Any child living anywhere in the world is destined for a life of poverty without an education.

Nowhere is that more true than in sub-Saharan Africa which in no way could be described as “a land of opportunity” for those who can’t read or write, add or subtract of have a general knowledge of the world.

Theirs is a life of struggle and despair with no hope for anything better in their life than to labor hard – if they are fortunate enough to find work – eat for a day, and have a place to sleep for the night.

That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for school fees and school uniforms for hundreds of children each year in several African countries.

For example, in Cameroon, our partner there Hope Services, enables deserving children whose greatest wish in the world is to go to school with funding provided by supporters of Bread and Water for Africa®.

This year, Hope Services Director Esther Ndichafah expects to enable more than 200 underprivileged children including orphans and what she calls “persecuted children” to go to school, giving them their only chance for success in life.

Her mission, she says, is to give “the underprivileged the same opportunities to be educated like others” and helping transform “poor children into established self-reliant individuals” by encouraging academic excellence.

At Bread and Water for Africa® Esther’s mission is our mission. We strongly believe that education is not a key to success, it is THE key to success.

In the villages of Bangolan and Babungo in Cameroon, as well as Lolo in Chad, secondary school tuition is extremely inexpensive compared to what it costs to educate a child in the United States.

That is unless you are a poor orphan and then it may as well be $1 million.

In Kenya, Bread and Water for Africa® provides funding for secondary school students living at the affiliated Lewa Children’s Home as well as sponsored children in the local community.

Stella Keino of the Lewa Children’s Home stated that by providing school fees for orphans living at Lewa and others “This benefits the Eldoret community and the country as a whole.”

Stella sees short term, medium term and long term outcomes for the students.

In the short term, children will be able to go directly to high school without any disruption to their education with funding for the school fees in place from the start of the school year to the end.

In the medium term, children will be able to attend all the years of high school without worry of how they will pay their school fees year after year.

And in the long term, the students will be able to attain a higher education than they otherwise might not have been able to “and develop themselves to be better citizens.”

In Zimbabwe, working with our partner there, Margaret Makambira, director of Shinga Development Trust, 30 primary school students and 20 secondary school students, will benefit from our school fee support program.

Margaret firmly believes, as do we, that an educated population will empower the nation, build healthy communities and lead to a long-term goal of self-sufficiency as she works to eradicate illiteracy in her community, one child at a time.

The result of our efforts – all of us, Bread and Water for Africa®, our grassroots partners working every day to better the lives of children in the communities, and you, our supporters who make it all possible – is that today hundreds of children are in school instead of the streets, and tomorrow they will have a bright future, leading the way for thousands to follow.

Eldoret, Kenya, pop. 300,000, is the fastest growing city in Kenya, the second largest urban center in Midwestern Kenya and the fifth largest urban center in all of Kenya.

It is a sister city to Indianapolis, IN, Ithaca, NY, Minneapolis, MN, and Portsmouth, VA.

It is also home to the Kipkeino Primary School, and to hundreds of children living in the adjacent Lewa Children’s Home who attend the school.

As millions of children in the United States return to school in upcoming weeks, so do millions of Kenyan children, and as noted by Kipkeino school administrator Vimala Sebastian, “In the modern world of today, a computer lab is a necessity.”

At Bread and Water for Africa® we wholeheartedly agree. That is why, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able in July to fully fund a new computer lab for the school, along with high-speed internet access.

“When the old system was in use, pupils could rarely access the computers and most of the lessons were theory, which was not interesting,” Vimala said. “Right now, they all crowd around the screens which means the children enjoy the program.”

And the biggest strength of the program says Vimala?

“Students being able to use computers and becoming IT experts. They also use the computers for play which improves their cognitive skills as well as alertness.”

As such is true in Indianapolis, Ithaca, Minneapolis, and Portsmouth, so it is true in Eldoret.

Salim’s story is one that begins with sadness and woe, but ends with happiness and joy.

It starts when he was only four months old when his father took him to a hospital in Kenya where Salim was treated for malnourishment and pneumonia and where a defect was found in his heart which required treatment.

However, with his heart literally broken, the infant child would have his heart broken in a second way when his parents simply disappeared from the hospital without their newborn son, leaving no way for anyone at the hospital to contact them.

When he was able to leave the hospital, Salim was taken to the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya. There, he received the care and treatment he needed, and more importantly, he received love.

And, even more good news, after a few additional hospital visits, the doctors were overjoyed to learn that the treatment had worked – the defect in his heart was cured.

Salim_2Today, Salim is about 8 years old still living at Lewa.

He has transformed from being an extremely sick, abandoned infant into a cheerful child who, has recovered from not one, but two, broken hearts.

“I am Odero!” he proudly exclaims today.

It’s springtime, and young boys and girls will soon be taking to the diamond with their gloves, balls and bats to play what is arguably the most American of sports – baseball.

But these kids aren’t in Cleveland, Chicago or Cincinnati. They live in Eldoret, Kenya.

Most young children in rural Kenya are happy just to have a soccer ball made of plastic bags or rags and twine, but these children who attend the KipKeino Primary School will soon have equipment that would rival any Little League team in the United States thanks to Chicago White Sox scout John Tumminia.

Bread and Water for Africa® is proud to play a role in helping Tumminia and his organization Baseball Miracles introduce the sport to hundreds of children at the KipKeino Primary School this year – we are sure they will have a ball!

This year, Bread and Water for Africa® will be helping to facilitate the clinics and games for dozens of children who will be introduced to America’s pastime by baseball professionals, many of whom will fall in love the sport that they had yet to have even heard of.

And, who knows, perhaps a few years from now we may be watching one of these young Kenyans throwing a fastball, or hitting a homerun, in a Major League Baseball game on TV. We can all dream, right?

 

Clean and safe water is such a scarce resource for so many, including in Sierra Leone.  Mothers, children, the sick, and indeed entire communities suffer from inadequate and unhealthy water in far too many communities of Sierra Leone.

That’s why this month, with our partner there, Faith Healing Development Organization, Bread and Water for Africa® will be drilling a much-needed well in Waterloo Community Sierra Leone to provide clean, safe water not only to the school where it will be located, but to a nearby clinic where uncontaminated water is critical to survival of the patients, as well as the community as a whole.

We have launched a 14 for 14 Matching Grant Challenge to raise the necessary funds – just $14,000 – to build this critically needed well.  This week, as World Water Day was celebrated on Sunday, March 22, there are so many reasons why this well is vital to this Waterloo community – including the 14 we are listing on our website through March 30.  14 facts for $14,000 life saving dollars Every dollar will be matched and will bring life-saving water to an entire community. We are working to raise awareness about the plight of so many that suffer from a lack of clean water with 14 important facts and raise $14,000 to drill that well.

Learn more facts about the necessity of clean and accessible water, and join us in our mission to ensure that the residents of the small village of Waterloo have something we all here in the United States take for granted – a steady supply of clean, safe water.

 

 

14Facts_Infographic_Web_Mar30

It may be a cliché, but there’s no denying its truth – time flies.

It’s hard to believe all that Bread and Water for Africa® has been able to accomplish in the past 18 years (since our inception in 1997) with our partner organizations in numerous countries throughout the African continent.

And perhaps none has been more rewarding for us and beneficial to the most needy children in Kenya – orphaned or abandoned by their parents – than our partnership with the Lewa Children’s Home and our international spokesperson Phyllis Keino.

What began as Phyllis’ mission to provide a loving place to live for a few children in her local community of Eldoret in the early -1970s has evolved into a home for hundreds of young children who would otherwise likely be fending for themselves on the streets with no one to care for them, one of nation’s top primary schools and a farm operation which not only provides food for the children, but has excess produce and dairy products to sell at the market.

Bread and Water for Africa® executive director Bethlehem Tessema had the opportunity earlier this year to visit her close friend Phyllis and see all the progress the home, school and farm have made since our partnership with Phyllis began in 1997.

“It is amazing to see all that Phyllis has been able to accomplish with the assistance of Bread and Water for Africa® supporters,” said Bethlehem. “We are proud of what we have been able to do, together with one of our longest-standing partners – the Lewa Children’s Home, the KipKeino Primary School and the Baraka Farm – and it’s all thanks to you.”

So it is today, a dream to do more for Kenya’s children with no place to turn than just provide a bed with a roof over their heads and food in their empty bellies, has been realized. They have a home where they know they are loved, and an education so that they will be able to mature into successful adults with hope for a bright future.

Merry Christmas from the Lewa Children's Home

Together We Helped Make a New Life for Hundreds of Orphaned and Abandoned Children During Our 2014 Fiscal Year. 

  • Please Give Today!107 orphaned and abandoned children lived in the Lewa Children’s Home where they received food, healthcare, an education, and a loving place to call home. (Kenya)
  • 74 orphaned and abandoned children have a place to call home where all their basic needs were met, giving them hope for a healthy future. (Zambia)
  • 400 children, most born with HIV, benefited from an orphan feeding program operated by Shinga Development Trust. (Zimbabwe)

Thanks to your generous support in the past, we have accomplished so much for the children of Africa, but the need to ensure our programs continue in the new year is still great.  

Please make your year-end tax-deductible gift for the hundreds of orphans we already help, and for those still in need.

Training Kenyan Farmers

They say that knowledge is power, and thanks to Bread and Water for Africa®’s partner in Kenya, Baraka Farm , today there are some very powerful smallholder dairy farmers who are realizing great increases in their milk production.

Farmer TrainingPhilimon, Stanley, Raphael, Paul and Samuel each have fewer than 10 cows, but with the training they received through the farm’s Practical Dairy Training Center they learned how to more than double the amount of milk they were getting from those cows without increasing their number.

Course modules included feeding, an introduction to various zero-grazing options, production of the milk in a sanitary and hygienic manner, and calf-rearing. Future courses will include the topics of cow health, fertility and farm record keeping.

While there is much to be learned in a classroom setting, more than half of the training is spent on the farm doing practical hands-on training on a small model farm, similar to the circumstances in which the students operate their own farms.

And for those who cannot make it to Eldoret to take the class themselves in person, Baraka Farm has started posting videos on youtube for anyone with a computer to view and learn from. For example, see the video below, it is now possible to gain information about calf rearing from the farm manager Jos Creemers himself.

There can be no doubt that for the small Kenyan farmers Philimon, Stanley, Raphael, Paul and Samuel the knowledge they obtained through the course will benefit more than just themselves alone, but their families, and those they share the knowledge with in their own communities.

Through your support of Bread and Water for Africa® you are helping to put more, and safer, milk into the bellies of children and making Kenya a more prosperous place to live, one small farmer at a time.

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day has a particularly strong meaning here at Bread and Water for Africa® since so many of our programs are lead by strong women who become mothers to hundreds of children.

Phyllis is a mother to hundredsPhyllis Keino is just one of these admirable women who has dedicated her life to providing shelter, education, and food to the children of Kenya.

Phyllis’ first great project was the founding of the Lewa Children’s Home, located in Eldoret, Kenya which was registered in 1978. This place has given a home to hundreds of orphans now – creating brighter futures for children each year.

But how to feed so many mouths? Phyllis created the Baraka Farm to produce healthy food to nourish these many children. Not only that, but the extra food sold at the local market helps to fund the day-to-day upkeep of the organization.

Last, fulfilling Phyllis’ vision, the KipKeino School was created, a place for not only the children of the Lewa Children’s Home to obtain an education, but also for children in the neighboring communities. This education will allow all of these children to have lives with more opportunity and ultimately create a better future for Kenya and Africa as a whole.

This Mother’s Day as we honor mothers everywhere, remember Phyllis Keino and the many children that who call her mother. Make a gift in Phyllis’ honor here

.Happy Mother's Day Phyllis

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day from Bread and Water for AfricaApril 22 is Earth Day, an occasion that marks the global concern for the environment. The connection to the land is particularly strong in Africa, where so many of the population are directly involved in agriculture.

Bread and Water for Africa® recognizes the important role that the environment plays for our partners, many of whom incorporate sustainable farming programs as part of their missions.

These programs supply food directly to the program and generate income through selling the excess. The Baraka Farm in Eldoret, Kenya provides a sustainable source of dairy, meat, grain, and produce for the Lewa Children’s Home. The Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre in Zambia grows bananas for produce and funds. In addition the Faith Healing Development Organization in Sierra Leone organizes farmers to grow their food.

There are many ways to support the efforts of Bread and Water for Africa®. While donations are an immediate way to affect change in our partners’ programs, even steps in recycling and reducing pollution affect the communities we support in the long run.

Thank you again for helping Africa and her children!