Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friends Vision Childrens Home

For all the problems that exist on this planet, and certainly there is a plethora of them. If we start making a list it would be long and getting longer. We keep hearing how people mess things up because of greed, indifference and a general malaise about doing anything good.

It's easy to get into that mould when you read that France is now on strike because the government wants to raise the minimum age of retirement from 60 to 62. I know 'gasp'. Yes there's also that thing about raising the age of collecting full pension from 65 to 67. Is there no end to the madness that is Nicolas Sarkozy?

At Rotary, I got to hear a presentation by Jenny Martinez. She is a 27 yr old who has a rather interesting life story. She was born in Nicaragua, emigrated to Canada when she was only 5, with her family. Since then she graduated from the University of Toronto. That by itself might be a feel good story, but it goes on; she decided to go and volunteer at an orphanage in Kenya, a few years back. There, she a few others were so moved they decided to form a sponsorship group. The early idea was to provide resources so that orphans could have their basic needs met, including the opportunity to go to school. After a while this group decided to develop their own orphanage.

This is how Friends Village Childrens Home commenced. It is still a work in progress but it is progressing. The people who make up the board are from all over the world, united with the thought of improving the life of children in Kenya.

Their goal:
* To provide food, shelter, clothing, education, safe drinking water, medical care and career opportunities to orphaned, deprived and destitute children
* Help cut down the number of street children in the Kenyan society
* Reduce HIV/AIDS related cases, through education and prevention
* Improve access to education for underprivileged children
* Help children who are not academically inclined to acquire technical skills, which will allow them to support themselves in the future
* Continue the close working relationship with Government Rescue Centres and Children’s Home in order to provide the local community with the fundamentals needed in their society.

Jenny was interviewed in the local paper regarding one of the fund-raising projects.

Just recently, the group of them climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, an effort that took 6 days to do and was a major motivator to get the project started.

Right now the project is:
FVCH has acquired 3 acres of land on the outskirts of the town of Naivasha, in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. The land is lush and fertile, which will provide us with excellent conditions to make our home as self-sustainable as possible.

We plan to build up to 6 homes and a community centre on our land. Each house will act as an individual home, with up to 10 children (boys and girls) and a house mama. Each home will comprise of male and female bed and bathrooms, a bedroom for the house mama, living area, dining room, kitchen, store and laundry.

There will also be a two storey community centre with two training classroom, a library, computer room, TV/DVD room and a small medical clinic/store downstairs and an office and volunteer wing upstairs. Eventually we would like to run educational class not only for our children and staff, but for the surrounding community as well.

There will also be a large playing field, a small poultry farm and a communal shamba (farm) with crops such as maize, cabbage, spinach, potatoes, carrots, bananas, and avocado and mango trees. As time progress, we would like to manage and sell our crops and eggs to provide us with more funding.

All quotes are taken from the website. I invite you to visit for more information.

Here are people attempting to make a difference. They went to Africa in the hope of doing something. Now they are making a difference and will continue to do so.

Perhaps there's hope for this planet after all.

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