A whirlwind year of complete turnaround at Rainbow House that has left our heads spinning and making it hard to concentrate on the jobs in hand.
Geoff Herrington Trust generously donated a substantial sum of money to dig boreholes. The first is now complete at Rainbow House but sadly the water is brackish with high levels of sulphur. A great shame as we had high hopes of gaining independence from the municipal water supply (which is not reliable and is often turned off for days).
However, the water can flush loos and may be usable to the non-drinking kitchen supply. We will get financial pay back in the end.
We are hoping for better success on the farm. Legals are still ongoing for registration of the land, and we have been offered a further acre from the same owners. Once it is all tied up we will get the rig down there to dig, and see what we find.
We have approached a local school which is having major financial difficulties. I can’t say much more than that for now I hope we will be able to make an announcement in early 2018.
For the farm we have decided to concentrate on livestock, including cows, pigs chickens and possibly rabbits. We will certainly be able to grow some fruit and vegetables if we can get to the water. However, we will not be taking chances on expensive crop failures, instead we will focus on easy growing plants to feed the kids, and selling anything else.
A school, the farm and a supply of good water are now the key areas we are focussing on to drive income and get Rainbow House on the road to being at least partially self-sustainable.
We have one new child whose mother died, and father was sent to prison for petty crime. Kazungu found the boy in a bad state. He is a delightful boy and very bright academically with good grades from the government school. I have no doubt he will flourish in private education. Taking him to see his father in prison with Kazungu and Rahemma was a very powerful emotional experience for us all. I have included a picture below. His father comes out in August and subject to good character reports from the prison governor, we will try to find him employment on the farm.
David Ngala, who has been at Rainbow most of his life, received his first surgery to repair his club feet at Kijabe Cure Hospital in November. He was accompanied by Kazungu and our social worked Elena. Lynda’s find raising page is showing just under £2000 for this cause. The next surgery in 6 months’ time. Many thanks to all who generously supported and to Kazungu and Elena who found that not all of Kenya is warm at night! Our sincere thanks to the surgeons and nurses at Cure International who were fantastic. Here is a recent picture of him:
Kazungu has now painstakingly completed all the requirements for the re-certification of Rainbow House at the Children’s department. What a task. It seemed a never-ending list of paperwork and tasks leading to an official inspection. The whole process has taken around 6 months. But perseverance has paid off, and the paperwork has now gone to Nairobi for final stamping.
The children remain wonderful, committed, polite children. Their grades are spectacular in the main and have turned in some of the best results in the district. They should be proud of themselves and will try to make sure they are.
Taking children in at Rainbow House is easy. So is looking after them once they have fitted in with the values instilled. The hard part is managing their exit and we are all taking note of what each child or young adult wants to do. Barakah Tabu wants to do medicine and we should have an announcement on that within the next 3 months.
Some are academic, some are not. So, staff are starting career talks to see if those in school without prospects of good grades might be best to switch to a polytechnic and learn a skill or trade. Others that are academic need to decide which course is right for them. Although I am sorry to KK, being a pilot is a lovely idea, but I don’t think we can run to flying lessons.
What we are not about is taking kids in, instilling western values, and then waving good bye when they are 18. We are about seeing each child through to their chosen vacation and employment. Our goal is for each child to reach their potential and live a fulfilled life. In doing so many others are assisted in the community.
Heart of Ruth have started work on the transition house for 18-year olds. It is on the land next to Rainbow. 18+ year olds will sleep there but still have full access to Rainbow for meals and all support.
Sincere thanks to Mark Belsham who assisted with the funding of the land, for being a great co—trustee and showing such keen interest. Thanks also to Tanya Brooks, so much more than the company secretary in the UK
And to Lynda who cares passionately about these children and is assisting them in seeking out their chosen path to education and work. Finally, to all sponsors – thank you so much. I do hope each one of you will come to visit to see the amazing progress in this home in just 18 months.
A special mention to Fondation Coramandel, without whose support we would not have made these exponential steps.
Watamu is a fabulous place to visit. Watamu Against Crime have done a brilliant job in creating the required level of security working alongside the police, now having 4 response cars. The area feels safer than I have ever known it.
Final thanks to Kazungu, William and all the staff. You only have to visit Rainbow House and see the kids to know that these people are deep down good-hearted individuals, most having been there from the start and working through very tough times.
For my part, it has been an absolute privilege to be involved with sponsoring this home for the last 11 years, watching the kids grow with each visit, and now in my current role. It isn’t work. It’s rewarding and enlightening, and I am so lucky I found it.