Another fantastic year for Rainbow House!
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. However, it is a great back up and was used by the home and neighbouring community when the mains water was cut off for over two weeks, especially for flushing toilets and washing.
Rainbow Farm is expanding, and 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.
Rainbow Academy junior school has two new classrooms for 2018 The fees at Rainbow are the lowest in the area and attract children from the local community. We have bought a school bus to offer collection of children at various locations in the area.
All children have good healthcare backed up with the Kenyan insurance fund. 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 fund raising page is showing just under £2000 for this cause. The next surgery is 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
All the requirements for the re-certification of Rainbow House at the Children’s department have now been completed. What a task. It seemed a never-ending list of paperwork 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 we 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.
Some are academic, some are not. Career talks have commenced 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. We are working with the others that are academic to decide which course is right for them.
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. In doing so each child and 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 when it is completed, but still have full access to Rainbow for meals and all support.
Further expansion plans for 2018 and to build classrooms for a secondary school on the adjoining land and starter home accommodation.
The ambition is to create a base level of income from the school and farm. I have also been working with local hotels and businesses to create awareness of Rainbow House and I hope to see positive results in 2018.
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.
A special mention to Foundation Coramandel, without whose support we would not have made these substantial moves forward.
Watamu is a fabulous place to visit. There is a strong Italian influence, some of the finest beaches in the world. Along with deep sea fishing, kite surfing, all water sports and some of the friendliest people you can meet. If you are interested in a trip please contact me for flights and accommodation suggestions.
Final thanks to all the staff at Rainbow. You only have to visit the home and see the kids to know that these people are deep down good-hearted individuals, most having been there from the start and having worked 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.