I truly and whole-heartedly believe in that.

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