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I promised I would let you know how I spent the money which was given to me before I went to Kenya. This money was for me to use when I came acrossindividual needs as I visited the projects.

moses amp mum

While I was still in Kenya, I wrote to tell you about 4-year-old Mosesin Njoro, who had rickety nodules at the outside of each knee. These had been removed at a mission hospital free of charge, but were growing again. The surgeon had asked for him to be x-rayed at the end of July, prior to him being examined again early August. Esther, the lovely young social worker, has promised to keep me updated about Moses, and a senior nutritionist is advising his mother on his nutrition. As the family is already living in poverty, she promised to provide a free supply of enriched food powder.

kawira amp joy

Next, I visited Kawira and her brother Peter in Tharaka. They share the same father but different mothers, all of whom abandoned the children and left them with their paternal elderly grandmother. She cares for them, and they are living on the small arid plot of land, with their few chickens. These are kept for breeding, not for the nutritious eggs, as she can make more money from selling the chicks than by eating and selling a few eggs.
Tharaka is very arid, the soil is like sand and very little can grow. In addition, grandma herself is poorly nourished and too weak to hack at the rock-solid earth. Having seen the very successful tyre vegetable gardens in Njoro, I suggested that the project staff bought 12 large old tyres and some manure and soil and built three tyre gardens for her and planted various vegetable plants to start them off.
I just wish you could have seen her face when this was all agreed. Young Arun from the project said he would set it all up, made a list of everything needed, found the costs and presented me with the invoice! So, the next sum of money went to Kawira and Peter's vegetable garden. I'm hoping and praying Tharaka hasn't been flooded like so much of Kenya.

Then I went to Kilifi by train and local bus to visit the Upendo project. Here, one of the families I visited was that of Evans and his parents. Evans is being sponsored by a friend, so I visit him every year for a progress report to give to Sue. Before I could visit their two-roomed home, his father came to the project with his daughter, Zuena. She had been sent home from college having been very ill in hospital.
He had a prescription for the drugs she needed, but had no money to pay for them – no NHS in Kenya! Thanks to you generous people, I was able to give him the money he needed and, having paid for them, he came back to give me the change! Of course I left it with him, and didn't cry until he'd left.
The next day, I visited them at home and was shocked to see how weak Zuena was. She walked slowly and was obviously exhausted by the slightest exertion; was able to eat very little food and often vomited even that; and her face and head were covered by a thick black crust – like a balaclava, with only her eyes left clear.
Two weeks after I got home, Lemic, the project leader, messaged me to tell me the sad news that 19-year old Zuena had died from Dermatomyositis, a very rare disease for which there is no cure.
Zuena – the first in her family to even complete primary education, let alone get to college, carrying the pride and hopes of the family to escape the cycle of poverty!

office chair

Back to Nairobi, where I re-visited Kibra and spent some time with Makena, the amazing social worker there. She had been struggling with a back ache, which we probably all know makes you feel generally awful! When I saw her sit on her desk chair, I understood why – it was broken, meaning she sat all the time at a slant, twisting her spine; so I gave the last money to her to get a second-hand office chair with good lumbar support!

Thank you so much for your donations, and I hope you approve of my spending!

Bless you all.

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