"In preparing for this trip, we launched a small appeal to fund some items for the supported nurseries such as toys, books and other equipment. Just under £500 was raised and we spent a good chunk of that in the nearest town – Thika - prior to my final visit to Mukuyu Primary School. A van full of new gear arrived with us, and we helped unload boxes into the classroom. The children were thrilled to receive their new reading books, skipping ropes, hoola-hoops and other little toys. We also bought some mattresses for the nursery kids, who often need to take a nap in the late morning, especially when it gets really hot. Until today, they were sleeping on blankets on the floor. Another van is on its way to Oaklands today with a similar consignment.
You can still donate to this appeal here.
A good friend of Kipawa, Dave Shepherd, very sadly died last year and his family was keen that donations made in his memory were used to fund some sporting activities. Some of the money they donated was spent today on footballs for some budding Kenyan football stars of the future.
- Discussing activities by the new Monitoring & Evaluation team with James & Humphrey – they showed how the AKIDA referral system used by social workers in the field, linking with Business Intelligence software at the office, is being developed to identify need across several themes, assisting with budget projections and helping to demonstrate actual impact for the monies spent. This is a work in progress but we should see some outputs from that work by January.
- A good chat with the new Communications lead, Branice – we spoke about Kipawa’s desire to get more frequent updates from the projects we support in Ruiru. We want to see more regular feedback about the people we are helping and their communities, and how our funding is making a long-term difference. Our donors and supporters can expect to see more of this kind of material in the coming months.
- And some time with Julie, who leads the Finance team – on behalf of Kipawa and our donors, I did a mini-audit of the accounts process and systems used by Macheo for its administration of the near £40,000 they spend on our behalf in Ruiru. We spoke about the work they’re doing on unit costs, on accounting for indirect back-office costs (currently less than 5%) and how they’re developing projections for 2018. And she was more than happy to show off her new hairstyle purely to make me jealous…
When that rescue centre closed, Macheo took him in and have worked hard on a series of interventions. He got physiotherapy to help with mobility, medication to reduce the seizures and help on daily living tasks like washing, dressing and toilet use. Importantly, they also forged a reconnection with his mother, whom he now sees three or four times a year.
With financial support provided by some of our trustees, Idris is now attending a specialist boarding school half an hour away from Macheo with other kids of his age and with similar needs. And he's doing well - running around, able to use his hands properly, engaged, saying a few words, and with very few seizures. He remains the smiley, happy boy he was all those years ago - but one with a brighter future ahead.
A lovely way to finish the trip."