Hands On Kitui: Happy New Year to all our supporters

Hello and a very happy New Year from everyone in Kitui. The end of our two year project is just a few months away and so we are hard at work ensuring that our project here will be a great success.

Those of you who are sent Side by Side will have received your special DVD – for those of you who are not, Here is this personal message from everyone in Kitui.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7cgErVEeSg?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]

If you’d like to send a message back, please leave one in the comments! Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: Happy New Year to all our supporters”

Hands On Kitui: Signs of success

Hands On Kitui is the first of our special series of projects that allows donors to give monthly and directly support a particular community. Find out how you can help the community of Altiplano in Bolivia.

Work continues at great pace as we hurry to get the Musosya dam ready for the coming rains. One fantastic piece of news is that our reservoir is now holding water, which had been in the ground following the previous rains. This means that even during dry periods the community here is able to access clean water for their households – a wonderful achievement.

We would also be delighted to take this time to wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas. Please do keep Kitui in your thoughts at this joyous time, we have made so much progress thanks to your kindness.

Our beautiful Advent calendar provides space every day to reflect and pray.

Progress and project highlights this month

 

Did you know?

Gabions are wire cages filled with rocks, which sit across tributaries to the reservoir. When it rains, they will reduce the speed of the streams and will trap silt, stopping it running into the reservoir itself.

Hands On Kitui: the final countdown

We are now approaching the final stretch of our exciting project here in Kitui, progress has been fantastic up to this point and work is now firmly focused on the main Musosya dam.

We need to clear all of the silt and debris from the reservoir before any more rains come – it’s a real race against time and everyone is working harder than ever to ensure we are ready in time.

Once the Musosya dam is complete we will begin to see a truly transformed Kitui, and it wouldn’t be happening without your kind support – thanks you so much, please do keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

P.S. If you’re looking for ethical Christmas presents, our range of great World Gifts transform the lives of people living in poverty, as well as giving your loved one a beautiful card to open on Christmas morning.

Progress and project highlights this month

Did you know?

Our new community farm will produce kale, spinach, tomatoes, coriander and onions. We’re building a strong fence around it to keep goats and other animals out!

Hands On: Small things that make a big difference

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”

Hands On Kitui: A testing time for the dams

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”

Hands On Kitui: Off to market

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.

Nicholas has sent us a summary of all the progress in the project so far: take a look at everything you’ve achieved.

Progress and project highlights this month

Did you know?

With their new training, the farmers of Kitui are planning to sell their vegetables as far afield as the capital, Nairobi.

 

Want to get Hands On too? Our Kitui project is no longer in need of new donors, but a project helping a community in Bolivia is just starting. You can join them – find out how you can help the community of Altiplano.

 

Hands On Kitui: Getting everyone involved

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?

Continue reading “Hands On Kitui: Getting everyone involved”

Tomatoes: a practical response to Laudato Si’

Tania Dalton works in CAFOD’s Latin America Team. Inspired by Laudato Si’ she and a few colleagues are starting a small garden at the CAFOD Romero House office in London.

Tania in Nicaragua
Tania in Nicaragua

Mary and I have spent 3 lunchtimes shovelling compost in the CAFOD carpark, Janet has brought in tomato plants, Lucy has promised us a courgette, Tory donated some basil seeds and Al and Jamie have done some heavy lifting.

Why? In CAFOD we have been getting very excited about the One Climate, One World campaign.  Our campaigns team have worked tirelessly on the mass lobby of parliament with many CAFOD supporters among the 9,000 crowd on 17 June, and now we have the new encyclical from Pope Francis – Laudato Si’, calling us to care for our common home.

Read more about Laudato Si’

There’s a lot of important big picture thinking, mobilising people and influencing policy makers (have you signed our petition?), but I just fancied getting my hands dirty, the smell in my nostrils of a freshly plucked tomato, and somewhere green and shady to sit and eat my sandwich.  So we are making a garden on our office balcony in London. Continue reading “Tomatoes: a practical response to Laudato Si’”

Hands On in Kitui: Stella’s farm

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.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpK0ZjqT-qA?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]

Continue reading “Hands On in Kitui: Stella’s farm”

One Climate, One World: No power over rain or sun

U Than Win and his family
U Than Win and his wife Daur San Mhwe holding their children Elizabeth (left) and Kissnow (right).

CAFOD writer Mark Chamberlain talks about meeting a village leader in Myanmar and how changes in climate are affecting his community.

Speak Up for communities affected by a changing climate. Join CAFOD at Westminster on Wednesday 17 June

There is a calmness about U Than Win that can’t be learned. I sat on the floor in his small home – even the jungle around us seemed to wait in silence – waiting for the rains, waiting for him to speak.

“The village is here – in my heart”

The slightly built 51-year-old was thinking – deliberating an answer before delivering a typically succinct, quiet truth. “I do things first for my community” – a pause to make sure I understood every word – “then my family. The village is here” he pointed gently to his chest, “in my heart.”

His wife was quick to tell me that her husband is always working – always tending to people’s needs. “When he does relax” she said, looking at me directly, “it’s for five minutes at the most, then someone will come to our home asking for his help.”

She smiled before continuing. “Last year I was in hospital. I knew he was worried about the village – he wanted to be with me, but his duty is to help them. I held his hand and told him to stay with me.” Continue reading “One Climate, One World: No power over rain or sun”