Guest post by Simon Hart, Kenya Program Advisor
Well, it has been a couple of weeks now since the distribution trip finished, and I just wanted to share a few trip highlights with you, and give you an update from the projects! We had a really enjoyable trip, and it was great to see such a diverse group of people of all ages, nationalities and travelling experience. It was great to meet such a generous bunch as well, with some of the participants bringing all kinds of donations on top of the money and time they had already donated to the Eat So They Can cause!
With a few jet-lagged heads, we left early on Monday to deliver milk to the 50 babies at Happy Life Children’s Home. The participants instantly took to the smiling young faces, and it was a struggle to get them all to leave! We then headed over to our HIV program, where we were given a fantastic reception from the director, who had arranged for the various project managers from across the country to come and give us a presentation into what they do, and how the donations will benefit their patients.
|Pipeline IDP Camp|
On the Tuesday we left to visit the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in the town of Nakuru. This was a very humbling and emotional experience for everyone, to see the plight of those who were displaced from their homes as a result of the election violence of 2007. However, it was also an uplifting experience in some ways, to see the benefits the porridge program are having in the camps, and to see the ESTC donations make a real difference. We were able to donate enough to keep the porridge program going for a whole year!
|Rongai IDP Camp|
We took a well deserved break on Wednesday to go on safari at Lake Nakuru national park. In almost 18 months of being in Kenya, I have never seen a leopard, and so it must have been a piece of ESTC luck which enticed one out of the bush, and right out into the road in front of us!
|The Children at Cheryl's School, singing a welcoming song|
We had a very active day on Thursday, which was probably the most enjoyable. First we visited Cheryl’s School, where every class insisted on giving us a welcoming song to thank the participants for their donations of mattresses and food, and then we had an hour long soccer match at the next children’s home, complete with livestock needing rescuing from the goal nets! On Thursday, the participants finally got to visit the Nairobi Java Coffee house as well, to quench their caffeine needs!
|Playing soccer with the children from Shelter Children's Home|
A tired group headed to the Elephant orphanage on Friday, before visiting to a local clinic. This clinic has no water supply, and so they were delighted to receive materials for a water pump and pipes from the ESTC donations. On the Saturday we had a lovely leaving meal at Trattoria’s Italian restaurant, before saying goodbye to everyone on the Sunday, as they went their separate ways.
|Visiting the Providence Centre Clinic|
Today our Kenya partner visits the final project with the final ESTC donations. We have received a lot of thanks from the various project directors who benefited from ESTC and the distribution trip, and in this time of real economic hardship, instability and inflation in Kenya, the donations are needed now more than ever. Over the next few weeks we will be visiting the projects again to see how things are going, so watch this space!
On behalf of everyone at GVN and to those in Kenya who benefited directly, I want to thank the participants for coming, and for making it such a great week! Asante sana!