Any school needs classrooms, a library, and a laboratory. It also needs a kitchen to prepare the food for hungry students, as well as a place for them to gather to sit and enjoy their meal break in between their classwork.
Such as the Kebeneti Secondary School in Kericho, Kenya which has been growing since its founding in 2015. Today, the student population has grown to 455 students, and as their numbers have increased so has the need for a larger kitchen and for an actual cafeteria.
“The dining hall and kitchen are essential as students are currently eating lunch outside,” we were told by school founder Titus Korir.
Through the past few years, thanks to our supporters, especially one in particular, Dick Landis, Bread and Water for Africa® has been able to assist Kebeneti in meeting the educational needs for hundreds of teenage boys and girls who would otherwise been unable to attend a school in their community.
The completion of the dining hall and kitchen by the end of the summer (weather permitting with rainy season ahead) is another step towards Kebeneti’s steady march towards meeting every student’s needs, and that includes a dining hall which “will provide a conducive environment for the students now, and in the long term,” notes Mr. Korir.
Abomvomba is a small village of about 650 residents about 22 miles from the much larger city of Ebolowa in Cameroon, places it’s likely very few Americans have ever heard of.
Recently at Bread and Water for Africa® we first heard of Abomvomba from our partner in the country, Hope Services, about the great need for water for the people there.
To say the village is remote would be an understatement as it’s located on an undeveloped road linking Ebolowa with the town of Kribi where its inhabitants have no safe drinking water source, no electricity, no schools, no health care facilities and an extremely limited telecommunications network.
“So, it is essentially a poor population,” says Esther Ndichafah, CEO of Hope Services. “That is why Hope Services has been involved with this community through medical missions, community education and development programs since 2017.”
During the course of her outreach to residents, “the community expressed the need for a good portable water supply for their household use.”
Upon examining the problem further, Esther confirmed there indeed was a great need for water in the community as the nearest source of safe drinking water was in a neighboring village about two miles away – meaning people, mostly young girls, spent their days walking that distance one way to fill empty containers, and then carrying full, heavy ones back with the full weight on their heads.
To address this problem, Esther turned to Bread and Water for Africa® to request the $9,400 necessary to construct a borehole about 200 feet deep, thereby ensuring there will be no risk of the well becoming contaminated and/or polluted.
As expected, the community is very excited and supportive of the prospect of having water in the village more so than electricity, and residents are willing to help expend out of their own meager funds the cost of maintaining and protecting the well upon completion.
Residents have already formed a committee charged with locating the ideal site for the borehole, with the top priority that it be located far from any outhouses and latrines where waste could leach into the groundwater contaminating the water source.
Before any commitment could be made, Esther and her team met with members of the community to stipulate that in order for a borehole to be drilled, they must agree to create a committee to manage and oversee the security and preventative maintenance of the water supply facility, collect contributions from all families to be served by the well to have funds available for maintenance needs as they arise.
The bottom line is that the residents of Abomvomba “are in desperate need of water,” says Esther and at Bread and Water for Africa® we are working to see that that desperate need is met this year.
In Sierra Leone, our partner, Faith Healing Development Organization, recently received our shipment of medicines, medical supplies and equipment to be distributed at its clinics in Rokel, Kenema and Bunumbu village in the Kailahun District. We know they will be put to good use.
“The goal of the clinics is to provide affordable health services to the people in the communities where the clinics operate as most people cannot afford the basics of life,” says FHDO founder and executive director Rev. Frances Mambu.
“The medical equipment and supplies improved the operations of the various clinics. Medical equipment is very expensive, and hence the donation was a big relief for us.”
Access to healthcare in developing countries is a challenge, noted Rev. Mambu, adding “with Sierra Leone being no exception.”
FHDO clinics focus their limited resources on the most vulnerable; pregnant women, new mothers and children under five years old. While the need is great and will always be there “we have made considerable effort with support from Bread and Water for Africa®,” says Rev. Mambu.
Earlier this year, we were able to ship a 40-foot container (approximately 22,000 books) to Kampala, Uganda, where they were distributed by our partner there, Bega kwa Bega to dozens of schools.
Those textbooks and reference books will be used to educate tens of thousands of children and youth in a country where going to school is a privilege that most parents, who being uneducated themselves, cannot afford.
The students who attend these schools fully understand how fortunate they are to be in school and savor every moment in the knowledge that without knowing how to read and write they have little hope for anything more than a subsistence way of life ahead.
These books will be treasured by these children who will first use them to learn simply how to read, and later to expand their vocabulary, and ultimately their mind.