Mona has travelled over from Norway to help with projects in very western Kenya close to the Ugandan border. Her, already, epic blog is here, in English (thank you, Mona!) She talks of little Sylvia “living in a tiny kitchen/bedroom with only one bed”, despite 5 others including her grandmother who sleep on the mud floor and are commonly bitten by jigger fleas which swells up the skin, especially childens feet. Sylvia gets tea and milk in the morning and the evening, and lunch at school as besides taking care of 6 or 7 of her granchildren, Christine also cooks for all the children at the Tumaini Centre. This week schools finish for Easter but there is no money for lunch at home!! Sylvia is still learning to walk and was bought a pair of shoes by Mona to stop the jigger fleas from biting her. Unfortunately she tried to go out on her own and fell over yesterday, hence the plaster. Sylvia is 3 years old but look how tiny she is. Mona is trying to fundraise to send her to a specialist and find out what is wrong.

“In 2006, with sponsorship from UK and friends Benson and Steven, Emily, pictured below, arranged to rent a house at Shibanze market, so she could start to tutor the local kids. Unfortunately, they could not manage to pay the rent and were kicked out, but Emily would not give up on the kids and kept up teaching, this time under the tree in the pic below, now located at the Tumaini Centre where AVIF volunteers stay and close to where Sylvia lives with her siblings and grandmother, Christine.

Parents helped and they managed to build two rooms on the land with sponsor money. Emily managed to get sponsorship to go to college, and with sponsorship money the dining hall (now classrooms), the kitchen and the well were built. Unfortunately, it soon became obvious that both Benson and Steven were misusing the sponsorship money! So much more could have been done. For over 6 months the teachers were not paid, but they would not abandon the kids, so they stayed.

When Amanda turned up from Canada and brought her own determination, together with Maurice Mwanza they all helped fundraise to pay Emily and the other teachers and buy a cow to support the kids with milk. Benson stole it! But at least they also fled when the truth came out.

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We’ll update more …. here and on Mona’s blog.