After the sand and check dams came through the rains in good shape, and with the fifth sand dam almost complete, we’ve been looking at some additional work which may be possible here in Kitui, and have decided to build some off-take wells. These are connected to the sand dams – water flows out of the dam and into the well, which is easier to use for collecting water. Continue reading “Hands On: Small things that make a big difference”
CAFOD is working with its partner Caritas Serbia to support thousands of refugees as they attempt to travel north. Stefan Teplan from Caritas describes what it was like to meet just one of them.
“I walked so many roads,” says Abdalkarim. “I crossed so many rivers. I went over so many hills and valleys. I lost my home, my belongings, literally everything.” Abdalkarim Zahra is only 26, yet he says he is “totally finished”.
It’s been many weeks since he fled his home in Syria. His journey has taken him to Turkey, Greece, Macedonia and Serbia. People smugglers have taken all his money. He has been pushed into an overcrowded boat to reach Greece. He has worn the same clothes for weeks. He has suffered hunger and thirst. He has been kicked by border police. “Can I still be called a human?” he asked.
I meet Abdalkarim Zahra in a refugee aid camp in Kanjiža, a Serbian town 3.5 kilometers away from the Hungarian border. About 2,000 to 3,000 refugees come here every day on their way to Hungary. They then head mostly to Germany.
With support from CAFOD, Caritas Serbia is providing emergency relief there, in two other refugee aid camps in the south of the country in Preshovo on the Macedonian border and in the capital Belgrade. Just like tens of thousands before him (and most probably hundreds of thousands after him), Abdalkarim Zahra has stayed in them all.
In these camps, Caritas Serbia distributes drinking water and juice to the refugees, provides medical help and legal support. In Kanjiža, Caritas is even providing a temporary facility for refugees and migrants that has bathrooms, showers and beds.
About the project: Hands On is CAFOD’s special series of projects that allow individuals to donate to a specific project. Our project in Kitui has been running for over a year and is seeing some great results. Our latest project is in need of donations – find out how you can help the community of Altiplano in Bolivia.
With four sand dams and many dozens of check dams completed, and work continuing on a fifth sand dam and the main Musosya dam, the first big test arrived in the form of a short rainy period.
This would really show whether the work done so far would produce the results we were all hoping for. Thankfully the answer has been a resounding yes! The check dams held firm, and the sand dams filled with water, which the community here in Kitui were able to put to use right away. Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: A testing time for the dams”
With all the talk of sand dams, check dams, tree planting and zai pits since our project started here in Kitui, you may be surprised to hear about the focus of one of the most recent training sessions held with our community: marketing!
A guest speaker from the Ministry of Agriculture came to talk to Kitui’s farmers about the best ways to sell their produce, and about the benefits of working as a collective when going to market. This kind of practical advice will ensure that the communities’ increased harvests bear even greater fruit.
With so much progress made already here in Kitui, it is important that the entire community really feels involved in the project and receives encouragement to keep going until all the work is done. To help this, we recently held elections to form a new project committee.
By giving more people the chance to exercise leadership, new ideas and suggestions are brought to the table, and we can ensure that our work here is as effective as possible.
Thank you as always for helping us get to where we are today, your thoughts and prayers mean so much.
We’ve been talking a lot about Hands On Kitui on social media. Why not share some posts with your friends to let them know about this special project?
Here in Kitui, the landscape is nearly unrecognisable, as more and more people are using their new hands on skills to improve their own land.
One such person is Stella, whose family have a small farm, and who has worked tirelessly to put all that she has been shown into practice. In this video she shows us around, and explains how her new skills are helping her farm thrive.
As we move into the second half of our two-year plan, progress continues at great pace. It’s full steam ahead for all aspects of the project – terracing, dam-building, zai pits and tree planting are going on all across Kitui.
One extremely important development is that people are taking their new skills and applying them to their own gardens and farms. This will help improve the land even further, and provide yet more food and income for the people.
Thank you so much for your continued support, it means the world to us, and please keep Kitui in your prayers.
Progress and project highlights this month
Did you know?
Kenya is home to many herbivorous animals including zebra, giraffe and a variety of antelopes – so it’s essential we build fences to protect the trees while they are young and fragile.
Unbelievably, we are already halfway through our project in Kitui. So much has been achieved in this short time, but there is much still to be done, and no time to waste.
We were happy to welcome our friends Mark and Louise from CAFOD in the UK, who were able to see first-hand the hard work being done all around the project site, look out for their reflections in your next postal update.