In the Clear: The Value of Clean Water

Did you know that 783 million people do not have access to clean water? That figure, given from the UN, is a sad reality for many on our planet, but a problem that Kitechild is addressing and has already helped hundreds of children have access to life-sustaining water.

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Our clean water project in Kenya has provided clean water to over 200 children and the staff of the Fiwagoh Mission Home, located on the outskirts of Lake Naivasha. We installed 5 Lifestraw Community Filters at the home, which allowed them access to their own water. Since these children have had access to clean water, the number of waterborne illness has decreased and as a result, they have missed fewer days from school. Being able to succeed in the classroom is important for all children, but especially those in impoverished circumstances. Education is the key to more opportunities, to brighter futures and to empowerment.

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The home can now save $2,400 USD per year, since they are no longer purchasing their own water supply. As a result, they have re-allocated these funds towards the salary of an additional caregiver. Our field liaison has kept us informed on the new caregiver, saying: “The savings from the process of purifying water through boiling or buying have been used to hire an extra caretaker called Beatrice Wanjiku. She previously worked on casual basis but now has been hired on permanent basis.” This is especially important for the home, as it is understaffed, and children thrive when given more adults, who can care and supervise them.

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Like all projects, there are challenges that come up that need to be addressed. In this case, the well at the home was contaminated, which the home was able to fix through the use of the water filters. We’ve known the struggles, and also success, of partnering with this home, as we also have a greenhouse project, which provides the children with fresh produce and helps funds their education. Water, food and schooling are important human rights every child should have access to, and thanks to Kitechild supporters, there are now hundreds who do!

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Nauru: Children in Detention Centers

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Photo Credit: Free the Children NAURU

Children have been making the journey to Australia from Indonesia by boat, only to be met with continued hardships. They are sent to detention centers, no matter how young they are or if they are unaccompanied. The Australian detention centers on Manus Island and Nauru Island each can house approximately 1,500 people, who are detained there for 445 days, on average. Some children have been living in Nauru for three years, in terrible conditions that are unsuitable and dangerous.

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Photo Credit: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

The centers have been “a state-sanctioned form of child abuse,” by Brian Owler, the Australian Medical Association president. It’s hard to get details and aid to these children, due to the secrecy surrounding these centers. The government has forbidden any journalists from the detention centers and forbids those working in the detention centers from releasing any information. But what we do know about the situation is horrifying. A report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has documented some of the trauma experienced by these kids, including multiple attempted suicides.

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Photo Credit: Kristian Silva/ABC News

The debate over the children being sent to Nauru has been brought to a head by the story of Baby Asha. After suffering serious burns at Nauru, the infant was removed to receive necessary medical care. The doctors overseeing the baby at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital have been refusing to release Asha, as the Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says that the baby will be sent back to a detention center. In addition to Asha, hundreds more, including children, are set to be deported to the camps on Nauru and Manus Island. Dutton has said that these 267 people awaiting deportation will be sent to the detention centers or back to their countries of origin, even though New Zealand has offered to take in at least 150 asylum-seekers.

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People around the world have been moved to action to protect these refugees. Whether on the streets protesting or taking to social media with the hashtag #LetThemStay, people have been raising their voices, on behalf of asylum seekers. There is another large protest scheduled for March 20th in Sydney, which will hopefully have a political impact to help these people. Organizations like the Refugee Action Coalition Sydney (hyperlink to http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?page_id=1090) the Refugee Council of Austrial (hyperlink to http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/get-involved/volunteering/) and the Refugee Action Collective (hyperlink to http://www.rac-qld.org/#!get-involved/cxz1) offer resources and information for those who want to get involved. Whether you volunteer or bring attention to the issue via social media, you can show your solidarity with these asylum-seekers.

 

Resources

https://storify.com/vanspecialk/aussies-like-you-say-letthemstay#10e42c

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-25/bradley-balancing-the-law-with-civil-disobedience/7198052

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/21/asia/australia-nauru-baby-stay/index.html?sr=cnnifb

https://www.facebook.com/Free-the-Children-NAURU-839867502797443/?fref=nf

http://freethechildrennauru.com

https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/asylum-seekers-and-refugees/publications/health-and-well-being-children-immigration

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-28/barns-newhouse-detention-centre-secrecy-just-got-even-worse/6501086

Birth Defects from the Zika Virus

Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images. 3 month old with microcephaly in Brazil.
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has rapidly spread to 25 countries since April, when it was first discovered in Brazil. The virus can cause serious birth defects such as microcephaly, which often leads to brain damage. Since Ebola, the virus has been the first to be called an international public-health emergency by the World Health Organization. These women and children are especially vulnerable because in places like Brazil, the public health system is underfunded. Read more at Time Magazine: http://goo.gl/4ubLIx

Making A Difference One Veggie At A Time

Take a look at some of the fresh, healthy veggies produce being grown at Fiwagoh Home in Kenya through our greenhouse project. We installed 6 greenhouses, which grow various vegetables, including the ones we’re harvesting this month: lettuce, tomatoes, kale, spinach and cabbage. These veggies are used to supplement the diets of the children, while the surplus produce is sold for profit. Those profits keep the project going and also will hire additional caretakers for the home, making it a sustainable and necessary project that provides nutritious food and emotional support to the children of Fiwagoh. 

Here’s a great piece from The Guardian about how we can improve nutrition in adolescent girls around the world: http://goo.gl/jHC9LT One great idea is to encourage girls to play sports because there is evidence that doing so can empower girls, improve their self-esteem and challenge gender steroetypes. When girls know their worth and value, they take better care of themselves and rise to new heights. Early intervention, keeping girls in school and providing diverse diets are some of the other call to actions laid out in this piece. 

A #tbt to our first trip to India several years ago! It was such a privilege to meet the kids and get to see firsthand their personalities and individual spirits. We have continued to work with Ashirvad Home through our chicken farm project, which is designed in such a way to generate income that benefits the nutrition and education of the 79 kids. The original investment was in the building of the farm and now the chickens will be bred and sold in the market, while some stay at the farm to continue the project. The profits from selling the chickens in the market is allocated towards the health and education of the children by covering the costs of fresh fruit and computers for the home. We love looking back at where we started with this project and looking ahead to what the future holds!

Photo: Children living with HIV in South Africa. (Photo: HRH Prince Henry of Wales/Getty Images)

There have been major strides in the global fight against HIV that will help millions around the world. It was recently announced that HIV treatment is now available to 15 million people, one of the goals of UNAIDS for this year. Had the efforts to prevent and treat HIV not been made, 8.9 million more children would have lost parents to AIDS. While this a victory worth celebrating, it is also important to keep fighting for the millions still living with HIV and those who’ve lost loved ones to the disease.

Read More at TakePart.com

Remember this? A #tbt to our Clean Water Project at the Fiwagoh Mission Home in Kenya that brought clean water access to the 200 children living there. Getting the kids clean water improved their overall health and reduced the risk of waterborne illnesses. It also saved the home $2,400 each year that was spent purchasing water from the city. This is change, not charity! 

Mmm mmm milk! Did you know our Dairy Cow project at the Flying Kites Home in Njabini, Kenya, is not only providing milk on a regular basis to the kids, but other yummy, healthy treats such as yogurt? What’s next, ice cream? (We wish!) If you invested in this project, a big thanks from our team and the kids at the home! #milk #vitamind #strongbones #yummy #smiles #kenya #africa #farm #farming #cows #dairy #cute #healthy #health #nutrition #yogurt #icecream #food #foodie #impact #invest #giveback