Friday, April 2, 2010

Nyumbani Village

NYUMBANI VILLAGE: Tuesday, March 30th
Kuiti District, Kenya

On Tuesday, Grant and I traveled with two visitors from Washington, DC (father and daughter who donate money to Nyumbani) to Nyumbani Village, about a 3 hr drive East of Nairobi.

Nyumbani Village was the vision of the late Fr. Angelo D’Agostino (founder of Nyumbani Children's Home) to create a self-sustaining community to serve orphans and elders who have been left behind by the “lost generation” of the HIV pandemic.  The Village provides a family-like setting for orphaned children under the stewardship of elderly adults.

Nyumbani Village stands on one thousand acres of land donated by the Kitui District County Council.  The site is within the poorest division in the Kitui District and has a high incidence of HIV and a high number of HIV orphans. When complete, the Village will accommodate approximately 1000 orphans and 100 grandparents living in 100 dwelling units each with a grandparent and 8- 10 children.

The criteria for children to be admitted into this village is that they must have been orphaned by both parents (not necessarily by HIV/AIDs) and that there are no other relatives to support them. Thus far, there are 600 kids living in this village (only 30 of them with HIV+ status) and they are admitting 70 more this coming month. There are currently 58 grandparents, 4 of which are grandpas, that look after the children.

Through group homes and community services, the Village seeks to harness the energy of youth and the maturity of elders to create new blended families that foster healing, hope and opportunity. Some of the projects on site include:

・ education: primary and seconary school plus a polytechnic school that offers wood-working, tailoring, and they are in the process of building a machine shop

・ growing sustainable agriculture: tomatoes, maize, peppers, eggplant, passion fruit, and kale. The crops are irrigated by solar powered water pumps from wells on site.

-make their own bricks to build their buildings and cottages

・ Rapidly maturing trees for lumber: they are planting 50 acres of indiginous trees every year as a source of sustainable lumber. They make all their desks, tables, and furniture with this lumber.

・ The Village has extended their HIV testing to the surrounding community and are providing ARV meds to about 20 people so far, provided by PEPFAR funding.

We were blown away by this Village and its self-sustainabilty!!! There are amazing people running this project to make it so successful.

See pics below. This weekend we are staying at the orphanage as it is Easter weekend and there are going to be big festivities: like an Easter Egg Hunt put on by 20 volunteer British Airway staff. I guess one of the BA crew dresses up as a rabbit! We will let you know how it goes.

We miss you all. Please keep us in your prayers.

Claire and Grant

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