So back to a running start with Heshima and Dignity Designs. As always there is never a quiet week, and so much has been going on since we arrived back (plus whilst we were back home).
Exciting news… Nelly, our head teacher is going back to college to do a diploma in Special Educational needs on a part time basis – this will really help her and the children. She is at present footing the majority of the cost of the course herself (approx £400 for the year), which is actually a large amount of money at this end. If anyone wanted to make a donation to Nelly in regard to this please let me know.
I have, as mentioned whilst we were back home, trying to reign in the amount of time spent at Heshima, as the idea was always to train and empower the existing staff rather than doing myself. I am now in a position where I can go in on a Monday afternoon for a staff meeting and then on a Wednesday afternoon in order to ensure trips off sight are still going ahead for the children. In addition to this I am ending up spending a fair few hours with both the children and helping out in Dignity Designs (jewellery microfinance), particularly with the number of craft fairs we will be selling at over the next few months. If anyone was interested in doing their own Christmas jewellery sale in the UK, there is jewellery at home, or I can get some to you… email or facebook me if you would like more information. All of the money raised goes straight back into the project, to provide wages for the mums, food, clothes and medical provision, specialist equipment and support therapy for the children. There are also greetings cards available in the UK, that have been designed by Kenyan children in an attempt to raise more funds for Heshima. If you are interested please let me know and I will put you in contact with the wonderful Linda Amos who is printing and distributing them.
As most of you know we are also in the process of building a new site for Heshima. The existing building is on the outskirts of the slum, and although has served its purpose well until now, we have outgrown the facitility by far. At present we are managing to support 16 children, but we are at total capacity and have another 4 on the waiting list. The need here for children with Special Educational Needs is huge, so with the new building, which is in a better location for people to come, we will (once it is completely finished) have space for 70 children!!! What a huge difference!!
We have also recently come up with a sponsorship programme of the children in our care, so please let me know if you are interested in finding out more. You can learn more about our individual children on our website at http://www.heshima.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=98
If you are on facebook and would like regular updates and prayer requests regarding Heshima, please ‘like’ the page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.239155357306.147652.697712306&type=1#!/pages/Heshima-Childrens-Center/117201841656386
Prayer requests for Heshima:
– Felix, one of our little ones with severe autism, has been suffering from seizures over the last few weeks, and is scheduled in for an MRI in the next week or so. Please pray for him, and the people who care for him. He was beginning to show huge progress in the recent weeks, including making some eye contact and responding in simple play situations.
– We have just applied for 3 grants at this end to help with the funding of the new building work. They are all substantial amount of money (totalling to approx $20,000) so please pray that these will come through.
– We have also been given a huge opportunity by WALMART in the U.S. who have offered to look take 6 of 20 of our best sellers from Dignity Designs, to look at, and hopefully begin to stock. Please pray that they will be happy with the stock, that it will sell well and that they will be keen to continue to stock our produce.