Phyllis Keino, our international spokesperson and founder and director of the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya, is the mother to more than 235 orphans – including one little girl named Sheba who is almost 10 years old.
Sheba was born with physical deformities of her hands and legs and abandoned when she was 1-year-old. She was suffering from malnourishment, pneumonia and sickle cell anemia. After being brought to Lewa and nursed back to health, it was discovered that she is also deaf and mute.
Today, thanks to the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®, Phyllis told us that Sheba is “a joyous girl who always has a hug to spare”. She always has a smile on her face and a happy outlook on life. She integrated into the school community where she is treated no different from other students. Sheba attends classes at a specialized school for the hearing impaired, ensuring that she will have every opportunity for success as she overcomes her challenges in life.
Thousands of children living in rural Kenya are considered fortunate to be able to attend school. But many of them live miles from their school, and of course, there being no school buses to carry them back and forth, some walk 10 miles round trip, or even more.
However, a large percentage of them, proudly wearing their school uniform, must walk that distance barefoot.
Not only must they dodge sharp rocks that can cut their tiny feet, they must walk on hot, hard dirt paths during the dry season, and navigate puddles and deep mud when the heavy rains come.
But all for the lack of a pair of shoes, these children are risking serious illness and even death with every step they take.
Parasitic worms such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms can cause soil-transmitted disease, which the World Health Organization notes that “are among the most common infections worldwide and affect the poorest and most deprived communities,” such as villages in rural Kenya.
In addition, by walking barefoot children can become infected by the burrowing Tunga flea, known as a “jigger” in Kenya, a debilitating foot parasite which makes walking practically unbearable preventing thousands of children from attending school.
To address this severe health-related issue, we started a “Shoes for Kenya” program to provide thousands of children with a pair of shoes – likely the first pair they’ve ever owned – so they can walk to school safely.
Earlier this year, we ran pipes from a clean water source about two miles away from the Kebeneti SDA Dispensary in Kericho, Kenya so it would no longer have to rely on rainwater collected in storage tanks and now have access to all the water they need for patients, staff, and to keep the facility clean.
However, what remained lacking was hot water, meaning that they had to boil water for sterilization, washing, and bathing.
The good news for the clinic, located in the highlands west of Rift Valley about 25 miles from the equator, is that sunshine is abundant throughout the year.
To remedy that situation, this fall, with the continued generosity of our supporters, we took the next step by installing a solar water heating system on the roofs of buildings on the clinic compound to provide hot water for doctors and staff to use when showering and washing their hands, and also to aid in keeping the dispensary more sanitary.
And, as noted by dispensary manager Titus Korir, “Solar power is a cheap source of energy which can be sustained for a long time.”
The Kebeneti SDA Dispensary in Kericho, Kenya has been providing much-needed healthcare services to the people living in this underserved area of rural Kenya since 1966. But until recently, the doctors and staff managed to get by without a reliable supply of fresh water. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to install a pipeline from a nearby uncontaminated source.
This fall, we took the next step by installing a solar water heating system to provide hot water, so the doctors and staff have hot water when showering and washing their hands, and to aid in keeping the dispensary more sanitary.
As noted by dispensary manager Titus Korir, “Solar power is a cheap source of energy which can be sustained for a long time.”