Irene and some of the children cared for by
her mother and guardians in Aduwa village
The children in the photo above, taken May 2019, all had a difficult start in life, many experiencing loss of a parent, cruelty and neglect. Mama Jael, Irene’s mother, has always been compassionate and children have gravitated to her compound where they were fed and cared for. Some ended up living with Mama Jael and the family. In 2010 CHIKS started to support this family. It became clear that the need was growing for more children to receive care, so in 2014 the family began finding local guardians for a growing number of children, enabled to do so by being supported by CHIKS.
It is 10 years since we launched CHIKS in 2010!
Progress has been made, especially in the last 2 years.
All the agricultural projects are doing well. The goats, chickens and greenhouse crops (tomatoes and onions) are providing food and income for the guardians and the children in their care.
The big project this year has been pigs! With some welcome donations Irene and her brother, Elijah, were able to buy 2 sows, and each has given birth to 7 piglets. Elijah supervised the building of a pig house and pen for them, they are being fed with the appropriate nutritious pig food and are growing well. In the Spring they will be big enough to sell at a good price to a pig dealer that Irene and her brother know. They will end up as sausages which are popular at the markets! The proceeds will be put into the project.
Selling produce means not only survival but that the guardians can now pay for the children’s primary school needs, including uniforms, lunches and stationery. In fact, we are delighted with the way they are organising themselves now that they can all contribute and take part in the farming and agriculture. They have a small loans scheme, and meet every week to discuss their finances; what is needed and what they can buy for the children. When Irene visits twice a year and brings back photos and videos we can tell that they are happy. “We are not hungry now” they say. While she was in Aduwa in May and November Irene bought materials so that they could make baskets which she brought home to sell here.
Last autumn 2 young teenage boys turned up at Mama Jael’s compound destitute and with no family to look after them. They are now in the project and going to school. Another family had to flee from domestic violence and are being helped by the project. We are at present paying for the secondary education of 7 youngsters, and supporting 13 guardians with monthly extra food. There are 11 orphans at primary school, 2 of whom are in their final year there and we hope will go to secondary school next year.
Some of the older youngsters have moved on. One lad is at college training to be a teacher. He works at a bakery to earn his fees. Three other lads are sharing accommodation in Bondo, the nearest large town, and are looking for jobs. Another girl has finished her education and is staying with Irene’s sister in Nairobi learning from her catering and dressmaking skills. So, we are beginning to see the older ones able to leave the farming community of Aduwa and learn to cope in the big city or town, able at least to read, write and do arithmetic plus other practical skills. We do hope and pray that they flourish.
Currently, the secondary school fees are approximately £69 each a month and the extra food we provide is £31 each a month. Monthly donations are enabling us to continue to fund the education of the secondary school children, and pay towards their food costs. There is always a shortfall of about £1,000 each year which gets covered by fund-raising. We had no major fund raising evening in 2019, but received some welcome donations. We raised some funds at a refreshment stall at the Well-dressing and Open Gardens in Crich in June.
This year we do have a big fund-raiser; THE FISHPOND CHOIR are coming to the Glebe, Crich, on March 28th 7.30pm and will put on a concert for us, with a variety of songs including some African ones. Tickets £10.
CHIKS group: Facebook page: POPALONGCHIKS
Lynda Gray (secretary) 01773 857921 firstname.lastname@example.org
Justin Mansfield (treasurer) 07917 117091 email@example.com
Deirdre Offord 01773 853722,
Heather Johnson 01773 856212,
Christine Bryan 01773 853395.