Seeking and Finding Happiness Through Service

by Jacqueline Monet, Social Media Marketing Manager

 

I sometimes peruse “This Day in History,” while searching for inspiration or, at the very least, a good piece of trivia. Yesterday, it turns out, was the day that Albert Schweitzer, the Nobel Prize winning physician and philosopher was born. As I read about him, I found the inspiration I needed from his quote:  The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. That statement rings true to me, the organization I work for and for our new partner home.

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Source: Wikipedia

 

Our newest partner home, the Christ Faith Home for Children, is a very special place that has truly sought and found how to serve the vulnerable. Through my work for Kitechild, I’ve gone from a superficial understanding of vulnerable and orphaned children to a much broader perspective that has shifted my focus from simply helping others to supporting communities to be empowered. Similarly, the mission of the Christ Faith Home is to care for the vulnerable members of their community, by attending to their immediate needs and by supporting them to go on to live fulfilling, independent lives.

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Located in Chennai, India, the Christ Faith Home is a secular NGO that works in a multi-faceted way to care for all the disadvantaged members of their community including children, the elderly, the ill and women. Their ideology is based on the proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” They work with orphaned and vulnerable children through housing, adoption and educational programs. Like their other programs, such as medical and women’s welfare, their emphasis is on the long-term goal of self-reliance.

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We have installed solar panels at the Peace Garden, their home for 35 boys. This home provides food, shelter and an education to the boys until they reach an age Their electricity bills are a monthly burden for them, so by alleviating that cost, the home can instead spend their money on more nutritious food and the education of the children. The boys are cared for until they graduate school and the home works to aid them in their higher educational pursuits and finding them jobs, so that they can live vibrant adult lives.

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Source: Christ Faith Home

We are so excited for this new partnership and hope that, together, we can continue to serve vulnerable children around the world and continue to bring about lasting change.

School’s in Session

School’s in session at St. Catherine’s Home in Kenya. We’ve started a project that will fund the education for all the children at the home because in Kenya education is not free for old kids. The project involved building greenhouses so that the home can generate income by selling the produce in the market. It’s sustainable, environmentally friendly and an overall game-changer! Join us in being the change we wish to see in the world by investing in this project: http://goo.gl/1WwFeC 

The Plight of Nigerian Girls

Nigerian girls are almost always married at very young ages, often without their consent. ⅔ of girls in Nigeria are married before they are 18 and ⅓ is married before 15. These girls go onto have an average of 7 children, remain illiterate and stuck in poverty. There is a very high maternal mortality rate for these girls and they are divorced only if the husband initiates it. There are organizations like Adolescent Initiative, or Illim, that work to educate and protect these girls. Read more about this important topic and the amazing strides being done to help:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/girls-education-niger_564ddb93e4b031745ceff27b 

Throw Back: HHK Friendship

#TBT to the Hogar de Amor Home in Honduras! We loved visiting with the kids here and seeing the very special friendships that exist! Like kids everywhere, these girls love playing and spending time with their friends. We’re proud to continue to work with this home with our tilapia farm, which makes sure they get protein in their diets!  

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room

By: Jacqueline Herrera, Co-founder and Director

Last week, I received an email that included the following:

“Looking at the number of batteries, 8 at 12 volt, they could have designed this as 8 strings at 12 volts, 4 strings at 24 volt or 2 strings at 48 volt.  The last would be best, as three strings is generally the limit for good performance and 2 is better.  The 16 solar panels at 120 watts to stay within the 120 amp limit of the two 60 amp rated charge controllers mean the system is most likely designed to be 24 or 48 volt system.”

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Source: Google Images

I stared at that paragraph and re-read it maybe around 8 times, trying to follow the numbers and volts and watts and see how they were actually related, but it was all Greek to me. One of the coolest parts of my job is the amazing knowledge I gain when researching and structuring our projects on the ground. One day I’m looking up the life cycle of a Tilapia, another day I’m researching virus and disease in tomatoes, and the next could be propagation of water born illnesses in unmaintained wells. Some of the stuff is random, but it’s all fascinating and challenging.

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Kitechild Co-Founder assessing the situation for a potential project in Bapatla, India

Books, Google, and research papers aren’t enough though. After we had a setback in one of our solar projects in Liberia, due to our lack of understanding the principles of such an installation when it came down to troubleshooting, I knew we needed to be more prepared for the next time. So I called in the big guns: Engineers Without Borders. You may have heard of a similar organization, the prestigious Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers. Engineers Without Borders works in the same way – expert, knowledgeable leaders in the engineering field volunteer their time and expertise to underdeveloped communities and small NGOs needing assistance with technical projects. With our new partnership, they have so far provided much needed insight on our issues in Liberia, and expert guidance on a new solar installation in Kenya.

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Source: Engineers Without Borders USA

There is a saying that states “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”. At Kitechild, we are always learning about new ways to help communities care for their vulnerable children. The work itself is rewarding, but we can always learn more from others. It is amazing to see how other people are doing their part to do good in the world by sharing their knowledge, time, and expertise to others. Whether that is engineering, medicine, teaching, etc. you never know how your job could one day do so much to improve the lives of others. There is always something more to learn, and keeping that door open and welcoming the insight of others is a crucial savvy move for any company or organization. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to it benefitting the outcomes of our projects. Check out www.ewb-usa.org for more information.

Education and Nutrition: From India to Kenya

Happy Friday from one of the amazing kids at the Ashirvad Home in India! Our chicken farm at the home generates income that addresses the nutrition and education of the kids living there. The home sells the chickens in the market and those profits pay for fresh fruit and computer education for the kids. Our latest greenhouse project at St. Catherine’s will also be targeting the nutrition and education for the children living at that home in Kenya. We have a donor who will match donations up to $10,000! We hope to enact the kind of change we’ve seen at the Ashirvad Home! Find out more: https://www.kitechild.org/projects/st-catherines-children-home-greenhouse/  

TBT with Fiwagoh Home

#TBT to a year ago and one of our homes in Kenya: The Fiwagoh Home! In the past year, we have partnered with this home to build 6 greenhouses on the home’s property! The produce grown is sold in local markets. Those profits are then allocated towards the hiring of 2 additional caretakers! And by growing fresh veggies for the kids, the home has already saves over $10,000 in food costs annually! We’re starting a similar project at St. Catherine’s Home in Kenya, where the profits will go towards the children’s education! https://www.kitechild.org/projects/st-catherines-children-home-greenhouse/  

TBT St. Catherine’s Home

A #tbt to the St. Catherine’s home in Kenya and our successful Clean Water Access project. You can see them working the filter, which provided clean drinking water to the children at the home! We’re so excited to be partnering with them again with a greenhouse that will be targeting the nutrition and education of the kids! We will have a matching donor, who will match all donations up to $10,000! Let’s make this happen for #everychild!

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