GIRLGUIDING STONE OUTWARD DIVISION
Our Latest Project 2014
We are returning to the village of Kididima.
The village is near to Mtwapa about 1/2 hour from Mombasa City and lies in farming country. There are approximately 5000 people living in mud made homes.
When we first became aware of this village the villagers had nothing, no water or electricity, just a school building which the rains were swiftly washing away, but they have hearts as big as mountains.
There are many children, many of which are orphaned and looked after by families in the village. There is a school approximately 2 miles away which the older children can go to if they are able to pay a nominal fee, most cannot. The women work small areas of land with children to give them a source of income. They had to walk for approximately 2 hours to get water and had no resources for health care or other income.
The council had given them a small amount of money to build two classrooms in the village and this they had started. The classrooms were built and the footings had been built for two more which was possible because they have sold two cows so that they can continue with the building. This shows the determination of the people to help themselves.
The buildings are the most basic brick structures but a huge benefit to the people. But they had no equipment beyond a piece of wood used as a blackboard.
The landowner has signed over an acre of land to the community so that a school was built to meet the needs and we could develop it further to give them a church/community room and a health centre.
These proud people do not want us to come in and take over their lives and order it, they simply want a helping hand to become self sufficient and to give the children a future. Illness is rife because of the lack of water and hygiene and this has accounted for the deaths of parents who had HIV and Aids resulting in the number of orphans. This will continue unless help is given.
We had sufficient funds and a donation to put water into the village in November 2009 and this has made a huge difference to their lives. We have also completed the building which had been started.
I visited in November 2011 and held meetings with the landowner and his family, Headmaster, Village Chief and the Management Committee. I worked with a solicitor to draw up the papers which handed over the acre of land to the community from the Landowner. This led to the beginning of the 2012 Project SMILE ThREE.
Plans have been drawn up and a lot of work completed by the 2012 Smile team however it couldn’t all be completed in one project. It is now time for phase 2.
Which consists of :-
- Building a toilet block,
- Bringing water from our well,
- Install a water tower and tanks, septic tank and soak away.
- Fit 16 long drop systems and 4 pans,
- Tile and decorate,
- Build a hall/community centre which will also be used as two classrooms
- Build a health advice room and playground.
It is expected that to complete this project we would need approximately £55,000.
The new team of 25 has been selected and will train and raise funds and travel out in October 2014. The training programme began in March 2013. I am very aware that none of this could happen if we did not have such a lot of support from the local community and the new team of girls and leaders will be prepared to work hard to make this become a reality, it is all achievable.
August 2013 Update
We have now released the first batch of money and our builder will start work on Monday 12th August 2013 with the pipe work.
Maureen has received the following update from Alex the Head teacher at Kididima school.
“The chairman, staff and the pupils are going on well with their daily studies. Mr Joshua has been visiting to us to know how the teachers are doing in the classes after getting the knowledge of the workshop. He has been a helpful to the school because the teachers have shown to Mr. Joshua that what they got from him has been helpful to them on scheming and planning their work. The progress of the pupils is becoming to be good. We were expected to close our schools on 9/08/2013, but due to the strike of the government teachers, there was an extension of one week more, therefore, we ought to close our school on 14/08/2013. They will be on their vacation two weeks only”.
September 2013 Update
The money we sent over has now started the build of the toilet block which is progressing very well and we shall have pictures very soon. The children have returned to school so life for them is busy and they are all very happy. Maureen had received calls from Alex the Headmaster advising of the return to school and that all was well and also Sam is meeting the electricity board for a price to bring a supply into the school to pump the water for the toilets.
December 2013 Update
During Maureen and Moira’s recent visit to Kididima a Skype Conversation was organised. Everyone enjoyed seeing the children and felt that it made the project feel more real.
“Maureen and Moira have just returned after a very hectic time over in Mombasa. The toilet block is virtually completed but we had some problems with the electricity being connected and therefore the water tanks could not be erected. We hope that the first flush will take place before Christmas. Maddie one of our previous team members is out there now and she will be reporting back very soon.
The school is looking amazing and the quality of education received by the pupils has certainly risen. The girls will all receive a letters from their class in reply to the ones they wrote which were received with great joy. The uniforms that we took over from the recently closed Brooklands School look amazing and to say everyone was delighted was an understatement! We took as many as we could and more will go on the next visit. There was no sign of Christmas in Kididima, no trees, decorations or shops full of tempting treats, but if you wanted a smile of appreciation then they were there in abundance. We bought some juice and biscuits for them all to have a party and they loved it.”
September 2014 Update
It is with great sadness that we to report that we have had to cancel our planned trip for October due to the restriction put in place by the British Foreign Office. The restriction is a 5km stretch of which 1km is where our hotel is situated. Therefore we can not travel into that area at the present time. Having been in direct contact with the Foreign Office there is nothing further that we can at do present. I know from communication with friends in Mombasa that the area is peaceful but we cannot put the safety of the team at any risk. We have provisional plans to travel in February (13th - 28th) but will be unable to re-book this until the restriction is lifted. We are all devastated by this news having worked so hard for the last eighteen months. However we all resolved to keep working, training, and fundraising because we all believe so passionately in the work we are committed to.