The Moindabi community is located in a valley at an elevation of 6000ft around 100kms to the north west of Nairobi, Kenya. Home to around 1000 families – typically comprised of 10 or more members living in a 2 room tin shack – support comes from an acre or so of cropped land and a handful of animals. With at least half the population of the area being children, it’s clear that any possibility for forward momentum in this agricultural region will depend on two things – education and water.
Over the last 5 years, the Moindabi valley has experienced a significant climate shift. Reoccurring drought patterns in recent years have seen crops fail and the community suffer drastically as a result. While a bore supplied by NGO World Vision has thankfully allowed locals to tap into a well-surveyed aquifer underneath the valley, the supply method doesn’t allow for any mass gravity distribution or irrigation system. For many children this means time that could be spent in school is instead needed for fetching and carrying water.
be* has partnered with the community in a two phase project involving construction of a reservoir allowing mass storage of bore-water and a valley-wide reticulation system that will allow for micro-irrigation and provide sustainable economic benefits through the sale of grown produce.
With a well established, government registered school in the valley, the community is attuned to the importance of education in seeing future generations grow, learn and develop the opportunities around them. As with most schools in this area however, Moindabi is restricted by the challenges of poor facilities, and high teacher turn-over due to low pay, no accommodation and challenging teaching conditions. Teachers often walk several hours every day just to get to their classroom.
The education phase of be*’s involvement with Moindabi includes plans for 4 x $50k projects featuring 3 classrooms and 1 teacher accommodation block, helping the school to attract better teaching talent as well as increasing capacity allowing a secondary school programme to grow and providing much needed improvements to the learning environment for the children of the valley.
In 2009 as Northern Uganda was ravaged by civil war, thousands of rural farmers were forced off their land into Internal Displacement Camps. Village life was destroyed, farming skills were lost and schools were shut down in the nearby town of Kitgum. Several years later on the very site of one of the IDP camps, the Kitgum Matedi Primary School was built. There is now hope for a brighter future for the children of the subsistence farmers because of the work of be*.
be* in partnership with C3 Church are assisting in the financing and construction oversight of seven classrooms and a resource / staff room to accommodate a roll of over 200 children.
Mud bricks and metal framed doors and windows have replaced the basic stick structure destroyed by termites and the first stage of replacing the roof of four classrooms has been completed. The second stage of the project is continuing with the building the other four rooms and an ablution block.
Building for Education is also involved in funding two other initiatives for long-term sustainability for the rural villagers of the Kitgum region.
Oxen & Ploughs
Oxen and Ploughs enables the land to be farmed more efficiently producing a greater crop harvest.
Funds are raised to purchase an Ox and Plough which is then shared by the farmers in the area.
Oxen and Ploughs enable them to plough their land more efficiently. Eventually be* hopes to have provided enough Oxen and Ploughs for the entire region.
Building for Education will be funding up to 50 hives yielding award winning honey which is sold at the market.
be* is also looking at being involved in building fenced accommodation for children who suffer from Nodding Syndrome.
Nodding Syndrome or disease is a rare and unexplained brain disease that has affected hundreds of Ugandan children. The syndrome is a neurological illness, which affects mainly 5-15 year-olds, and manifests in involuntary uncontrollable nodding of the head, followed by epileptic seizures, saliva dripping, degenerated cognitive abilities, stunted growth, and in some cases, death.
Nodding Syndrome was first seen in 1960’s in Sudan, however it has now spread to Northern Uganda’s Kitgum district, an area recovering from two decades of civil war. Local leaders in 2009 found that 200 children in the village of Okidi alone had the illness. The current estimates are that 3000 children in Kitgum and surrounding provinces have the disease, with hundreds of deaths.
It is not known why so many children have become infected in the Kitgum area nor is there any cure. Children with the disease suffer from seizures and brain defects, eating can become impossible due to the shaking and they soon become malnourished without anti-convulsion treatments.
be* is raising funds to build safe accommodation for the children and their caregivers.
.Just outside the city of Nairobi lies Kibera slum, home to over a million people and a metropolis as filthy and corrupt as it is thriving. Within its endless warren of mud shacks and polluted streets, New Adventure School provides over 400 children with primary school education and at least one much-needed meal each day.
Initially consisting of one hall with teachers struggling to conduct five classes in just the one room, partnership with be* has assisted New Adventure School in relocating to a more appropriate site, where it now has twelve classrooms, a cookhouse, toilets and a play area. be* also provided support to rebuild when a devastating fire which ravaged a significant portion of the slum unfortunately damaged a section of the school.
The school is now fully restored and be* has completed our work with this projects. Other donors have come on board to look after the ongoing needs of the school. As such they have taken on paying for a new block to be built for the school and are looking for other schools to help in the area. This has meant that Building for Education is now free to concentrate on other projects that are ongoing.
Situated in the north east of Uganda, Moroto District is burdened with some of the worst social indicators within the nation, caused through poverty, civil war, malnutrition, poor health services and arid land.
In 2010 New Zealander Jayne Bailey connected with a small network of locals in the area who have been caring for around 250 orphaned children by providing some very inadequate shelter, a meal a day if possible, some schooling and some parental care through local church members.
be* has joined with Jayne to support Project Moroto, and due to the generosity of great Kiwis enough funds have been raised to bring significant change.
By May 2015 Project Moroto has built a home for orphan girls on a 1 acre site in the town of Moroto (15,000 pop.). This site was just a bare piece of land and was offered to Project Moroto for a child care facility in 2011 by the local community. Now it has a building housing a dormitory for 18 girls, a dining room, a storage room and a room for the live-in Mama. There is a separate kitchen building with clay oven, a toilet block with 2 squat flush toilets and 2 showers, and a pavilion built to give the girls a shaded outdoor area.
A large vegetable garden has been planted along with 30 fruit trees and tens of flowers and plants all to give food, warmth and colour to the home and compound. The whole 1 acre is fenced for security and solar power is installed. Project Moroto has 4 local staff – live-in Mama, Night Watchman, Gardener/Day Watchman, and a Manager.
Project Moroto’s vision is to provide safe dormitory living for Ugandan orphans. Jayne and her team have begun with 18 gorgeous girls aged 9-14 all from difficult extended family situations. We want to “give these girls a go” – at a caring upbringing, at education, and therefore at hope for their future.
In the future we hope to be able to build another building to give safety, education and hope to more girls. There are hundreds of girl orphans in Moroto – we want to change the lives of as many as we can. Not only do we change their lives but an educated girl can change an economy!
Close to the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro, outside the town of Moshi, in the United Republic of Tanzania, local organisation New Life Foundation has established Fountain of Hope primary school, a residential school for underprivileged and orphan children catering to an active roll of over 400 students.
be* has supported New Life Foundation’s work through funding of a number of much needed school buildings, associated utilities and improvements. Additionally be* has been able to fund the acquisition of over 25 acres of land, set aside for a longer term plan of developing a secondary school and a tertiary training institution, a first step in giving more students hope of extending their education beyond primary level.
With assistance from Jasmax Architects and Unitec School of Architecture, research and planning for these establishments is underway, taking into account factors such as sustainability, longevity, affordability and ensuring buildings are fit for purpose in every possible way. Meanwhile the land is being put to use to grow maize crops, which is proving of great value in feeding the children at the school. Currently new land in the area costs 10x the cost paid for these acres so being able to purchase the land was a great investment in the future for New Life Foundation.
It includes many different types of agriculture and is based on sustainable organic farming practices. It begins with a boundary of Neem and Moringa trees (which have insecticide and medicinal properties) that will be planted to protect and surround the farm. Irrigation systems, organic vegetable plots, fishponds and water storage tanks will also be installed.
The farm will produce out of season organic vegetables for selling at a premium, 10 different varieties of vegetables to feed the children of NLF, biomass grasses that will produce compost, mulch, cattle and goat food and freshwater fish for the local restaurants and markets.
This is a wonderful opportunity for New Life Foundation Moshi to become self-funding, while simultaneously training the children in organic sustainable agriculture and providing employment to local construction and farm workers.