There is nothing we like more at Bread and Water for Africa® than to see a project we have funded come to fruition and be successful.

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Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre’s first fish harvest.

Such is the case of the fish farm we constructed for the Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre in Zambia. For the past year, we have worked with our partner there Angela Miyanda from when she first proposed the project which would provide thousands of fish for the children of the orphanage as well as generate a self-sustaining revenue source for Kabwata by selling thousands more annually.

Zambians love fish, eating it every day for at least one meal, and tilapia is among the most popular as it is fast-growing, and tasty.

Today, we have come from when a tilapia farm was just a dream in Angela’s mind to the reality of the first harvest with 70 percent being sold to stores in the capital city of Lusaka, and the other 30 percent set aside for the children.

In just a few months, the small tilapia fry have grown to full size and Angela’s crew have been able to harvest them from the two ponds as they prepare for the next batch.

Angela, who also oversees a banana plantation which supplies bananas to the orphans as well as generating a revenue stream for the orphanage, told us at the time of the construction of the fish ponds that “depending on the outcome of the fish project, we may shift into full time fish farming as it is proving to be less labor intensive.”

She also noted that Zambia has been blessed with many rivers and lakes stocked with a lot of fish, however due economic challenges facing the country people are taking fish of all sizes with no exceptions for the smallest ones who have not attained full size.

Even with a ban that is imposed on Zambians from December to March every year that is designed to help the fish breed, it does not help as many continue to harvest fish illegally, Angela told us.

“Fish farming is new for Zambia,” she said, adding “The community is excited with fish farming because it will be sold in the local community.”

As we seek to do with all our partners, by providing funding for capital projects such as fish farming ponds, we are leading them on a path to self-sufficiency, not perpetual reliance.

And thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide the seed money for the ponds which will provide great returns for the children of Kabwata for many years to come.

 

 

Bread and Water for Africa® has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Neilom Engineering for Social Change Fund to build a water well in Sierra Leone.

The grant is being made available through the Neilom Foundation and the Center for Engineering Concepts Development in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, in partnership with the Center for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Leadership in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park.

“Our name reflects our highest priority to bring clean water to families, clinics, schools and entire communities,” stated Bread and Water for Africa® Executive Director Bethelhem Tessema, who noted that Bread and Water for Africa®, through partnerships with grassroots organizations in Africa, has provided water wells for tens of thousands of people in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Zambia and Sierra Leone.

The $10,000 grant funding will go towards building a hand pump water well to serve the Hill Station Primary and Secondary Schools as well as the surrounding community in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We will commit matching funds of $5,092 to fully meet to the total project costs of $15,092.

In 2015, we established a goal of building three wells in Sierra Leone, a country still recovering from the Ebola outbreak of 2014, by June 2016. The first of the three wells, in the community of Waterloo, is soon to be completed.

Bread and Water for Africa® has established a goal of building a total of three wells in Sierra Leone, still recovering from the Ebola outbreak of 2014 which continued into 2015, for FY 2016. The first well, in the community of Waterloo, is soon to be completed.

The Neilom Grant money, combined with the matching funds contributed by Bread and Water for Africa®, will make it possible to complete the second well early in 2016.

We will administer the grant with its partner, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), of Freetown , Sierra Leone, which have worked as partners for more than 10 years. Weather permitting, the construction of the new well could begin as soon as January and be completed by the end of March.

The need for such a well in Sierra Leone is great. The vast majority of the population does not have access to safe and clean water and nearly half of the population uses unprotected water as their primary source for drinking, bathing and washing.

We are extremely grateful to the Neilom Engineering for Social Change Fund for recognizing the need for a well in this community that will benefit thousands and literally save lives.

On behalf of these thousands, we say “Tenki” (“Thank You” in Krio, the national language of Sierra Leone).

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Local Partner: Haramaya Health Center/Hiwot Fana Specialized University Hospital

Local Partner Director: Professor Augustin Sesay

Area Served: Eastern Ethiopia

Program Goal:
To provide an exceptional education and educational opportunities to Kenyan children.

Program Services Provided: Haramaya Health Center provides primary medical treatment both inpatient care and outpatient care, and has obstetrics services.

Current Needs: While the clinic is small, it is organized to handle a large number of patients and emphasis is placed on prevention. However, there is a constant shortage of supplies and equipment and serious cases must be referred to other facilities. Needed items include ultrasound equipment, surgical operating room lights and a surgical table. At the hospital, the needs are described as enormous and urgent. The need at the hospital is primarily a lack of supplies and modern equipment, combined with a shortage of doctors.IMG_9020

Program Summary: The focus of the hospital is general medicine. The hospital’s strength is that it is a regional hospital for the eastern part of the country which became a teaching hospital in 2011. It also offers specialties that small clinics cannot offer.

 

 

 

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The Inspiring Innovator behind Kenya’s Baraka Farm

Meet Josef CreemersSeventeen years ago, Jos Creemers started out as a volunteer on Baraka Farm in Eldoret, Kenya, assigned there through the British government’s Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO). He came to Baraka as the farm manager and quickly took on the task of converting it into a productive and self-sufficient operation that would benefit the Lewa Children’s Home and Kipkeino School. A combination of his first-rate management, relentless dedication, and astute adaptations to conditions on the farm and in the region has helped Jos not only reach those goals, but also turn Baraka Farm into one of the most fruitful and imitated farms in the country.

When Jos arrived in Kenya, Baraka had been organized principally as a simple corn/wheat farm. Nonetheless, the breakup of the regional dairy monopoly in 2001 presented the opportunity for smaller farms like Baraka to expand into that market for the first time in many years, and in typical Dutch fashion, he decided to convert all farm operations to focus on dairy. Today Baraka boasts over 150 dairy cows, providing all the delicious milk and cheese for both the Lewa Children’s Home and the Kipkeino School – with about 90% of output leftover for sale at the market. This is in addition to keeping and raising sheep and beef cows, as well as tending to a vegetable garden, cultivating a budding forestry program and the continuing corn crop, which is also far more than enough to meet all the needs of the children’s home and school.

07_kenya_josStill, the challenges are many. From keeping the grazing pastures for the cows well maintained to improving the irrigation system to allow for the farm’s expansion – and of course dealing with the inevitable unpredictability of fluctuating prices and variable weather – Jos always has his work cut out for him. Yet even facing such obstacles, Jos has been able to dexterously guide Baraka through them all, calling on the advice of other experts when necessary, acquiring second-hand machinery to improve efficiency, and sticking to his successful formula even during rough patches.

With about thirty employees, Baraka’s success impacts more than just the lives of the home’s orphans. Its reputation for superb management has led to its – and its manager’s – renown throughout the area. Put in context, Jos’ feat is even more impressive; despite enjoying some of the most fertile soil in the country, lack of expertise and interest in farming among the younger generations has led to underutilization of the region’s natural advantages. Yet with his relentless and apparent determination, around 1,000 farmers and students visit Baraka Farm every year to learn from Jos and observe its operations – a fantastic testament to his dynamic approach to both agricultural and personnel management.

kenya_05-jos-lgAfter nearly two decades of service to the Baraka Farm and the children which it feeds and supports, Jos has made an incredible difference in the lives of hundreds of people. He serves as a one-of-a-kind example to both farmers and non-farmers alike, not only providing healthy and plentiful food to orphaned Kenyans and a model of self-sufficiency to a community, but ultimately providing the key ingredient of hope to all of those involved. Bread and Water for Africa® is deeply indebted to him for dedicating his noteworthy skills and inexhaustible energies to the children of Eldoret, Kenya for so many years. As they say in Swahili, Asante sana, Jos.

Bangolon-Cameroon-Beth


Abethbout me

I was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (East Africa) in a middle class family. I was very fortunate to grow up in loving and caring home. I grew up with four sisters, three brothers and other extended family in the same household, which is a typical way of African family living.

After I graduated from high school, I came to the United States for college and fell in love with this great Nation that offers freedom, opportunity, and diversity. I have been living in the Washington metropolitan area since I moved to the USA.

Work

Before joining Bread and Water for Africa® as Executive Director in 2008, I served as a Controller of CRSC Residential, Inc., another affiliate of Christian Relief Services Charities (CRSC). With CRSC Residential, I worked as part of a team managing 10 properties (1200 multi-family units) across the United States, including in Arizona, Kansas, and Northern Virginia.

Before I joined CRSC in 2001, I worked as an accountant in various companies, including a commercial real estate management company, at a CPA firm, and in the hospitality industry, for over 10 years.

I continue to find fulfillment with Bread and Water for Africa®, as we work with our local partners for positive change in Africa. I am humbled daily by both the generosity of our donors and the creativity and resolve of our African partners.

Every year I visit at least one of our partners in Africa, where I am inevitably amazed with the quality and reach of the work our partners do. To see such transformations in the continent of my birth and upbringing has a special meaning for me; it is why I work hard every day to promote our model of sustainable development. The change for which so many have worked so hard must benefit coming generations as well as those of today.

I have seen first-hand the difference that only a few dollars can make in the lives of so many, and I look forward to growing our programs’ reach as Executive Director for years to come.

Education

I graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a BA in accounting. I am also a member of National Institution of Accountants and the Institution of Internal Auditors.

Church

I am a member of the Amenual Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Arlington, VA. I have been serving as a volunteer accountant for my church for the last seven years. I also serve as a Bible study leader in a small group that I host at my apartment every week.

Hobbies

I love reading the Bible and other Christian books. I also enjoy watching documentaries, visiting museums, and helping people in any way I can. I have had the privilege to travel to many countries around the world including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, France, England, Greece, Canada, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Cameroon and Mozambique. And I look forward to traveling more in Africa, Middle East and Russia.

Grateful to serve

I love the Lord with all my heart and I would love to serve Him in the way I live every day, with hard work, respect and kindness for others and a heartfelt devotion to Him.

I adore Africa. Bread and Water for Africa’s mission is very personal to me. It is my story and it is who I am!

Grateful to be serving others,

Bethelhem Tessema