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.
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.
Please consider donating (Click here to donate) to Ripple Effect Project on this Giving Tuesday. There has been continued political tension in Kenya since the disputed presidential elections and the students who live at the Center have been brought to the KEC farm near Lake Victoria for safety. Ripple Effect Project has provided over $4000 for food support during these political eruptions. Please donate to support these students in through this difficult time. The picture below shows the food that was purchased last week being delivered to the farm with Torsten from BetterMe. (https://bettermekenya.org/)
Dear Friends and Supporters of Ripple Effect Project,
The past several months have been a time of great political unrest in Kenya. If you have been listening to the news you will be aware of the increasing surge of violence. Kisumu, where the Korando Center is located is one of the major centers of protest/violence. Below are the last two updates from our friend in Kenya.
October 16, 2017 — Update from Dolfine. She has just returned from the farm. The watermelon harvest was very successful, over 1,300 watermelons! She was planning on selling them but all markets/businesses in Kisumu have been shut down, and as a result they will not be able to be sold. They will have alot of watermelon to share with others and eat but no cash harvest.
The political tensions are becoming hotter every day. Daily demonstrations are taking place in Kisumu. The police/military are ordered to shoot to kill. Each day there are several deaths, no one connected to the Center. Dolfine reported having to take off her shoes and run as three people near her were shot. Odinga has vowed not to run in the election on Oct 26, Both lead candidates seem to be fueling the violence. They are fearful for their safety and have asked for continued prayer.
In the midst of all this the students at the Center are preparing for their year-end exams.
October 18, 2017 — From Pamela:
I am okay.
Basically we are headed for an ugly Kenya after IEBC decided to now include the names of other previous candidates because Raila withdrew, but have also decided to retain his name in the ballot paper by force. Uhuru has been given the new laws from Parliament and in two days will sign it into law without a referendum. It is likely that there will be no voting in opposition areas but violence. Today it was even heightened after the minister announced the ban on demostrations. Next week, it’s daily, morning to evening. Today, two people were shot dead by police in Bondo, the small town near the our farm. Things may turn uglier than 2008 with changes in the constitution. We dearly need prayers. We are in God’s hands. We will get to the end of this finally.
PLEASE KEEP THEM IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.