Likoni Aids Orphanage, Kenya
We are four volunteers from Canada & the UK working at the Likoni Aids Orphanage in Mombasa, Kenya. After starting work a week and a half ago it became immediately apparent that there was A LOT of work to be done.
Currently the orphanage is severly ill equipped for the 50 children (both genders, between the ages of 4-18) that it houses; there are absolutely no childrens toys, books or games to stimulate them which leaves the children restless and prone to misbehaviour, several doors are missing handles, rooms are without lights, there aren't enough dishes to serve everyone, only 2 of the children under 10 have underwear, there are no proper cleaning supplies and the food storage is far from sanitary.
Our goal is to encourage and empower the children by providing them with essential tools towards their educational development as well as with a sense of pride in their home by helping to establish healthy living conditions.
Your donations will go towards restoring the orphanage to a state the children can be proud of, as well as the purchase of books and stimulating materials for their educational development.
If you prefer to donate gently used clothing or toys, please post them directly to the orphanage at the following address:
Likoni Aids Orphanage
P.O. Box 96333
We are completely open to any specific requests as to how you would like your donation to make a difference. We want everyone to know that every penny that they put towards this project is going to be spent in a personal and responsible manner.
Thanks in advance for any support you can offer!
Shayla, Lisa, Kylie & Katrina :)
Posted by Katrina Harrison
Also for those of you who don't have access to facebook, here is a link to an album of photos from the orphanage:
Posted by Katrina Harrison
I cannot properly express our gratitude to everyone who supported us in this adventure, but know that we think of you guys everyday and that you made an amazing difference in the lives of these children and without you none of this would have been possible. So thank you a million times over for trusting and believing in us! I sincerely hope we were able to achieve something you can be proud to have participated in.
The children have created little surprises for each of you, so if you could take the time to email me your postal address it would be most appreciated (firstname.lastname@example.org). :)
Our Dental Camp finally happened! After a few false starts we were able to get the Dentist in to both educate the children on oral hygiene & to perform a check-up on each of the children. He has also signed a contract to continue performing the check-ups for the next 5 years which is great! Unfortunately the children's teeth were not in as good of condition as their general health and a large part of our budget had to be allocated to dental work, hopefully this will change over the next few years as they continue to receive education with regards to proper oral care. If anyone is interested in helping out in the future with assisting to cover either dental or health fees that come up as a result of the medical/dental camps (treatments etc.) email me at the address above and we can discuss the details.
We have FINALLY finished the painting which has been such a massive job that it literally lasted us almost the entire 2 months, from scraping the walls, to cleaning & plastering them, to finally applying the paint. Thankfully for the last 10 days we were joined by another volunteer, Spencer, from the US, who helped us enormously in completing the painting (especially when it came to reaching high up bits that neither Lisa or I can reach without a balancing act of sorts), so it's done, it looks amazing and the kids & orphanage workers love it! I need to take a picture of the final outcome today so you can see how much better it all looks. One of the kids proudly told me the other day that 'it looks like a new house.'
Spencer came to us from Nairobi where he had been volunteering as a teacher for 2 weeks at the Saint Frank Primary School. Unfortunately while he was with us he received news that the owner of the building that houses the school was moving and had given the school a week notice to either pay for the building or it would be demolished. Joseph, the director of the school attempted to raise the 50,000KSH (approx. $588USD) down payment that was required on his own but had come up short and needed an additional 38,0000KSH (approx. $446USD) to keep the school from being demolished within days and so we made a decision to step in with your donations and protect the school. We hope we didn't overstep in assuming that our donors would be happy to support this worthwhile cause. Both Spencer and Joseph would like to pass on their gratitude for your hand in safeguarding the future of their school.
Some small expenses have come up in the last little bit that we were happy to cover; one was a teenage girl, Jennifer, who needed glasses & the other one was a teenage boy, Gama, who was sent home for school because he didn't have school shoes (they must have the proper uniform or they are not allowed to attend class - which is ridiculous & frustrating but unfortunately that's just the way it is here) so we were thankfully able to buy him shoes & send him back to school the following day.
If anyone would like a full list of how the money has been spent please feel free to send me an email and I would be happy to answer any of your questions! :)
Thank you again for your support throughout the past 2 months, we are proud to have such amazing family and friends.
Love and hugs,
Lisa & Katrina xxxxxxxxxx
Posted by Katrina Harrison
Last Friday was Shayla's last day working with us at the orphanage as she moved on to continue her volunteering adventure in Nairobi! We miss her already and want to give a quick shout out to her for all she did & contributed to our project while she was in Likoni! Safe travels lovely!
In the last 11 days we have purchased A LOT of cleaning products & supplies (including toilet brushes to replace some very dodgy looking ones), scrappers & filler for the walls in the common room, kitchen & staircase(which we are preparing to paint - unfortunately we can't repaint the children's bedrooms as the furniture is too condensed for it to be manageable), doorknobs for the kitchen cabinets (because they had none before, making them difficult to open), tools to help us make small repairs (hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, screws & nails), paint thinner, 8 more backpacks for the children that didn't receive theirs yet because the shop was out of stock, dish soap, face cloths to wash the small children, enough rope to make & hang two tire swings in the front yard of the orphanage, blackboard paint to use in the yard, 4 paintbrushes, rubber sealant to stop leaks from the bathrooms, sweets for the children who reach 10 stars on the star chart which we created to help with behaviour & responsibility issues and 4 large bins (1 for garbage, 1 for paper, 1 for plastics & 1 for compost).
PLUS we held our first Medical Camp at the orphanage, where the doctor did a routine check up on all of the children, which he will continue to do twice a year for the next 5 YEARS thanks to all of YOU!
This week holds lots of great things as well as we are looking forward to finally starting the painting (we have been busy preparing the walls for over a week now) and hosting our first Dental Camp for the children. (Which will also continue for the next 5 years!)
Plus as a special treat to celebrate our birthdays (Lisa, Kylie & I are all born within 5 days of each other) we have taken $30 from each of our mums donations to purchase a small cd player, sausages, bread, ketchup, mustard, pop, chips & balloons to throw a mini party/bonfire at the orphanage. Which we are really looking forward to but will be a surprise for the children!
Thanks again to everyone for helping make this all possible!
Love & hugs,
Lisa, Kylie & Katrina
Posted by Katrina Harrison
Yesterday Lisa & I spent a few hours at the shop picking up backpacks for all the kids, 20 tubes of toothpaste, 8 childrens books, 4 teen books, additional sandpaper because we still weren't finished the shelves, another can of varnish (there was only 1 the first time we went so we had to wait to purchase the second can) for the shelves, 4 tins of shoe polish & brushes for the kids school shoes, a double sided kids game, 14 more plastic containers the children are using as pencil cases, 3 bags of cotton wool & 4 tubs of Valon (similar to vaseline) that the house mother requested for the childrens skin.
Today consisted of: the never ending task of sanding the shelves down to be varnished (we have been working on these for over four days!), meeting with a doctor to organize a medical/dental camp for next Saturday and to negotiate a contract that will have him & a dentist visiting the orphanage twice a year (once in September & once in March) for the next 5 years (!!!!), then it was back to the orp
hanage for lunch with the kids (they come home from school to eat), after which we had them pick up all the garbage in the yard (we did the same thing on Friday before we gave them their pencil cases, we are trying to teach them not to litter...uphill battle is putting it mildly) before giving them backpacks for school! When the kids returned to class it was back to the sanding for us (which we finished today!) and finally HOME! Exhausted but it was a productive day so we are all feeling pretty good!