Written by Kathy Mutch
Land of Hope
We attended a ceremony for the opening of water tanks, eco san latrines, and hand washing stations supported by Norway Rotary, and Rotary International. The work was led by Dala Rieko – a grass roots organization who we hope to partner with in the future. You may remember us talking about them in other blogs. If you have a moment, please google to learn more about this amazing organization.
We were so fortunate to have one of the co- founding fathers Alex, join us on Mageta Island for sensitization and triggering of several school communities regarding sanitation and use of eco san toilets, and introducing organic conservation agriculture. Eco san toilets compose human waste to use as fertilizer. Alex also referred us t o the European Guidelines for Agricultural Practices, guidelines he uses at Dala Rieko. He very kindly joined us for a few days before he flew off to do work for the UN.
Alex encouraged the communities on Megeta and us to envision an Island that is not only self- sustaining and rich in biodiverse agriculture, but able to improve the economy because of the surplus of food they will be able to produce.
We were also inspired by the many children studying so hard in the hope of improving their lives and that of their family. We listened with tears in our eyes to a child in her teens who was achieving high marks but struggled at home to care for her disabled mother; To children sitting at the front of the class in an effort to see the board because they likely need eye glasses; and to partial orphans, where one parent has died, they study as much as possible but have younger siblings to care for. The teacher at Mahunga School who has a below knee amputation and runs a support group for children with challenges. Together they offer each other support and understanding. He didn’t complain, but obviously needs a new pair of crutches, but rejected his need for prosthesis. To the young women, who will now be able to manage their menstruation with Days for Girls kits, who will not miss school nor exchange sex for sanitary pads.
What joy to see the many school children who have more energy to study in the afternoon and to play football (soccer) because of the noon meal programs supported by Mikinduri Children of Hope and their parents.
I met a beautiful little 7 year old girl in an orphanage, who whispered “reading english” when asked about her favourite subject in school. Orphanages are discouraged and efforts are made to keep the children with family, but Stonework Foundation is a place of safety, caring, nutrition, education, and family for those who have no one left. Of the 57 children there are 17 HIV positive.
But what we also saw, were ready smiles, with hope glistening in their eyes.
Together we can make a difference. Let us give meaning and reality to their hope.
Love to family and friends,