e-link bulletin No.7 June 2015

The Dennis Marshall Foundation (DMF) is an inspiration to all, not least the local Kenyan community. They have responded well to become deeply involved in building and developing the final phases of this project under the guidance of our site director Chrissie Gibbard, but we need more expertise and additional funding. Those who visit are overwhelmed by the impact of the project and easily become immersed in the works and activities that take place. The reports below give you a flavour and a list of projects or items that need funding.

How can I help ? We urgently need your help to complete this exciting project, CAN YOU :
    .Organise an event at home or work etc. to raise funds
    .Visit the centre in Kenya for an enthralling time with Chrissie and the team
    .Donate towards projects or general funds

Reading lessons 2Liz Darlington’s visit; Liz and her daughter Emma picked up the vision at a Peacemakers event and raised their own funds before travelling to Kenya. They had a wonderful Kenyan welcome and an exhilarating experience working with the community and helping with the reading programme for the young school children. They also met the HIV ladies who get together to knit and were delighted with balls of wool that were brought over. They met the team working in the nursery growing trees and plants which are sold to raise funds and they enjoyed working alongside the building team who are completing the work on the restaurant, cyber café and craft room. They treasured the experience and were blessed to be in such an inspiring and beautiful place.
Read more details and see the photos from Liz’s recent visit

Liz’s Story:

Read here  ——  Photos here

Chrissie’s Building Progress Report: Kaka Boniface, who is the foreman on site, and his team have made excellent progress with the roof of the main community building and the internal brickwork and plastering. A Study Room, Library, Disabled shower/toilet and Reception area will be incorporated within the building and as a joiner Kaka will then complete the furniture. The Craft Room is in use already but needs shelving and storage. The room for the Ouji Mill (it makes a kind of porridge from a cereal crop) is ready for windows and door and we need to add a sink etc. The Community Café has begun but needs the roof completing and floor concreted. Kaka will build and fit the kitchen but all the equipment and chairs will need to be acquired.

Activities at the CentreCraft room: The Craft Room is now operational but Chrissie would welcome more materials to develop the activities there. Wool for the HIV knitting group is always useful especially green for local school uniform jumpers and if anyone had a knitting machine no longer required this could be refurbished by TWAM (see below) and sent out. There is also a Women’s Coop Group who meet to support the poor, a Prayer Group and the bi-monthly Minister’s meeting. Local groups often meet outside under the Mango tree except when it rains and this can be really heavy. The rain water needs to be collected and more piping and tanks are required to save this valuable resource.

jiggersCommunity Support: There is much being done to support the local community including the poor, the widows and the disabled. Small items of clothing, shoes, blankets and medical items are provided but funds are limited. Children suffer with ‘jiggers’ a worm that enters the feet can be very debilitating but can be cured if treated early. We are also supporting a boy who needs a cornea implant and another who needs an operation to remove a growth on his head. There are many disabled who need guidance with the paperwork to get help including one young student whose father was murdered last year and whose mother struggles with arthritis and scrapes a living selling avocados and bananas. There is also good news about some of our UK sponsored students who have graduated and are now making their own way. We are hosting a National disability forum in June to bring forward many local issues.

Animals and Plants: In the grounds we have pigs, sheep, rabbits, goats, ducks, chickens and beehives all helping to provide food or funds for the Centre. In addition we have a tree nursery which has become a popular place to buy seedlings. One of the disabled boys helps to graft passion fruit trees, tomatoes and avocados. A greenhouse is needed for more delicate plants and to extend the range of vegetables.

Cyber Café: We are asking the local mobile phone provider, Safaricom, to sponsor our Cyber Café but will need computers for it. We are looking for anyone with IT skills for help set up on site or advice on how to equip it.

Reading lessonsReading lessons 3

 

 

 

Reading Project: This is Chrissie’s priority following the French Embassy’s sponsorship last year. This is for the young school children and 10 youths have been trained to help the poorest readers. We have a small collection of graded books but need more. Can you help?

 

 

 

 

TWAM: UK based – Tools with a Mission, refurbish tools and machines free which are then transported in a container paid for by Peacemakers. This is a great help and if funds allowed it would be good to continue.

CAN YOU HELP IN ANY WAY ?
Please contact Brenda by e-mail Brenda.marshall@ntlworld.com

Volunteers in Kenya!

The following is an article By Liz Darlington , who along with her daughter Emma, spent two special weeks volunteering in Kenya at The Dennis Marshall Foundation, Peacemakers International during Easter 2015. If you can cover the costs of your airfare and would like to volunteer with us, please contact Brenda for a chat. It’s an opportunity you won’t regret.

When a random conversation with Brenda`s daughter Kim, last year, leads to an offer from Brenda to visit The Peacemakers International charity project in Kenya it was too good an offer to turn down! At Christmas my daughter Emma, and I met Chrissie and straight away we knew that this trip was meant to be and we had already started planning our “projects” on the journey home!

So with weeks to go we got more and more excited in anticipation of what lay ahead…and we certainly weren`t disappointed! Firstly the welcome we received was truly amazing, Chrissie is just the perfect host, so generous and so caring and such a special person. The Kenyan people share her gratitude and warmth and we were greeted everywhere we went with smiles, waves and shouts of welcome! It was humbling to see just what is being achieved out here at The Dennis Marshall Foundation, supporting the local community providing jobs, support and fellowship to the young, old, disabled and needy.FuntimeThe buildings were in constant use and everyday there was somebody new to meet. Among the people we met were the HIV ladies who were so delighted with arrival of more balls of wool, the craft ladies who insisted we learnt how to make beaded bags, the Nursery team who are growing the most amazing plants , the cheerful cooking  team and of course all the lovely builders so busy working on the buildings, the internet café, the craft room and the restaurant and with these in the process of being finished even more exciting times lie ahead.New Friends

So then to our project, this was to support Chrissie as she introduces a reading programme to children from the local school. Forty six enthusiastic and very well behaved children came along to the centre over two days and twenty six of these we heard read as part of a reading assessment. During this time Emma also played drama games and encouraged the children to participate in a drama production of “Wangari`s Seeds of Peace “. We also hosted two Saturday training days whereupon we showed local teachers and older youth how to support young children in their early reading skills. This is an ongoing project and we hope to keep in touch with how it is progressing and maybe even return to Peacemakers one day to see its impact.ReadingOur stay certainly proved to be as exciting as we`d hoped it would. It`s an experience that we will always treasure and we feel truly blessed that we were able to witness such a special and inspiring place and meet such welcoming people in such a lovely country.

A huge thank you goes to all that we met but especially to wonderful Chrissie, Brenda and of course to Kim, for having that initial conversation with me!!

Please Click Here to view the gallery of great photos Liz & Emma took.

Easter Fundraising Thank you

Due to ill health the Peacemakers team are a little behind with admin. tasks but the show goes on! A very big thank you to the Staff and Parents of Ardeley Village School who got together at an Easter Egg Fundraiser and have made a fantastic donation of £291.95. You can see some of the egg cosies that were made and sold below. A special thanks to Sue Jones for organising and making the event such a success.

Easter Sale

Christmas Letter 2014

Pamoja Restaurantholly

hollyTo all at Christmas time and throughout 2015

“We bring you good tidings of great joy”

This has been a good year where money has been donated to start the construction of a restaurant project as photo’d above. We are about 2/3 of the way into its completion and it will house a clinic, a craft activity training room and a porridge mill under the makuti roof. This work has currently stopped as money has run out and while Christine comes home for a Christmas break.

Then came a different miracle – we had applied for French embassy funding and was successful. It will help us to develop existing structures to enhance lifelong and accessible learning opportunities. Full details in our next e-bulletin. We will be supported to restore and extend (more toilets) Kisimani house, which was damaged by fire in 2013. The building comprises; a study room, community library and reception room. In addition it will have an office and a Cybercafé.

We are so excited about this new development in our programme. As you know the communities in Kenya are already benefiting from our many existing facilities. These include training courses, education, employment and micro enterprise opportunities, all of which have been funded through your loyal and generous support over past years. Let’s thank God for his blessings and allowing us to be part of the answer to many people’s needs. 

Happy Christmas and a prosperous new year to you all.
holly  Brenda & the team holly