Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where to Start

This is Smiley - doesn't look very smiley, does he? He's hungry. He's one of the over 100 children that get fed four times a week through the Feeding Program that OAI does. To be in the Program, your mother commits to attending classes Tuesday-Friday under the tree in the open area at Kambi Teso. Kambi Teso is a slum area on the outskirts of Eldoret. It was a 70% alcoholism rate, and is very, very poor. Kenya has a 60% unemployment rate, so you can only imagine what very, very poor is like.

The classes the mothers attend are on health, cleanliness, micro-finances, etc. things like, "You should probably buy bread before Home Brew" (a moonshine type of liquor only the very poor would resort to)

So these children are sure to get a hot meal four times a week, and for many of them, this is probably the only food they get. OAI would love to put a well in here, but that runs around $30-40K. For now, they walk about a mile to fetch water - of course, with the high alcoholism, there's not a LOT of motivation to go get water for your children.

This week, we have been running a Medical Clinic at Kambi Teso, in conjunction with the Feeding Program. We are also working with AMPATH (Yeah, couldn't figure out what it stands for) But the last two words I think mean treatment for HIV. They do HIV/AIDS testing. USAID is supposed to provide the medication for those with the diesase.

The Feeding Program costs $2000 a month. It feeds over 100 children and usually about 50 moms, four times a day, every week. We have two girls who work full-time in meal preparation, and then another girl who works full-time teaching the classes, and organizing everything here in the Office and out there.

The average Kenyan makes $1 a day. The Kenyans who work in our Office get paid anywhere from $100-$300/month. So they are treating their staff really well ( and their staff is wonderful), but it still costs money to run this program.

OAI also runs an Education Program in Kambi Teso, and then, of course, there is the Village, where the 24 orphans live with the two sets of House Parents.

I realize I've gone on long, but I haven't even told you about the watch dogs, or the bus. Or Diana.

So much to tell.

On a personal note, I am really struggling with my heart. I am so sad... I love these children, but when I am alone, I am still really really sad that I loved a man for so long. Seems like such a waste.

A few more photos of the precious little ones.

Isn't she pretty? Taking care of her baby brother. She's 9.


  1. Oh my. What a work!! Glad you are there to help and my prayer is that it helps you.

  2. Loved hearing from you! Keep writing and posting pictures.

  3. Just beautiful! I pray heaps of blessing upon you and your friends for setting up such a stellar system for these little guys and their moms!

    So much closer yet still so far away...makes me sad.

  4. Dear friend. I am praying for your heart. And for those beautiful children.