WATOTO WA BARAKA
My name is Eugene Awimbo, a hobby rocket builder and my friend Arnold Ochieng, a local youth leader. We live in Kenya where life can be so beautiful for those of us able bodied. We enjoy living side by side with animals of nearly all types majestic. Unfortunately, not all of us here can say so, especially the children of Watoto Wa Baraka (Children of blessings) who live our neighborhood. They live through hardships that make one wonder, with sympathy how much misery a human being can take. We were so touched by their suffering that we thought it helpful to organize them in a group with a common need, hence the name Watoto Wa Baraka, a common and polite phrase used on groups like this.
Watoto wa Baraka is a women group started in 2014,comprises of thirty women who have children with disabilities ranging from Autism, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, epilepsy, seizures and a range of mental disorders. The group meets in a town known as Ongata Rongai, Nairobi, alternating from one member’s place to the other on a weekly basis. This is due to lack of an official meeting place. Most of the women are casual laborers and find it hard to provide medication and balanced diet to their kids. They live in tiny rundown corrugated iron sheet shacks with no electricity, water and good sanitation. Even worse, some were left by their husbands to take care of these children.
In the year 2014, we helped them start a revolving fund among themselves and meet weekly. My friends, me and well-wishers donate food and a little money to help one of them for the week and another the following week. We have been doing this for the past three years with major difficulties that see some weekly meetings go without a donation. This has not been enough and so we thought it would be more reasonable to help them help themselves!
WHAT THE GROUP NEEDS
Since its registration as a group in the year 2014, we have managed to organize IDs for their members and children and badges as a way of identification in the community. The main challenge of the group apart from acquiring wheel chairs, clutches, Calipers and walkers, medical services and special diet is a sustainable source of income. They face huge challenges looking for therapists and orthopedics to cater for their children because they MUST pay for every session not less than the Kshs 500 ($5USD) a session.
The group is proposing for a greenhouse as an income generating activity and is urgently needed to help the women. With a bit of research and advice from a number of sources the group proposed a tomato greenhouse, which proves to be a good business judging with the local market trend. Ongata Rongai, the division in which they live has over 120 000 residences who live and reside in this growing town. This population provides for a ready market and will give them job opportunities to realize the potential in other development platforms and help mitigate the problems they go through daily, including poor living conditions, medical bills and special diets for their children. The group members will be trained in matters entrepreneurship, capacity building and protection of the vulnerable children to ensure their financial freedom.
The Amiran greenhouse we have proposed will be 8M by 15M costing $1750. The construction of the greenhouse will go concurrently with a two-month training that requires $300 per month totaling $600 for the two months, a one acre land lease @ $500 for the year until we buy it, which we hope to do after a year of good income, water for the year estimated at $400 and power installation @ $500. These come to $ 3750 USD.
Among other very urgent needs are standard wheelchairs, clutches, calipers, walkers, special diet and medical fees all estimated @ $5250.
In the mean time,before we build them a meeting place,we wish to, with your help rent them a meeting hall for the rest of this year that will be able to accommodate them at once during their meetings. This will require $ 1000.
This dream can be achieved through your kind donation, you who appreciate the work of the women and the plight of the children.