Dolfine & Pamela Visit Maine

Alice and Rebekah greet Dolfine and Pamela at the airport.

Alice and Rebekah greet Dolfine and Pamela at the airport.

Dolfine and Pamela’s trip to Maine was a great success. They were able to meet with many groups of people varying in age from young school children to the elderly. They connected with old friends and made new. They led presentations at Colby College, the REM Center, seven Rotary Clubs, libraries and numerous homes. Through their talks they were able to present to us the journey from the beginning of the Korando Center, update us on completed projects and show us the direction they would like to go in next.

Dolfine celebrates her birthday.

Dolfine celebrates her birthday.

Dolfine celebrates her birthday.Although the purpose of this trip was to raise funds and awareness of the Korando Center, a lot of fun was had as well. They began their trip with a visit to the ocean, a first for both Dolfine and Pamela. Pamela was enchanted and just had to get her feet wet (for only a second because the water was so cold) while Dolfine watched bundled up from the shore. Fall was in full bloom with its glorious color palate, something they do not get to experience in Kisumu. Dolfine, Pamela and Alice took full advantage of the beauty and took a day trip to the mountains, stopped at stunning vistas, at Small Falls and took a short hike up Center Hill on Mount Blue. In addition, Dolfine celebrated her birthday with cake and candles (something not usually done in Kisumu) and had pizza for the first time.

Dolfine and Pamela enjoy their visit to Maine in autumn.

Dolfine and Pamela enjoy their visit to Maine in autumn.

Pamela visits the Atlantic Ocean.

Pamela visits the Atlantic Ocean.

Needless to say, it was a busy and hectic, yet fun and rewarding month. The contacts made on this trip presented many opportunities for continued growth and expansion. We have created a list of projects that will be the focus of our work together over the next several months.

Farming

This fall’s farming cycle was the first time that the Korando Center was able to harvest enough maize to feed all of the children at the Center, store enough food to last through to the next harvest and have excess to sell to their community. This was a tremendous accomplishment.

While on their trip they were able to tour various farms and consult with farmers addressing issues of soil fertility, pest control, crop rotation, seed selection, and food storage techniques. It is our goal to help the Korando Center maximize their farming capabilities for food sustainability and income.

This January farmer Chris Cavendish of Fishbowl Farm in Bowdoinham, Maine will be traveling to the Center as a consultant to help them plan and implement the skills they learned while in Maine. He will help train the farming supervisors and farm hands with the aim of furthering their success in farming.

Their present farming goals include:

  • Farming different vegetables such as squash and yams that would act as an alternative to maize. These crops have a long shelf life, serve to improve the children’s diet, allow for sale to the community and help them teach others new or better ways of addressing food security.
  • Address the issues of increasing soil fertility, pest and weed control, crop rotation, and various planting techniques.
  • Greenhouse installation to provide food and generate income. This is a project that they will explore getting a grant to complete.

Fish Farm

They wish to improve their fish farming by caging the fish. This will protect the fish from the reptiles that eat them. Once accomplished, the fish will again become a source of food and an income generator.

Solar Water Pump

Dolfine and Pamela met with numerous Rotary groups while here in Maine. One group showed interest in funding a solar water pump. They will be following up with this group to continue the process of receiving funding for the water pump.

In addition to creating an environment of food security and self-sustainability at the Korando Center, Dolfine and Pamela recognize the need to help generate food security and job prosperity within the community that surrounds Korando. They have expressed how they are more vulnerable if the community around them is not stable. To help address this concern they met with representatives from Somerset Grist Mill in Skowhegan, The Good Shephard Food Bank, Unity Food Pantry, USDA Food Storage Center and Johnny’s Seeds while here in Maine. Pamela is hopeful that her government position will allow her to use the knowledge gained from meeting with these organizations to implement changes that will benefit their surrounding community.

Going Forward

Farming: We are very excited to have farmer Chris Cavendish travel to the Korando Center this January to help assess and implement enhanced farming practices. We would like to send farming supplies with him at an estimated cost of $2000.

Fish Farm: Net the fish pond to protect the fish from reptiles with an estimated cost of $650.

Dining Hall: They are in need of 16 tables and 32 benches with a cost of $2600. In addition they need new eating bowls for 200 students costing $350 and new cooking pots and tools estimated at $500.

School: We are in the process of obtaining bids for an eco-sustainably built school and a traditionally built school. Once we have obtained the bids and evaluate the plans in relation to the school’s needs, a decision will be made and we will begin fundraising for this monumental project at that time.