A few positive takeaways from our progress in the field in the first Quarter of 2020

Mother Esther – Agricultural Farm Expansion

Girls at Mother Esther Girls Rescue Center, picking onions from the 3 acres of open air farming.

In Q-1 of 2020, we installed an additional Green-house and an additional 2 acres of drip irrigation systems that included drip lines and two 5,000 liter water tanks to increase the capacity of the project. The farm not only produced enough vegetables to help feed 120 girls and staff in the first quarter, but the farm also produced enough produce to sell to other families in the Masai community.

The income generated from the farm was small, around $1,313 USD, but it was used to pay the farm hand, to purchase other food items for children, like milk and cereals and some firewood for cooking.

Plotting the expansion of the agricultural project and the Masai womens community learning program in Fall of 2019.

The farm expansion garnered the attention of the regional department of agriculture officers, who visited the farm to learn how we were able to convert otherwise arid land into viable agricultural land. The takeaway here is that the project is scaling and creating food security in a region that has historically had a huge issue with lack of food. (The official community pilot training program that was scheduled to begin in Q2 of 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19.)

Tumaini Children Center- Renewable Energy & Renewable Source of Protein

Sometimes its the little thing that count, can you imagine quarantine without electricity?

We installed a small solar panel and converter system at our partner Tumaini Children’s Center. The children and staff now have a source of power to light up their nights. The kids can now do their chores and homework. The panel is small, but it also powers the incubator and lights that will allow us to scale the poultry project to producing more eggs.

Yes! the chickens from the Poultry Project we invested in Q-4 of 2019 started to produce eggs! The farm is producing roughly 300 eggs per week. The children now have a healthy reliable source of protein and they are able to sell around 250 eggs every week to generate some income. This next quarter we plan to carefully scale this project to be able to produce twice the amount of eggs.

Got Milk? We do!

Our Cow projects combined produced over 4,171 liters of Milk! In addition to adding protein to the children’s and staff’s diets, the excess was sold to over 750 needy families at a under half the price of store bought milk. We were also able to purchase 2 milk producing cows for our partner Amazing Grace, to help scale up their current milk farm!

Practice Makes Perfect- Amiran Kenya Training

We were able to host all of our farm hands for another training session hosted by Amiran Kenya on their campus. During these training sessions, our farm hands are able to learn new techniques on how to maximize the yield of their farm, and bring up any issues they are having with growing their crops. We find that doing this on a quarterly or bi-annual basis is invaluable and keeps our farm-hand’s feeling supported and competitive.

Welcome to The Family Boys Rescue Center- Slowly moving loser towards financial independence.

We started off moving into 2020 with the goal of helping our partners achieve financial independence. Although we have yet much room to go, inorder to achieve these goals, we were pleased that this past quarter the reverse osmosis plant that we built in 2016 sold $11,332 USD worth of water. Four years later, the water plant is fully funding the salaries of the staff for Welcome to The Family Boys Rescue Center in Nakuru.

This project has created an impact beyond generating income for our partner, it provides employment to the 3 community members who help run it, and a affordable, clean, fluoride free water security to the surrounding community.

Drought Scare in Kenya – THE IMPACT ON OUR PROJECTS

The majority of Kitechild’s projects in Kenya are agricultural by nature, from crop and livestock rearing, borehole water purification, harvesting of rainwater, and numerous other projects they are all directly or indirectly impacted by the abundance of rain. Earlier this year the Kenyan long rains- which typically run from March to May, were significantly delayed, prompting the Kenyan Government to declare a national drought emergency. With 23 out of 47 counties affected, 2.6 million people reached critical levels of food & water insecurity as prices for both of the most essential commodities skyrocketed.

This left many of our existing projects vulnerable,  and especially set us back in the implementation of three new projects we had scheduled to break ground in the 1st quarter 2019.  With no rain in sight the viability of installing 4 additional greenhouses & 7 acres of driplines for open land for cultivation,  as well as the purchase of a 20,000 liter Rain Water harvest tank, seemed low.

Thankfully,  the last week of April reported rain in most parts of the country.  With faith the rains would return, we and kept all three projects on track as scheduled.  But although the drought scare is over for now, having been left so exposed and vulnerable raised some important questions for us and our partners on how we can continue to dig deeper and explore preventative measures that will enable our projects to survive threats like this in the future. 

THE SILVER LINING: Ironically, the lack of rain had a positive effect on our Reverse Osmosis water purifying project at the Welcome to the Family Children’s Center in Nakuru. Due to a shortage of water the region, sales of bottled clean drinking water were higher than usual. The project continues to thrive providing more affordable water to the extended community while generating income for the center to cover the cost of skilled social workers and staff who rehabilitate at-risk youth. Cheers to that!