Tuesday, July 03, 2012

An incredible project to donate to: Starfish in Kenya

Hi all,

My high school friend Rachel is living in Nyeri, Kenya and has just started an Indiegogo page (like Kickstarter). She is taking donations via this page and the money will go directly into the work she is doing with 7 orphaned children from the Majengo slums. The money will go to practical things like a fence for the property, a parrafin lamp so the children can study at night, and other basics like water tanks, firewood and tutors for the kids.

This is an incredible project she is doing and I have great faith in what she can accomplish with some further financial support. I'll be submitting my own donation tonight :)

Check it out here:


More details from the Starfish fundraising page:
It is a story told too often.  So often in fact, that we are rarely fazed by pictures of children caught in the cycle of poverty.  A continual flood of these images has caused many to become passive as the problems appear insurmountable.  I too am guilty of this as I sit in the comfort of my Toronto home, but now living and working in Kenya has changed all that.  The images are no longer safely flashing at me from behind a screen, but are now grasping my hand, kissing my cheek and stroking my hair.  It is not a sad story of desperate children, but a story of hope and potential.  It has only been 1 month since I met Bonface Reteron (10), Joseph Muriuki (10), Grace Wanjiko (9), Gabriel Nyoro (11), Anne Muringo (9), Samuel Muthui (9) and Jeremiah Mahoha (4), but it only took 1 minute for them to work their way into my heart.  With dreams of becoming teachers, pilots and dancers these 7 are not fazed by circumstance, but are determined to rise above their current situation to accomplish their goals.  These are children who dance for hours with no music, eat the same food everyday without complaint and are ecstatic to see you, even when you arrive empty handed. 
In 2010, two local teachers (Mwaniki and Cecilia) rescued these 7 children from the Majengo slums and were determined to give them a proper home despite their own meager salaries.  They rented a small house just minutes from Kanoga Primary School in Nyeri and hired a local woman as a live-in caretaker.  While they have given all they have, the home is still lacking essentials such as water and electricity.  Currently the children are carrying home a limited amount of water from the school and are sharing one paraffin lamp amongst the 8 of them (including the caretaker).  Without a sufficient supply of water, the children suffer from ringworm as they cannot properly bathe or wash their sheets.  While Bonface still remains number one in his class, the others are beginning to struggle with the sun setting at 6pm and no light to study by. 
After much discussion with the teachers we have determined that $500 per child would be enough to pay for food, school fees, rent and necessities for one year.  This money could also be put towards a number of items including...
1) A water tank and pipes to catch and store the rainwater running off the roof     
2) A fence around the property to further ensure the children's safety
3) A paraffin lamp
4) Fertilizer for their garden
5) Firewood
6) Tutors for the children (1 hour per day for all 7 children only amounts to $28 per week). 
A small donation can make a big difference in the lives of these children and I encourage everyone to get involved.  I realize that money is tight for many these days, so if you cannot donate please contribute by passing this message along to friends and family. 
These children have already contributed a great deal to my life and I can't wait to see with a little help what they can accomplish!
Thank you for your support!
Rachel & Mary
                                           The Starfish Story
                                                - Loren Eiseley
While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.
He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”
The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”
To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”
The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said,
                                  “It made a difference for that one.”

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