Report from Kenya

August 26, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Shirley McIntyre (in mauve) meets with women who have received goats through a Salt Spring-based SOLID program. SOLID volunteer Shirley McIntyre and board member Lynda Turner spent most of May this year in Kakamega, Kenya, collaborating with SOLID partners and other projects supported by the residents of Salt Spring.

Salt Spring continues to support goats for HIV+ mothers and in the last three years 300 goats were delivered, which has now multiplied to approximately 700 goats. This May Shirley and Lynda presented 25 goats to two groups of HIV+ mothers, who were overjoyed with this gift. The women had previously attended a workshop on the care and feeding of the goats and the goats had been examined by a vet.

Shirley and Lynda also visited two shambas (farms) of women who had previously received goats. Talking with these women was truly inspirational as the goats had turned their lives around. One woman was one of the first to receive a goat and she now had a small herd. Her basic needs were being met and she finally had enough money to re-mud her hut.

The other woman, Alice, had recently received her goat. She lost her children to HIV and was caring for her 14 grandchildren in a small, leaky hut. She was collecting the goat droppings to sell in the market and was looking forward to the birth of her baby goats. This program supports many people as the first kid born is given to another mother in the HIV group and the nannies are bred yearly. This is a gift that will keep on giving for many years to come!


Hygiene kits: With money raised on the island plus additional funds given by SOLID, 155 hygiene kits and instructions for use were given out to school girls in Standards (grades) 6, 7 and 8 in three schools. In each kit were eight reusable sanitary pads, three pairs of underpants, a pouch of laundry soap, and a plastic pail with a lid. The kits allow girls to attend school each day of the month and gain a priceless education.

Feed a Family, Feed a Village: SOLID’s 2012 Christmas project was the provision of fruit trees to poor families in Western Kenya. With tremendous support from the Anglican Parish of Salt Spring, 900 fruit trees with fertilizer were delivered to 185 families. The provision of these trees was well organized by Dormer K Learning Centre (founded by SOLID’s Lynda Turner).

A six-hour workshop on the planting, care and propagation of the trees was given to 70 representatives of the 185 families. A week later the representatives were shown how to plant each of the trees: mango, avocado, banana, passion fruit and papaya. The families will be getting their first crops over the next six to 24 months, depending on the fruit.  The families couldn’t thank Shirley and Lynda enough for the trees, which will provide both needed income and food during the yearly famine months, March to June.

Kakamega Provincial Hospital: Shirley and Lynda visited both the pediatric and maternity wards of the provincial hospital, providing children with toques and M’toto dolls from the KnitWit ladies of Meadowbrook, and crayons, paper and candy from other Salt Spring Islanders.

In the maternity ward the new mothers were given reusable diapers, sanitary pads, underpants, sleepers, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The KnitWits provided receiving blankets, toques and M’toto dolls for the layettes.

Lynda and Shirley also gave out food to help Grace Orphanage during the famine season, 132 school uniforms (no uniforms, no school), and two rain collection systems to provide potable water, all largely financed by the Anglican Parish of Salt Spring.

Shirley and Lynda are the lucky ones. They saw the huge impact these projects have on the lives of people. They got the heartfelt thank yous from the children, teachers, parents.  We pass this gratitude on to you. Thank you, Salt Spring!

For more information on how to contribute, visit the SOLID Exchange store in Gasoline Alley in Ganges

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