SOLID/Kenya Partnership – 2012

April 14, 2012 by  
Filed under News, SOLID Newsletters

On April 23rd  Karen Siu of West Vancouver and Rita Burbulevicius of Salt Spring Island depart the comforts of home, and arrive as ambassadors for SOLID in Kenya,  East Africa. Although these volunteers are providing for their own travel expenses, they will be delivering an impressive collection of donated goods, and making available considerable funds, all generous donations from the Salt Spring community which will benefit a number of projects.

A top priority is the delivery of another 200 goats to HIV+ mothers that have been purchased by islanders since the last goat delivery was completed before Christmas. SOLID has raised enough to provide goats to over 300 women in Kenya since we started partnering on this incredible project. These goats were bought primarily through the SOLID Exchange, which now has a new home in Gasoline Alley, at Unit 100 – 149  Fulford-Ganges Road.

The goats will offer Kenyan women and their families a better quality of life by providing for highly nutritious milk to drink and sell. Also the women can sell the dung or use it to fertilize their own gardens. This initiative gives these women a means of financially sustaining their families, and offers great benefits to their communities. Karen and Rita are thrilled to be delivering these goats at special “Goat–giving Ceremonies’ in Kenya.

The women are also providing over 300 school uniforms, using money raised at a Mother’s Day dinner at All Saints’ by-the-Sea. The reality is that in Kenya no uniform = no education, an equation faced by far too many children.

With additional funds from SOLID and other Salt Spring sources over 600 sanitary kits will be handed out to school girls. These basic but essential kits enable the girls to attend every day of school, despite their monthly menses, which assists them in attaining a much coveted formal education.

Items lovingly made by the Knitwits of Meadowbrook will be handed out to new mothers in 20-30 layettes, and the maternity and pediatric wards of the Kakamega hospital will welcome knitted dolls and toques as they take their new babies home.

Using money raised by the Anglican Parish of Salt Spring and donations from SOLID, they will also ensure the installation of a modern rain collection system in a local Kenyan school, a desperate need in such a water deprived region.

Finally the volunteers will be providing bags of maize and beans to Grace Orphanage in Kakamega to get the children through the annual famine season.  These varied, yet inter-connected projects will surely keep Karen and Rita busy, and provide for a life altering experience before they return home on May 27th, bringing with them all sorts of unique African crafts for sale at the SOLID Exchange.

SOLID welcomes all interest, volunteers and donations for our partnerships, and we encourage you to come and visit our new SOLID Exchange location for a delightful collection of fair trade and non-profit products. Open Mon – Fri 11-3 and Sat 8-4.




Getting Ready for Kenya

April 3, 2012 by  
Filed under News

by Karen Siu

I have joined a group calling themselves SOLID which means ; Salt Spring Organization for Life Improvement and Development.

From the Island of Salt Spring the lady, Lynda, has been going to Kakamega in Kenya for approx. 9 years to deliver donated pregnant goats that have been donated by the local people on Salt Spring.  She also runs fund raisers to purchase water catchment units for local schools, and provide uniforms for the kids.  While in Kekamega she puts together sanitary kits for new moms in the maternity ward, visits the local orphanage and donates food for the kids there, and supplies books and used computers for the learning center she founded herself there.

Lynda is unable to go this year so I and another lady named Rita will be going in her place.  Many of my friends and associates have very generously donated goats that I will be personally presenting to the Woman with HIV.  I will try to get lots of pics of the event.  I have a bag of baby clothes from Anne, antibiotics from my dentist and friend Dr George Ho, 30 re-usable bags from Al the manager at Thrifys in North Vancouver, kids books, and lap top computers so badly needed at the learning center all packed up in 2 suitcases.

I have set this up to keep my supporters informed along the way.  I have a new camera to take lots of pics to share and am looking forward to the adventure.

Will be posting more soon.