I have just received the report below from Liz about how all at Riziki are coping with lockdown. Many thanks to so many of you for your continuing support for Riziki. We dare not imagine what would happen to these children without your support.
Hi Ian and Diana,
I am sitting in the Riziki lounge this afternoon after a morning of meetings. The young kids are outside playing, while the older kids are getting through their assigned schoolwork. They have been helping each other a lot. I am currently looking at Tony helping Dennis with his computer assignment, while Dominic is helping small Tony with his science assignment. This has been really helpful because most of the time, getting to each child and knowing the answers to all the subjects, is a challenge. This is how we are spending most of our days here at Riziki. Most of the schools have been very active in sending assignments and lately end of term exams through WhatsApp. They send these assignments alongside timetables that go to mid - afternoon, and so for the last couple of weeks they have been very busy. This has, however, presented us with our main challenge at the moment, which is processing all this paper. Because they cannot be done on WhatsApp, we have to print them out and, in a class with several students, print several copies. Some of these exams are up to nine pages or more. We have increasingly seen the need of a simple photocopy machine that will help ease the strain on the printer. Whether this is good maths sense I am yet to know, but Ian you can advise on this. (Any experts on photocopier versus printer please advise me! Ian.) We are currently printing approximately 100 pages worth of assignments every day, 3/4 of which could easily be photocopied. We have found simple copiers that range between Kshs. 20,000-25,000. (£160 - £200) Whether this is a worthy investment going forward looking at the long term possibility of this sort of learning, we need to decide. We also have an increased need of printing paper!
Most children are handling the change with grace. Most are following the daily routine with no problem, while for others it has not been easy having school at home. It hasn't been easy for the adults as well, we all suddenly have to be teachers! We could really use a Maths teacher though! 😁
The staff are all doing okay, and remain fully committed to the job. I am quite confident that if we do get to a point of total lockdown, that they would take care of the children adequately. This has been one of our main concerns. If, or rather when, our movements get restricted and we can't get up to Riziki everyday, what that would look like? So, we have been slowly preparing them for this mentally.
Concerning staff, and our interest to keep them working and at the same time keep the children safe, we continue to have temperature checks and we would like to add masks, starting next month, for those that work in the house, Rachel and the 2 Elizabeths'😁. Our government has given a directive for use of masks in public places and we felt it would not hurt for Riziki as well, just extra preventative precaution. Speaking of masks we have in the last couple of weeks had to go out of Riziki with some of the children that needed the hospital for dental, Catherine had a tooth extraction, and to keep appointments for Benson and Ann. Ruth also had a terrible fungal infection on her head that is slowly clearing up. It became clear we would need a supply of proper masks and sanitizer for use when we have to get out, which may reflect as extra in the budget now.
We have in the last week received abnormally huge rain. The shamba is in good shape, with a good variety of vegetables, cabbages, kale, Swiss chard, black night shade and cowpea leaves. And we continue to add more in order to have a constant flow of vegetables. One of the meetings today was to take stock of our current supply, and if schools don't reopen and everything remains constant our current maize supply can last us up to 12 months, starting May 2020 while the beans supply will last us 3 months . We have a crop of beans in the shamba at the moment that we are giving extra attention so it can help us cover the deficit, which, if well taken care of, it should. We are, of course, also fully aware we will need a maize crop as well which we are targeting for the next season. We have been enjoying avocados and some bananas from the farm this month. It has been avocados in everything! 😁
We continue to thank God and all of you in the UK that are standing with children at Riziki and all the other homes. We take none of it for granted, and we are giving it our best to make sure that your generosity is not wasted. The children are happy! So, a big God bless you to all!
PS. From a random website!
Meanwhile the weatherman is cautioning that rains will intensify in parts of the country. The rains and attendant flooding are an added headache to humanitarian efforts bedevilling the country. A locust invasion is the other.
A weather alert said the rains and attendant flood risk was going to impact the wider East, Horn of Africa region: Exceptionally high rainfall from 21-26 April is expected in Djibouti, south-eastern Ethiopia, Kenya, southern Somalia, north-western Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
Many thanks for being interested in Riziki and for reading this newsletter.
Many Blessings, Ian & Diana