Jul 13, 2021

Please mark your calendar! You can multiply your impact on Wednesday, July 14. Beginning at 9 am EST

 

One of our focuses in this period of COVID 19 has been to donate food hampers and face masks to as many vulnerable and needy families in the county as possible. Most of the residents in the outer lying area are casual laborers who are paid after working. With the current pandemic, the residents are unable to get employment and feed their families. Some of the families have been going to the area chief to beg for food and a lot have been foregoing meals. Our target families are the elderly, terminally ill patients, persons with disabilities, vulnerable, and child-headed households, all of these cases are identified with the assistance of the area chief together with house cluster leaders. So that we can maintain order and be assured our donations go to the neediest, we will continue to do the food distributions at the chief's camp. Some of the cases that we have recently come across that touched our hearts included;



Vulnerable families- The area chief identified a case of a woman who is approximately 80 years, a widow who is ailing from asthma, and high blood pressure. The case is vulnerable in that, the elderly woman is the sole breadwinner to her six grandchildren. With her advanced age and sickness, she has been left at the mercy of neighbors and well-wishers to stay alive. The family lives in a rented mud-walled house in Mang’u area paying rent of Kshs. 500 ( US $5.00) per month.  The elderly grandmother could not manage to come to the pick-up location to collect her food hamper. This prompted the team to visit her home. She could not hold back tears when her grandchildren brought the food hamper to her.

We urgently need your support to keep life-saving food flowing to the most vulnerable in our community.

Borders have closed and supply chains are affected in areas most at risk. Please help us ensure that hungry children, the elderly, and vulnerable do not suffer the brunt of this pandemic.

If you’re able, please make a donation to our community outreach efforts. If you’re unable to donate at this time, there are many other ways you can support us! You can advocate for us by sharing our mission with a family member or friend. Even a quick mention on your social media would mean the world to us.
https://www.facebook.com/kijijimission/
In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are. Thank you for being part of our community. Without you, none of it is possible.

Stay safe and well,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom
Founder/CEO
Springs of Hope Foundation

 

An elderly recipient of our food hamper program
An elderly recipient of our food hamper program
Another grateful elderly recipient of a food hampe
Another grateful elderly recipient of a food hampe
A grandmother caring for 6 young children at home.
A grandmother caring for 6 young children at home.
Grandmothers at last weeks food distribution.
Grandmothers at last weeks food distribution.
Young moms at food distribution program last week.
Young moms at food distribution program last week.

Links:

Jul 7, 2021

Nakuru Safehouse for Women and Children update

Among the many young women who have come through our one-year training program was a group of young single mothers from Samburu County; Samburu is a county in the former Rift Valley Province of Northern Kenya. The primary economic activity in this region is nomadic pastoralism with other areas practicing agro pastoralism. The Samburu diet comprises mostly of milk and occasionally blood from their cows. This is also one of the communities still practicing FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), child/forced marriage, marriage by abduction etc. These are mainly caused by unequal power relations between men and women, rigid gender roles, norms and hierarchies and ascribing women to a lower status in society. The young women who joined our project were single mothers and, in the community where they come from, giving birth outside wedlock is considered an abomination, thus making the girl an outcast to her family and community. Virginity is regarded a very important element before marriage and this explains why girls get married at a very young age, obtaining a handsome dowry for the father in the transaction.

We admitted the young mom’s, along with their children into the project and after one year of training, the women were well equipped to go back and start their business. Initially there was only one seamstress in their regional community center and the work was too much for her, so the opportunity was available. Upon graduation the young mothers returned to their Samburu town center, set up their small shop, displayed samples of the work they had learned at Kijiji Mission in their small shop front window and started taking orders immediately. Their first assignment was to do uniforms for choir members, second was to do bridesmaid dresses. As word of mouth of the quality of their workmanship spread, orders started coming in. It has been a little over two years since this small group of Samburu women graduated, and they are doing very well, affording to pay for their children’s education and assist other family members. These young women are very grateful for the opportunity to receive support and training from Kijiji Mission.

Warmest regards,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom

Founder/CEO

Springs of Hope Foundation

With your support, we can continue to empower vaulnerable women through our vocational training programs. A donation will go a long way and support our efforts. As you may be aware, all work done by our USA and Australia directors is voluntary and all travel and pesonal expenses are paid for by the individual. So, your donations go a very long way in Kenya.

The best part is, if you donate on July 14, donations of $100 and up will be eligible for matching funds from our partner, GlobalGiving! The higher the donation, the higher the match and the more vaulnerable women we can empower by teaching them marketable skills, can we count on you for a one-time donation this July 14th? ?

 

Typical rural home
Typical rural home

Links:

Apr 26, 2021

As the 3rd wave of Corona virus sweeps across Kenya we are faced with another r two month lockdown

Two single moms at our recent food distribution.
Two single moms at our recent food distribution.


On March 26, the Kenyan government announced further restrictions in an attempt to stop the 3rd wave of Covid 19 sweeping across the country. 
In his address to the nation on March 26th, President Kenyatta is quoted as saying,
"Since my last address to the nation on 12th March, 7,630 Kenyans have been admitted into our hospitals for COVID-19. Yet before my address to the nation on March 12th, 4,990 Kenyans had been admitted. In 13 days only, our admission rate increased by 52%. This confirms the fact that a Third Wave of COVID-19 is at hand in Kenya. The positivity rate is at its highest since the pandemic hit us; the death rate is devastating by all measures; and the stress the pandemic is placing on our health system is unparalleled.
Based on experience, this peak will flatten only by Mid-May 2021, which is about 60 days from now.

THAT WAS ONE MONTH AGO!

The following is a report I recently received from our head teachers' husband, Ephantus Wachira, who's passion for volunteering his time and his vehicle every week to deliver our food hampers and facemasks to the most vulnerable in our county is both humbling and tremendously appreaciated.

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Dear Jennifer,

The situation in Nakuru is very tough especially for those living in the slums. Many are going without food and other essentials for days at a time. Our government has no plans to alleviate the situation and as such people have been left to survive the best way they can.

Working with the village elders and community leaders the plan going forward is to do several stops with no more than 15 beneficiaries gathering in one place to receive our food hampers as per the government directive. Since we are dealing with beneficiaries at the lowest level of the pyramid- elderly & persons with disabilities, they do not push or fight over the food hampers.

Kijiji Mission has become a reliable partner to the vulnerable communities and they have a lot of faith in our work. At every meeting we clearly state that the donations are from Kijiji Mission and also explain to them the good work that Kijiji Mission is doing with the teenage girls in need of a second chance in life.

Last week during the food hampers distribution a lady stood up in the gathering after I had explained the work being done by Kijiji Mission and confirmed to the over 90 persons gathered that indeed it is true, a destitute girl she had rescued was currently enrolled in our empowerment program at Kijiji Mission. The applause was humbling to me and made me realize that some small acts that we do can mean so much and be life changing to others.

Kijiji Mission has also been applauded by beneficiaries due to the humane treatment and dignity accorded to them in its Covid19 response intervention both in the field and during callback by community leaders seeking assistance for needy teenage girls in their areas. We shall continue to be good ambassadors and endeavor to bring lasting change to the young women coming to Kijiji Mission while also making life bearable for the community they leave behind.

Sincerely,

Ephantus Wachira

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Sixty days! This will be devastating for many Kenyan girls, who lost 9 months of school attendance last year. The additional minimum 2 months at home will mean that many girls will never return to school due mainly to lack of school fees and inability to catch up, forcing them into early marriage.
Experts worry the pandemic could roll back decades of progress on gender equality and girls' education.

Fortunately for our young women, even though we're a vocational training school, the authorities did not order us to send our young women home. Instead, they were very agreeable to us having the students make facemasks to be given out to vulnerable families who could not afford to purchase them and package our 100 plus food hampers every week. 

It simply would not be possible for us to reach so many desperately needy families without your very generous support. 

With thanks and Blessings,

Jennifer Hughes-Bystrom 

This weeks recipients of our food hamper program
This weeks recipients of our food hamper program
This week we focused on female heads of households
This week we focused on female heads of households
The elderly, and disabled.
The elderly, and disabled.
Elderly recipients of our food hamper program
Elderly recipients of our food hamper program
The families also received much needed facemasks.
The families also received much needed facemasks.

Links:

 
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