All posts by Grandmothercircles

News to know from Homalime,

Dear Lois,
Greetings from Homalime once again. We have heavy rains now and its good to feel dirty as we toil on our farms. After digging, re-digging and planting and planting again, we still look up to the good Lord to give us plenty of this rain.
In Africa, life is hard. Hard enough for those who are able to plough using their own animals ( I have four bulls), and impossibly hard for those who have no means of tilling their land. But the African farmer is resilient!!
Many of our bulls for ploughing are are now too weak to go on farming. I sometimes wonder whether our major priority is water or a tractor for the poor farmers. Food sufficiency will only be achieved if more people could plough as big farms as they plan to. That can not be done by animals.
These are he thoughts that I carry on my shoulders and I am glad that I can share this with you.
MaryO

News from Kenya, April 19, 2012

Dear Lois,
It is good to hear from you after quite a long silence. My family and I are doing very well. The two girls I was supporting in High School did their final exams and passed their exams well enough to go on to middle college. I am happy because they were not very bright.
It has taken me a bit of time to send in my completed reports. This is because of the loss of Maria Amolo. Our funerals last for a long time. People who were not able to come for burial keep on coming to Maria’s home and I needed to avail myself for them. It has eased up now.

woman in front of water tankThe water tanks project has come to a fine completion and I have finished compiling the report. I will send it along with the Chicken coops report. For water it is simply exiting and many St. Monica women have recorded a life changing water situation in their families. I am waiting to record the impact of this on their farming and small businesses.
You surely have some good news for all of us. Thanks be to God for all the changes that are coming our way.

Please let Tina know that that we are doing well with the grinder. The fact that we have the grinder now means that in social gatherings, people can now be served with groundnut soup. This is a traditional special dish. Quite a number of families also come to buy small quantities of grounded nuts for the very young children. I want to thank her in advance for choosing to send me a video camera.
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Serphine and I are in close contact with the stone cutter right now because God has blessed her family with a catholic priest. One of her sons, Ayub Ochieng was among the 5 priests ordained as catholic priests on March 22nd this year. That was a +++ for the St. Monica Women. We celebrated mass with him at the parish and are waiting for the big occasion on the 1st of June when he shall have a home mass. Serphine and I are on the committee for this celebration. I believe the said window will be a face lift to Teresa’s house. I always take my visitors to her home to see her home, quarry and the house she built with the stones she curved out. Please say a big thank you to Vicky.

About the priorities we set out, I wish to assure you that we do not take any offence at small projects interjects the status we set out. There are many worthy causes that we did not address. Teresa’s cause is definitely our cause too.

Mary O

News from Kenya January 4, 2012

by MaryO on 2012/01/04 11:48 AM

Dear Friends,

I do wish you all a very fruitful 2012 and continual cooperation with us in the projects we undertake. The Christmas season was wonderful. We had family reunion and also arranged many visits to the old folk in the community. The new year has started and we are now busy thinking about school. At our shop, we are making school uniform and we find the demand for cheaper school uniform higher now than ever.

The Schools have increased the tuition fee and quite a number children from low income families and orphans are stranded.

On behalf of the Consociates, Grandmothers, St. Monica, Marit Women Group and others I wish to convey our sincere thanks to you all for what you are doing to make our projects a reality. This last Christmas was the best for the Widows of St. Monica Women Group. Each one of them received a water tank(3,lts) complete with gadgets for installing it and workmanship paid. I will make a tour to each home, confirm the installation of the tanks and send a report with pictures. Together with the chicken project, they are a very happy lot!

We also want to thank you for the support we got last year for education. With assistance from other sources, we were able to support the following:

1.Berlyl Ogola 10500              2.Sharon Okoth 14,000

3.Winny Ounda 20,000          4. Lea Wabwire 20,000

5.Lillian Odhiambo 20,000    6.Joan Oburu 10,000

7. Modester Achieng 10,000   8.Mary Agumba 7,000

9.Lucy Akinyi 7,000               10. Mary Simbe 20,000

11.Caroline Oyongo 5,000      12 Godfrey Simbe 30,000

St. Lucy’s Raruowa 35,000

The girls with the higher amounts are total orphans. The one boy is at university.

We have received from you for this year 27,000 and will see who to assist.

After discussion, we decided it is better to support a few students enough to keep them at school than give small amounts to many of them.

Our tentative list of priorities is here below:

1. Koliech, 4 large water tanks (5,000lts)    2. Marit Women 16 water tanks (3,000lts)

3. Oriang Pottery 4 water tanks (5,000lts)    5.Kagola Youth farmers- a watering system

6. Marit Women Group – 100 chairs and four tents for hire

Marit Women Group has appeared twice. They support school children by giving cheaper uniform, sanitary towels and pants for the girls. So they need an income generating project.

We also have a new project (Aloys, Serphine and myself), for the support of the elderly.

I will be writing soon giving the accounts for the chicken coops and the water tanks

Peace,

Mary

News from Kenya December 22, 2011

Update
by MaryO on 2011/12/22 6:43 AM

Hello,

Thank you for all your efforts.  We are having the water tanks built currently and our hope was to have all the water tanks by Christmas.

I will be visiting each home in January and I will have more to share then.

Many children are helped by your efforts.  Especially girls, it is the girls that walk sometimes 2 &1/2 miles to the government sponsored water hole then they carry it on their heads in a ten gallon pail.

Our roads are mad of mud, main way of traveling is by what you wouldcall a dirt bike. Some people do have cars or trucks but very few. Sometimes the gas runs out at the stations, I think that happened at least once when you visited almost 2 years ago.

The water that is sponsored by the government comes from Lake Victoria.  The pipes were put in over 30 years ago and sometimes the water hole is closed because of problems with the pipeline.

We use water for making food, gardening, cleansing and feeding our animals chickens especially. 10 gallons does not go very far and so the young child might have to make two trips in one day.

The water tanks that people are sponsoring through your organization are to collect water off of our Tin roofs during the rain season.  I can not begin to tell you how much the gift of these water tanks mean to our community.  You all have made these grandmothers from St Monica have notice in the community.  They were shunned because they refused to follow cultural practice and remain as “inherieted” like property when their husbands died.  They stood up to the chief and said ,”no” some were beaten. They came together and formed a womens circle called St.Monica.  (I too am a grandmother who like many of these grandmothers are raising orphans we have over 70 orphans 30 grandchildren in circle). I joined the group too and helped them organize.

Each time we meet each grandmother contributes something to the collection pot and as a group we decide where that money is best needed.  It would have taken us years and years to come up with the money for these water tanks.  Because of your efforts we at Christmas will have water to drink. (Yes of course it has to be boiled).

Water Tanks

First set of Water Tanks Purchased
by LoisM on 2011/12/17 9:53 AM

Thank you for your ongoing support.  We through your efforts to support our the NGO in Homa Lime have been able to raise the money for the first 16 water tanks.  The grandmothers pictured on our home page now have water tanks to collect the water during the rain season.  They collect the water of their tin roofs.  These 16 grandmothers are raising over 100 orphans in addition to their own grandchildren.  Typically girls must walk to the watering hole about 1 & 1/2 miles to the watering hole before they go to school.  They carry the water in a ten gal pail on their head. Each water tank we provided is 5,000 gallons.  You have just made their world a little brighter!  On behalf of the Saint Monica’s women’s group and all the children. We say Thank you!

Mary has asked us to continue raise money for at least two more sets of water tanks.  Water is crucial.  Each water tank system cost about $480. US.

Can you and your friends join the circle of support and sponsor a water tank? How about part of water tank?

News from Homaline July 5, 2011

by MaryO on 2011/07/05 6:31 AM

Dear Lois and Grandmother Circles Supporters,

It was exiting to read from you after quite a long time.  we are doing well here.  Most of my family and older dependents are back in school and I am left at home with Yusuf, his wife and two daughters.  I have a little girl I took in with me.  She is in nursery school.

We started the year well and were expecting a good harvest but suddnely the rains disappeared and we now have a failed harvest.  But I supoosed the weather has been drastic all over the world.

In the first half of the year the St. Monica meetings are normally limited to give time to the women to work on their farms.  We do however meet once a month for prayer and meditation at the Raruowa mission.  The Marit women group however do not stop meeting as we are the main support for all the affilate groups that we have.  This year our special theme is couselling for youth.  We have stocked in our craft centre sanitary towels and a few pants for the girls we counsel.  We have made some progress on this and we are looking forward to seeing improved performance of the girls level of education.

As you may know Serphine and her husband Aloys have joined the band to become consociates.  We are now a team of three consociates. ( see note at end of blog) Our theme for social work this year is also Guidance and couselling.  we use sports  and specifically football for boys and girls, to attract the youth to our counselling sessios.  The activities are very well received by the youth and their parents.

I wish to thank you very much for the work you are doing to raise funds for the grandmother Circles.   Please convey our gratitude to Lisa for her donation of a Community Chicken Coop to the Grandmothers (St.Monicas Women’s Group), I will let the grandmothers know about it on on the July 16th when we meet in Raruowa to walk the Labyrinth.

Cheerio for now.

Mary

News from Homaline March 18, 2011

by MaryO on 2011/03/18 2:09 PM

Greetings from Homalime.

Things have changed since we last emailed.  We are feeling the effects of destroying our eco system. We have no rains although the fields are ready for crop.  women, girls and men have started the long journeys in search of water.  Infact I want to see if my son and daughters can assist me to buy a donkey cart for ferrying water.  I want to fetch water for some of the very old and sick women in the community.

In addition the price of food has been on the upward trend.  It is amazing how some of the very poor among us survive these circumstances.

We as the Marit womens group are planning to so some move intervention similar to the one we had in 2008-09 where we brought Maize down buy selling what we had at a reduced price.

The group chicken house is now complete and we have one huge cock and 9 female chickens.  Right now we get anaverage of 6 eggs aday.  We have not started selling the eggs out as intended because after chickens epidimic, there is a shortage of birds that are ready to roost.

We are looking for a good breed of chickens to name after Mary Beth Boyle. I will send you pictures when I got a good network.

We shall sit in a special group meeting to plan what to do with the money we received from the sales of some of the items you to took to the states to sell for us.  we will probably buy food supplies to help the needy as is our yearly custom.

Take Care,
Mary