To all our Sponsors and Prayer Partners
2020 has already proved to be an unusual year. Amidst this Coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to let you know we are doing all we can to continue to as normal. But it’s not easy.
Home of Peace started the year as normal with the children and students returning to school. Our first complication was when our wonderful Home of Peace seamstress, Benta, who makes some of our children, students and staff clothes and does all the repairs, became very ill. Before school started, she needed to make 50 primary school uniforms (shirts, blouses, trousers, skirts etc) for the 25 primary school children. Sadly, she became very ill and we had to bring in a temporary replacement, Mary, to make the uniforms. As a result, some of the children only got their uniform a little late but they are now all sorted.
Benta has since had major gynecological surgery and has been booked off sick by the specialist for another 2 months.
A short while later we received the pictures below showing the kitchen team preparing pumpkins for the evening meal. They were grown by our Gardening Club. This caused great excitement as most had never tasted a pumpkin before. We take so much for granted.
On the 26th of February the court committed a 15-year-old girl to Home of Peace. She needed help because her father repeatedly raped her. This happened after her mother had run away leaving her at home with the father together with other three siblings who are all boys.
The girl went to report the case to a friend, a young man, working in one of the companies in Siaya and the man never took any action instead took her as his wife and he ‘took her as his wife’ which is illegal because of her age.
The father reported to the police that this man had taken her as his wife and the he was arrested, and the father ran away after he had realized he is also guilty.
She is receiving counselling with our Social Worker working under the close supervision of Marilyn who was a counselling supervisor and has training and experience in this area of counselling.
Naturally this new girl needed everything for secondary school, and we thank God for providing the £400 but before she could go to her first class Kenya closed all schools due to the Corona Virus.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged citizens to set aside time on Saturday to pray to end the coronavirus pandemic.
We acknowledge always that we are nothing without our God.
And we have learnt over time that turning to God in such times gives us not only comfort but also hope and strength to overcome even those challenges that for us as humans may seem insurmountable.”
(President Kenyatta has taken a very strong stand against corruption. He appointed the former Primate of Kenya, Bishop Eliud Wabukala, as the chair of the country’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, when he retired from his role as Archbishop of Kenya.)
Because the students and children will be off school and confined to Home of Peace grounds for the foreseeable future Marilyn worked out a plan for small groups of children and students each with two older students in charge to spend time every morning to revise their school work from the past term and also to help anyone who has problems with reading, writing, maths etc.
She put the student council in charge of doing this as this gives Faith, our social worker, time to do her other work. She was exhausted in January as they had all been on school holidays for November and December.
In the afternoons they have sports that they can play games like netball, football, basketball and we also have a lot of indoor games.
They are also involved in a gardening club and are growing a lot of vegetables that they use in their meals.
To see a short video of the gardening club and to hear our head Boy, Sylvester talk about the vegetable garden they have created click on the picture below.
Marilyn continues to work every day with the management team and also to supervisor Faith and our nurse.
We were inspected by the health department. They sent an inspector to every residential institution to check that the necessary precautions were being taken.
He found that we had done everything that they we could ask for. As we mentioned in our short update recently we purchased additional anti -bacterial liquid hand wash to be used in our hand washing stations which are around the grounds. The students and children know that they must wash their hands at least once every 3 hours plus after going to the toilet and before eating.
We had also purchased additional supplies of toilet rolls and additional disinfectant to be used in all the toilets.
For staff who live at home we supplied each one with a large bottle of antibacterial hand wash to take home and use and these will be replaced when they are finished.
We instructed Emelda our nurse to carry out health checks on every member of staff and children and to keep checking. She also does a quick health status check every day on the staff who live out. This is done before they start work.
The only suggestion that the health officer was able to make was that we install a Satopan fitting to every toilet, as they are open pit toilets. We did not even know what they were as they are an Indian invention that Water Aid recently introduced to Africa, but they are fantastic. To find out more about them click the image below and watch a news report video.
By the next day we had got them supplied and Erick’s brother, Samuel, set about installing them in all our toilet pits. An awful, hard and smelly job but he was happy to do it. He has been such a blessing.
Buying the Satopans cost us £200 and we will give Samuel a nice gift for his work as it would certainly have cost us a lot more if we had to employ someone else.
So life at Home of Peace continues.
The costs naturally go up as we now have all the children at the home 24 hours a day and as we mentioned above, we have had to also purchase additional items because of the Corona threat.
Sadly, income from Christian House Sitters is down as some members are not renewing and new members are not joining because being locked down, they can’t go away at the moment. As you will know 100% of the income from Christian House Sitters goes to Home of Peace and this provides a substantial amount of the income needed to run the home, feed the children etc.
We are sure once lockdowns end there will be a flood of people desperate to get away and membership will surge but until then our income is down.
If you are able to support us, whether it be with a one-off donation or perhaps by setting up a monthly repeat direct debit, you really could make a vital difference.
If you’re unable to make a donation at this time we totally understand and are so grateful for your support and prayers. If you are able to make a donation – thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
For more information about how you can support the work please CLICK HERE
Love in Jesus
Marilyn & Ray