Greetings from a very wet Holmfirth. It is two weeks since we left a warm, sunny Kenya after a very busy but enjoyable time. We had two celebrations in Eldoret and three visits to Riziki.
We have known Testimony Faith Homes in Eldoret since its inception in 1969, founded by John Green. The jubilee celebrations were a joy to experience with dozens of former children rejoicing together, many meeting their brothers and sisters again after many years. It was a real tribute to the love and faith of John & Esther in particular.
The blessing, two weeks later, of the first phase of the new Neema school was equally joyful following the hard work and devotion to vulnerable children of Joshua & Miriam Mbithi.
When we arrived at Riziki, all the young people were home on school holidays, so it was wonderful to see the family all together. They really are a family, caring, sharing, working and playing together. Over nine years we have seen children with little hope for the future grow into delightful young adults, making the most of their opportunities.
We are delighted to report that we have appointed a new social worker / house parent, Helen, who has settled in well. She has thrown herself into all expected activities and more. We hope she will give the stability needed for a happy family. We were able to discuss plans and move forward with developments.
It is our aim at Riziki to become self-sufficient with the farm providing all the basic food we need and cash crops to cover other expenses. For some time we have hoped to build a large barn and we were pleased to start this. Two days were spent sourcing and buying the appropriate timber and when we left the barn was nearing completion.
We are wanting to increase our small herd of cows, to six milking cows and we have now bought a milking machine which should increase efficiency. Training is on-going.
We were very pleased to be joined at Riziki by Janet & Stuart Brown who have known Riziki from the beginning and also by our son, John, for whom this was a first visit (but perhaps not the last). A contribution from Janet and Stuart is included in this newsletter.
RIZIKI NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2019.
Janet and I had the privilege of visiting Riziki on two occasions in early September.
The first was on a Saturday afternoon when the children had returned from school and had time to play and enjoy their childhood. There were smiles, laughter and joy. It was a real pleasure to experience a loving and happy community. This was family life at its best; with children playing and supporting each other.
Riziki has now celebrated nine successful years, thanks to your support and prayers. The children have been offered a wonderful opportunity, and we were quite humbled by the consistent thanks and assurances that ‘we will not let you down’. They are all doing well academically, and the majority have achieved positions at or near the top of their classes.
We took the opportunity of seeing the new dam, the shamba (garden), greenhouse and livestock. The rains had materialised and their harvest was good. Their harvest is providing most of their food needs, and in future years, providing the rains are adequate, they will be food self-sufficient.
Returning the following Wednesday with Ian and Diana Hogley, we devoted our time to the business of the Home and its future needs. We expressed our sincere thanks to Julius for his commitment and energies over the last nine years. The children refer to him as ‘Pa‘ and Riziki will always be very special. But time is moving on and Julius felt it was opportune to stand down as Director in favour of Liz, his daughter, who has been acting as Assistant Director for the last four years. Julius will remain a Trustee and continue his important role of mentoring the children. (We will give all the help we can to ensure a smooth handover – Ian & Diana)
In many ways, this a very positive step. It secures the medium to long term future of Riziki with a leadership re-energised with new commitment. Liz believes that a full-time presence at Riziki is important and the Trustees have agreed the construction of a house and a dormitory for the older girls on their vacations from boarding school. We met Helen, their new Social Worker, whose presence will allow Liz to develop new strategies for the Home and the children. We were very encouraged by a very positive outlook for Riziki.
We hope to extend an invitation next year to Liz, to visit the U.K. and share her hopes and aspirations for Riziki to you all. Please continue to support this very happy and successful family, we all know as Riziki.
Stuart and Janet Brown.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Ian & Diana Hogley