We are pleased to announce that thanks to a generous donation by a friend of Ripple Effect Project, our dear friend Mama Dolfine will be here for a visit this coming October. Specific dates are still yet to be determined. If you were fortunate enough to meet her on her last trip to the States, you will remember how wonderful it is to spend time with her; hearing first hand of stories about Korando and the children. She is looking forward to visiting this fall with friends both old and new, where she hopes to share stories and updates from Korando. If you are interested in hosting Mama Dolfine and others for an informative evening, please contact Alice at 207/634-2513. We will be updating the website with her trip information as we get closer to the time of her visit.
The CSP program continues to expand; however, there are still a number of children to be sponsored. If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Bob Van, who is happy to talk more about the program. Bob is also willing to speak to groups to communicate the program and benefits to the children. If you are interested in bringing a group together, Bob will present the Ripple Effect Project story and CSP program. Feel free to contact Bob at bob [at] rippleeffectproject [dot] org.
We know that it is important to understand “where” your contributions are allocated. As we look to enhance our communication, we will annually summarize the expense flow from the previous year. The pie chart here reflects Fiscal Year 2017 Expenses.
Ripple Effect Project is a 100% volunteer organization which allows us to maximize every dollar donated for the cause. In 2017, over 94% of all expenses were direct contributions to support the Korando Center:
- Educational Programs: Expenses related to education programs accounted for 58% of donations, predominantly comprising school fees for those in high school and teacher salaries in the pre-K to grade 8.
- Food Support: Accounting for 21% of total expenditures, these funds were used to support the morning meal (porridge program started this year) as well as emergency food supplies during the year.
- Infrastructure Support: Infrastructure-related expenses accounted for 6% of disbursements, which include materials used to fix the existing structure, materials needed for water collection of rain water and additions made during a recent volunteer visit to Korando, which include wood shelves built for the teachers and the boys’ dorm.
- School Construction: Expenses related to construction of the new school building comprised 5% of expenditures, which includes school building approvals, attorney fees and land use change fees.
- Medical Costs accounted for 4% of funds.
- Organization Administration: Administrative costs, 6% of operating expenses, are those used to maintain Ripple Effect Project as an organization, include printing, mailing, accounting services, fundraising and marketing materials, etc.
On August 8, 2017, Kenya held a Presidential election between incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition candidate Raila Odinga. While President Kenyatta was initially declared the winner, the Kenyan Supreme Court reviewed the voting procedures and made a historic decision to annul the election results. The Supreme Court ordered a fresh election to be held in October. However, the opposition candidate Raila Odinga did not participate due to concerns about oversight of the voting, and President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected. This extended cycle of partisan politicking left many Kenyans feeling divided and uncertain of the next steps for their young nation.
Our goal at Ripple Effect Project has always been to help Korando come to a place of self-sustainability. Farming their land is one of the ways that they are working toward achieving this goal. Dolfine and the students plant and harvest off of 11 acres. What they harvest they use for their own consumption and the remainder they sell for income regeneration. The success of the farm is dependent not only on appropriate weather and insect management, but also a conducive political climate.
With their most recent crop, Dolfine and some of the students harvested 7 large sacks of beans (225 lb/sack) for drying. They will use these beans for food and will sell the remainder for income. Plowing for the next crop has been completed; four of seven acres have been sewn, including beans, maize and millet. Unfortunately, unprecedented heat continues in the region causing the need for irrigation. The farm is near the lake, making water accessible, but irrigation does require significant quantities of fuel.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela
In Kenya, a student is required to purchase their own books, uniform and shoes to attend public school, an expense that many families cannot afford. In assisting the poorest of the poor and the significant orphan population, the Korando Education Center (KEC), run by Mama Dolfine, is an alternative to “no education.” The orphans that live on the school premises with Mama (~ 58 children) plus an additional 160 children from the surrounding area, attend KEC each day. The staff works to provide not only an educational experience that will prepare students for secondary school, but a nurturing environment that will provide emotional support for all students. It is an amazing sight to see the beautiful smiles and high energy of these children as they attend school.
Over the past few years, as the school has rapidly grown in population, the Ministry of Health had visited to inspect the operating facility (see picture) and required various improvements to the infrastructure for Mama Dolfine to continue to keep the non-government operated (NGO) school going. While investment was made to keep things going, in February, 2016, an exhaustive report was compiled basically condemning the current structure and Mama Dolfine was told they would need to shut down the program.