This is a continuation of our last newsletter, commenting on situations we saw when we were in Kenya in February and March.
One Saturday in February a group, known as 254 celebrities, came to Riziki to give them a day of entertainment and a meal. This is a group of young, professional people who give their time and talents and their money to help less fortunate people. (The name 254 comes from the international dialling code for Kenya!) One man came all the way from Mombasa for the day! The Riziki children certainly enjoyed their visit.
While soaking up the sunshine we discussed the separate roles which Julius and Liz each take within Riziki so that we know what each takes responsibility for.
Liz takes responsibility for official dealings with The Children’s Department, The Riziki farm, the management of staff, the stores in general, the regular monthly shopping and anything else as needed at the time! While referring to dealings with officialdom, she said ‘You have no idea what we have to go through‘. Our response was ‘Then tell us!‘
Each child is at Riziki following a commital by the courts where Liz has to show why the child needs to be at Riziki and also why Riziki is a fit place for a child to be. Commitals and registration have to be renewed regularly and Riziki is expected to maintain and increase contact with any relatives and find a way for a child to return to such relatives or to go to foster or adoptive parents, if that becomes a viable option! Grandparents are encouraged to visit Riziki more so that they don’t lose touch - in preparation for when the child eventually leaves Riziki at age 18, as required by present law. Sarah, our social worker, is taking a more active part in this too.
Liz takes responsibility for all aspects of the farm, and she is passionate about this, determined to get the very best out of our facilties. She keeps contact with Egerton University, the premier Agricultural public University in Kenya, who are happy to advise and who often give help with planting. She tries to understand the staff and their problems, whether they are happy or sad etc. She tries to make the staff consider what they are achieving at Riziki and why, and whether that aligns to their values. She discovered recently that Elizabeth, our very loyal cook, was unable to pay her daughter’s school fees due to family circumstances. This was giving Elizabeth much sadness and worry. We have been able to find a way to remove that burden for Elizabeth. We hope that with greater understanding of our staff we will be able to reduce the staff turnover rate.
Liz has started to talk to the girls about adolescence as appropriate and to come up with policies for the future of Riziki, for example, on human resources, volunteers and child protection. To help with all of these things she visits other children‘s homes in the Nakuru district.
Julius takes overall responsibility for Riziki and deals with all matters of finance, school admissions and fees. He takes children to hospital as and when necessary and councils the children each Sunday afternoon. He deals with whatever concerns have arisen during the week, from major disciplinary matters (rare) to apparently trivial things, in open discussions with the children, where appropriate. While we were there a bar of soap had gone missing and could not be found. After the meeting it somehow re-appeared! Another time, he had to give a minor reprimand to one of the girls, ‘K‘, who went into major sulks! Julius asked Neema what was wrong with ‘K‘ and the reply was ‘Pa, Don’t worry about ‘K‘, she is having her adolances (sic)‘.
The renovation of the two old buildings is about to start, and we look forward to seeing pictures as the work goes on. We hope they will be in the next newsletter.
Our next development project is expected to be the upgrading of the facilities for cattle. The almost total lack of rain for about a year has shown that we are not likely to be able to grow reliable crops for sale, although with our storage facilities we can achieve self-sufficiency for most of our food for both children and livestock. There is, apparently, a good market for both milk and meat. Our large field grows maize for the children (the waste is converted to cattle food) with desmodium and lucerne as protein crops for the cows. We want to increase our small herd of milk cows but, so far, our cows have a tendency to produce male calves. We have now decided to keep them and rear them ourselves for meat, rather than sell them early for very little money. It may be necessary to buy a good cow to increase the milk yield quickly, aiming for 25 to 30 litres per cow per day.
News directly from Liz is:-
On March 30th - We did do some planting. A major part of the shamba was completed. A good thing, because we have had two days rain since. 254 did not show up to help so we had to deal with the planting on our own (we are used to that). In the morning, with the kids at school, all staff took to planting. Ruth, Glen and Kevin, the only children not at school on Saturday morning, gave a hand and we were all surprised at how good they were at it and that we got 2hrs of planting from them before they were ready to leave. In the afternoon, the rest helped when they came back from school. We left the shamba at 6:30 - everyone so tired. Precious had a worrying headache after and I suffered a severe sun burn on the back of my neck. Anyway we are back at it this weekend and we should be able to finish the portion left.
On March 31st - Precious is fine. I was just with her. Yes, it was just dehydration. Left work late today, just got to the house with the evening car. I was coordinating for tomorrow's planting; I managed to get some 15 young people from the community to volunteer (you met them at the Christmas party - don't know if you remember them). So tomorrow should go smoothly.
Children are fine, except Kevin came home sick in the evening; looks like tonsillitis, so hospital tomorrow.
On May 2nd - Sorry for the silence. It's been quite busy this month with the kids at home and lots of activity. Kindly bear with us. We are in 'back to school' mode now, but once they are back, Wednesday, it should slow down a bit and I will be able to sit down and write a proper update.
Julius wrote on May 3rd:-
The children were on April school holiday since 7th April 2017 but the schools were opened today.
Dennis Kibet's leg has improved greatly but he has developed eye problems and after check ups he was given eye glasses and he is now doing well. Kevin Kipkoech has a swelling on his left leg and he is due for an operation next week to remove whatever is there. Antony Rengei went home for a visit, but when he returned here he was sick, vomitting blood and with stomach ache. Yesterday, I took him to St. Mary's hospital where several tests were carried out including scope. He was found to have Oesophageal varices grade 2 and he lacked blood. The levels were very low. He was admitted at 5.30pm so that 3 pints of blood could be added to his body at night. I will visit him today at 4 pm, God willing, after sorting out the other secondary boys to go to school today.
I have been forced by circumstances to call the Eye hospital to postpone my eye clinc, which was supposed to be today, so as to monitor Antony's development. They agreed to give me another appointment when I am ready.
The fields were planted with maize and beans towards the end of March but there has been no rain. Now we have had some rain at least for 2 day continuously and we hope and trust that it will continue, God willing. We had planted onions in the greenhouse but they did not do well due to lack of enough water; you know our water problem.
On 15th April, Liz held her usual children‘s church and 210 children from the community attended.
On Monday, 1st May 2017, we held a birthday party for all the children. They had invited their friends from the community both small and youth; also there were 3 children from St. Cecilia, they all enjoyed very much and it rained very hard that day.
Peter has not yet started the renovation. I talked to him again on Monday and he claimed that he was busy somewhere but he promised to start soon. The gentleman doing the store also promised to start on Monday next week.
On May 4th - Antony is getting better; he was taken to theatre again today and we trust and believe he will be well soon.
Please greet all in the family and God bless you abundantly.
News of Sammy
Following our mention in the last newsletter of our friend, Sammy, and his need for chemo for his cancer, I am pleased to say that we have been able to fund about 1½ treatments. Any further help would be much appreciated. Sammy acknowleged your help in the email below:-
Hi Ian & Diana
I am doing well in the fourth chemo, and have experienced very good improvement. We had no rain for a long time but we had very heavy rainfall this afternoon in our village, hope it will continue raining. Sorry, I failed to tell you that the money you raised to-words my treatment and sent through Riziki/Julius reached me and I will pay for my fifth chemo on Thursday the 20th. I will keep you informed with the progress, and I would very much like you to believe that I surely appreciated all what you did to raise funds to-words my treatment. May god bless you and those who answered you and may God add them more and bless the work of their hands. Give my love Diana and the family. Sammy
1. For adequate rain to support the crops, not just at Riziki but throughout East Africa.
2. For strength for the Riziki staff, especially Julius.
3. That someone will feel led to join Diana and me so that there is good continuity with Riziki in preparation for the time when we are no longer able to do it.
For donations from within UK:-
The best way to make a donation to Riziki is through The Aenon Trust. This a UK charity which facilitates giving to projects including several children's homes in Kenya. Donations by UK taxpayers may be Gift Aided through The Aenon Trust. All such giftings are transferred to the projects in full by the Trust, with no deductions
Cheques should be made payable to The Aenon Trust and sent to:-
Mr A.E.Nicholls MBE FRGS, 137 Belvedere Road, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA7 4PA , with a note saying the gift is for Riziki. Allan's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct payments can be made to:- NATWEST BANK, Bexleyheath, Sort Code 51-70-14, for the credit of The Aenon Trust, Account No 36591483. If using this method an email should be sent to Allan to let him know the gift is for Riziki.
If preferred, gifts may be sent through us at Wayfields, Briar Court, HOLMFIRTH, HD9 2JJ.
Donations from elsewhere may be sent to either of the above.
Regular donations can be made by Standing Orders. I can supply Gift Aid declaration forms or Standing Order forms, for regular donations, if desired.
Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter. Your interest in Riziki is much appreciated. Without your help, Riziki could not exist. Ian & Diana Hogley.
Gaggia Caffe Shop, based in Elland has a feature on Riziki on their website. This can be accessed on www.gaggiacaffe.tv. Our own Riziki website is accessed on http://www.riziki.org.uk.