The Need for Aid
The northwest corner of Kenya, near Homa Bay and the shores of Lake Victoria, is plagued with the highest concentration of HIV and AIDS in the world. Parents are dying, leaving the current generation of children orphaned or to be raised by grandparents or guardians. This often means overextended resources and lack of food, sanitation, reliable shelter, or a source to meet basic needs. As the epidemic intensifies, the disease is spreading to those in their early 20s and even teens, with little to no government intervention. The children of Africa are paying the price of this academic. While, we can’t help every child in Kenya, we can at least help the children in Kego and enhance their everyday lives.
Since the initial trip to Kego, Rippling Waters Charity has funded and organized significant improvements to the orphanage. With a $25,000 donation from Colorado Lining International Kego purchased 1.5 acres of land to build a playground, grow their own garden and establish their own aquaponic system. The funds have also gone toward developing a monthly budget for the school. This monthly budget pays for food for the children, covers salaries for teachers and staff, provides books and school supplies, pays for basic medical supplies such as bandages and antibacterial ointments, sanitary napkins and maintains a school van and driver to transport the children to the school. Children receive peanut butter from a locally sourced vendor for breakfast, in place of butter, and are provided a meal of meat from the local butcher once a week.
In July of 2016 John and Suzi returned to Kego to see progress first-hand. They met with the Board of Directors, local chiefs, regional government employees and current staff at the orphanage, to establish accounting and tracking systems to manage the monthly budget of Kego. Rippling Waters is now provided a monthly budget statement. Additionally the village people were excited with the progress being made, and Philemon hosted a celebratory lunch for all the students, staff and relatives of Kego.
After funds are generated to ensure the monthly budgets are met, Rippling Waters Charity will begin a drive to fund the installation of a well and water storage tank. The well will supply clean drinking water for the entire village of Onjinyo and be able to start the aquaponic system.
The plan at Kego is to teach the children how to raise their own protein and greens while using the aquaponics system as a real-world lab for science, biology, and physics. Any food produced above and beyond the orphanage’s needs can be sold at the local market and serve as income to help sustain the orphanage. In addition to food, the system will serve as a trade school for older students to learn how to build and maintain an aquaponic system. In the long term they can share the knowledge with other villages and help them build and maintain their own systems. Once the aquaponics system is established at Kego and proven successful, Rippling Waters Charity will branch out to assist other orphanages and communities with the development of a sustainable and environmentally friendly food source.