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”
Daniel Collins works in CAFOD’s Fundraising team focussing on our Hands On initiative.
One of the most exciting parts of my job is working on Hands On – a scheme which enables you to support a specific community as they undertake an ambitious project that will change their lives. Our first project in Kitui, Kenya, started one year ago, and aims to bring water to the community by transforming the local landscape.
One of the really interesting things about Hands On is that, because people’s donations go towards one specific project, and because we gather lots of information about the project to send out to Hands On supporters every month, it really creates a strong emotional bond between the Catholic community here in England and Wales and the community in Kitui. Something I have been very keen to do is to find ways for supporters to send their own messages of encouragement to Kitui.
Last Christmas everyone who had donated to Hands On was sent a card with a message from Kitui and a postcard where they could add their own personal Christmas message in response. The postcards were then sent on to Kenya where they were shared with members of the community and our local partners.
Stella lives in Kitui, Kenya, where our first Hands On project has been running for just over a year. Stella has been getting hands on with her community to rebuild a dam and bring water back to the area. She tells us about the progress her community have made.
Water in Kitui
The soil in Kitui is not good at capturing water and the land is bare and rocky. There isn’t much greenery around. Sometimes it can be rainy, but the long rains are in April, May and June. The short rains are in October, November and December. These are best for the soil because they refresh the earth.
Before the Hands On project, I could only harvest a small amount of land. We have a big water problem, but with the dam, we have a solution. The dam will solve my biggest problem – that of having to walk 7km to the Athi River for water.
As part of the Hands On project, I learned how to farm. I have dug terraces because they are good for the land. It will mean seeds don’t run down the hillsides and water doesn’t destroy the land. And I have planted crops using zai pits, which are made of vegetation, manure and soil. Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: “I am hopeful for the future””
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.