Child Sponsorship Program Update, June 2018

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.

Meet the Children: Franco

Franco Mararu is eleven years old, and has been living at the Korando Center for the past two years. He had a very difficult childhood before he came to live with Mama Dolfine. Franco was born outside of wedlock, and shortly after his birth his mother left him to live with his father. Unfortunately, Franco’s father was an alcoholic, and unable to provide for his basic needs, emotionally or physically. Franco sometimes went days on end without eating, and the lack of proper nutrition led to his retarded growth. In order to survive, Franco took odd jobs looking after other people’s animals and being paid small amounts to buy his own food. On the days he attended school, he was reliant on the kindness of his classmates’ families to share their food with him. 

After hearing of his desperate situation, Mama Dolfine took Franco under her care to live at Korando. This was the beginning of a new life for Franco: at Korando he has found a loving home, three meals a day, and the opportunity to pursue his education full-time. Not only are his basic needs provided for, he is able to focus on his schooling and his ambitions for the future. Because of his struggles in early childhood, Franco is only in Grade 1 – five years behind the other students his age. Since arriving, Franco’s character and self-discipline have impressed the staff. Franco wishes to become a pilot, and dreams of someday giving back to other children in his community who have faced similar struggles. 

Letter from Mama Dolfine

I am Mama Dolfine and I wish to start by appreciating very much the help and support that we have received from Ripple Effect Project as Korando family. A lot of things have changed for the children and entire Korando even as a village because of the children who have been able to access education and many other things.

We want appreciate so much the health care insurance that was started by Ripple Effect Project, that even though now sponsored by another individual and is doing well and the children’s health is improved, we still owe it to Ripple Effect Project in as the most difficult thing is always to start the journey which you boldly started.

Students receiving porridge through the daily porridge program, established and sponsored by Ripple Effect Project.

The porridge programme for the school children is also moving on perfectly well. The children are so happy with this that they can’t afford to miss it even for one day. One major advantage is that it has acted as a way of motivating the children to come to school regularly.

 

Despite these challenges, we are trying to do the much we can in saving the crops from army worm by spraying them and also the best and major thing we still have as our hope is trust in God which can change everything even though we hear the rains are yet to go on until end of May.

Heavy rains and insect infestations have decimated many of the crops grown at the farm, including maize, above.

The process of sending in money to us has made work process easier than before as we are always sure of what we plan to do, in other words we are able to budget and plan ahead of time which has been made easy by Ripple Effect Project.

The new school building which is in process is a gift so big to imagine or express in words. We are so thankful and eagerly waiting for the commencement which we hope may start by this month or next month if late.

We got the tragedy of the car accident and thank God very much who spared the lives of everyone who was involved in this accident as no one died. Our children came out so sound and well and we thank God very much for it. We are also grateful that some friends of Better Me have fundraised to have the car repaired. May God bless them too.

As you can see, am so overwhelmed with happiness that I can write until tomorrow. I am therefore sincerely thanking all our American friends for their support and inclusion as part of their families that they spare and share with us their family budget just so that we would also have our children go to school and also eat and dress and be happy. We are sincerely happy. Our happiness as Korando family has grown bigger and more so the lesson of putting our trust only in God is so nourishing to us.

One big question I was unable to answer to the children is that “Mama, why didn’t our friends visit this time?” They were looking forward to spending time with you this May too. We have all missed you and are all sad. But we trust that next time we are able to meet.

Thank you so much and God bless you all!

2017 Annual Report

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.

A Note on the Recent Election Cycle and Kenyan Politics, April 2018

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.

Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon. Used with permission.

Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya.

Copyright by World Economic Forum swiss-image.ch/Photo by Remy Steinegger. Used with permission.

Opposition Candidate Raila Amolo Odinga, former Prime Minister of Kenya

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Farm Update, April 2018

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.

School Construction Update, April 2018

“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. 

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Today countries are concentrating too much on efforts and means to defend their borders. Yet these countries know so little about the poverty and suffering that make the human beings who live inside such borders feel so lonely!

If instead they would worry about giving these defenseless beings some food, some shelter, some healthcare, some clothes, it is undeniable that the world would be a more peaceful and happy place to live.

Mother Teresa