Visit to Kenya August 2007
Two years ago my wife, Sandy and I had been part of a team running Primary Healthcare Courses in Kenya. This year we were taking the best of those trained in 2005 and assisting them to run their own course with a new set of delegates.
At the same time we set up a free eye clinic for the people in the area. We bought 750 pairs of glasses and gave out 622 in the week. 750 patients were seen, there were 6 referrals for Glaucoma and 25 for Cataracts and one emergency operation was carried out in the Optician’s room! Afterwards we were able to underwrite all of the Glaucoma and 6 of the Cataract operations.
Our second week was taken up with visiting projects. I was particularly interested in a cow that had been paid for by the company that I work for in Stevenage. This was the second cow that we had bought as the first one had unfortunately died and I was keen to see how Charity II, as she was known, was progressing.
The school that had been chosen was Ena Primary and on the day of our visit the headmaster, Harry Karuga had extra lessons going on for several of his classes as schools in Kenya are normally closed during August.
Ena has 600 pupils and 18 teachers and a nursery with a further 200 children. The cow had been purchased for 28000 Kenya Shillings (£215) and is producing 14 litres of milk per day which is enough to give a drink to the children in the nursery. The surplus is sold to the neighbourhood and the money has paid for the end of term exam for needy children in the school, some of whom have been orphaned due to AIDS. The local community has provided Napier grass to feed the cow and helped to build the grazing unit.
The cow had been supplied in April and she had been served in May. If Charity II calves successfully we expect that the firstborn will be given to another community group. After that Ena School can do what they choose with further animals that are produced. During our visit some of the older girls assembled and sang to us as a gesture of thanks.
We also visited another cow that had recently been placed with Wadeni Women’s Self Help Group. The sponsors were Hoddeston District Nursing Team, who had held a car boot sale to raise the money. Booty was placed in June 2007 and gave birth soon after to Caroline. It was particularly good to visit this cow as Liz Hawkins, one of the nurses who had bought the cow had come with us on this visit. Both mother and calf are doing well and the ladies are very grateful. Caroline will be passed on to another group after 6 months.
During the rest of our time we visited the local cottage hospital and gave out blankets for the babies, arranged for irrigation pump and brick making demonstrations to prospective candidates for interest free loans, distributed 4150 Mosquito nets to schools and gave out toys to children in an orphan’s home in Embu, the nearest town to our base. We also gave pens pencils and rulers out to Madam Grace Kauma, the Principal of Plainsview Academy and Patrick Nyaga the Administrator at Kivuria School for Physically Handicapped children.
..For the rest of Brenda's summary and pictures, please click Full Story below..