Category Archives: News

Support will tap springs of hope and water for Kenyan children

WFL2

Water for Life, a ministry of the Kenyan Children’s Fund (KCF) – the global mission through which faithful donors help feed, cloth and educate orphans in Kenya’s Masii region – is benefitting from energetic volunteers and donors.

To date, about $30,000 has been raised to pay for a community borehole and tap system that will bring clean water to more than 7,000 poor people in Masii.

That’s one-third of the way to the $90,000 project goal.

“Water literally is life and providing a sustainable source of potable water to the area is crucial,” says Dr. John Helgesen, Immanuel member, KCF co-founder and leader of the Water for Life project. “It would eradicate water-borne diseases in the area – diseases that sicken adults and kill one child every 20 seconds in the world today. Plus, it would allow the children to attend school rather than spend their days walking miles to fetch water that is tainted or sometimes, during period of prolonged drought, only to discover that there is no water at all.”

A hydrogeological survey conducted in partnership with Water Missions International confirmed that a suitable borehole exists in the Masii area that would yield 2,000-5,000 liters of quality water per hour.

Here’s an update about steps to reach the $90,000 goal:

  • KCF volunteers are personally visiting other congregations to share news about Water for the Life and the KCF. You can help by contacting John, jhelgesen@everestkc.net, to suggest organizations or groups who might welcome a presentation about Water for Life, or who may offer grants or donations.
  • Beautiful purses handcrafted by Masii artisans are available for a requested donation of $65 to Water for Life. Contact Janie Fee, ggharleyb@hotmail.com, to view samples or make purchases – they make beautiful gifts!
  • Worshippers at Immanuel Lutheran, the project’s host congregation, will hear a temple talk about the Kenyan Children’s Project and Water for Life during the Oct. 4 Global Missions Sunday. They will have the opportunity to donate, and to purchase purses or other handcrafted items. Sunday School children also will hear a special presentation about the projects that will help them understand the need and get involved.
  • Part of the proceeds from the Immanuel Lutheran Church Octoberfest celebration will benefit Water for Life.
  • John and other KCF volunteers – including Immanuel member Jimmi Kimuyu and former Immanuel Dave Wahlgren – hosted an information table during the Central States Synod Assembly to introduce representatives from other congregations to the project.
  • The Immanuel Lutheran congregational council approved continuing in-kind support for KCF and Water for Life as a sponsored global missions project of the congregation. In-kind support includes periodic use of Immanuel’s office space and equipment, and accounting assistance with donations.

The Kenyan Water Project Update

Young Kenya

People in the Masii region of Kenya are desperate for clean water.

That’s why the Kenyan Children’s Fund (KCF) has launched the Kenyan Water Project. The goal is to raise $90,000 to pay for a community borehole and tap system that would bring clean water to more than 7,000 poor people in the Masii region, which is home to children who are supported by donations to the KCF.

The water project and its costs will be in addition to the ongoing costs of supporting the health, nutrition and education of children in the region.

“Providing a sustainable source of potable water to the area would eradicate water-borne diseases, which sicken adults and kill one child every 20 seconds in the world today. Plus, it would allow the children to attend school rather than spend their days walking miles to fetch water that is tainted,” says Dr. John Helgesen, project leader and co-founder of the KCF.

“We are committed to the project, and are confident that we can rely on the goodness of God and the justice in the hearts of the people of God to bring it to fruition,” he adds.

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Progress to Date

In partnership with the KCF, Water Missions International already has completed a hydrogeological survey report and geophysical site investigations for the borehole and taps. Those studies, which were funded by a special $2,000 donation to the KCF:

  • Concluded that the project area is not connected to any water supply system, and that residents depend on scooping water from the Thwake riverbed or fetching it from earth dams that dry up during prolonged drought periods.
  • Revealed that a suitable borehole site exists that would yield about 2,000 to 5,000 liters of quality but slightly mineralized water per hour.

Based on those findings, and on their desperate need for clean water, community members in the Mamiloki village of Masii have agreed to allow a borehole to be drilled in any area in which quality water could be found.

“The $90,000 budget includes assessment, project design and approval, construction and installation, community education, and monitoring and evaluation,” John explains. “But the project is priceless to our brothers and sisters in Masii.”

KCF committee members from U.S. visit Masii

KC People with Group

Three members of the Kenyan Children’s Fund steering committee visited Kenya’s Masii region to meet with the villagers who serve as guardians for orphans and other poverty-stricken children supported by the Kenyan Children’s Fund.

They discussed current and future needs, and met with children and families who are served by the fund.

“We were greeted with amazing hospitality and saw firsthand that our contributions are used efficiently among people who are desperately in need,” says Janie Fee.

“We also saw that the people of Masii have many challenges, including poverty, and lack of education, manpower, medical facilities and water,” adds John Helgesen. “These circumstances have made many people unable to take care of their families. The importance of our work in partnership with these people became crystal clear.”

Mr. Joshua Ngewa, who chairs the committee in Masii, extends his gratitude: “Thank you for the support you are extending to our children. We all together say GOD BLESS YOU.

 

David Walgren and child
John Helgesen, Janie Fee and child

Mission Trip Reveals Issues, Opportunities

janiewithschoolchildren
The July 2014 mission trip to Masii – during which John Helgesen, Janie Fee and David Walgren met the children served by KCF – revealed issues and opportunities. Here’s a review of how the KCF committee is responding:

  • Based on the children’s needs, the committee determined that KCF can successfully support 40 children. Therefore, as children leave the program, they will not be replaced until the number of children served is down to 40 (currently 47).
  • The KCF will compensate key members of the Masii foundation for their recorded mileage, and has asked the Masii foundation board to discuss and propose a mileage/kilometer compensation amount.
  • The KCF proposes hiring a Masii pastor who has been involved as a volunteer to be a primary case manager, including making house calls and deliveries. The pastor also would be trained to drive the motorcycle. Payment for these services is under discussion. With the exception of the case worker, neither KCF volunteers in North America nor the foundation board in Masii will be compensated for their time. Our work together stems from the Christian commitment to serving God’s children.
  • The KC committee has requested reports from the Masii foundation board about:
    • Career/skill development for Masii adults who are caring for needy children. For example, a tailor who volunteers with the foundation could train women to work as professional seamstresses, and/or men could be sent to driving school so they can become professional drivers.
    • The need for and cost of additional children’s school supplies, such as calculators.
  • There is benefit to supporting local Masii craftsmanship – especially Rachel’s Guild and Ben’s Tailor Shop. The KC committee has forwarded photos of purses and baskets for the guild’s consideration, and of men’s ties for the tailor’s consideration. Any such items would feature Kenyan designs. The committee will investigate how to market these items in North America.
  • Because guardians often carry their monthly food allotments over many kilometers, the KC committee and Masii foundation members are working together to identify a strong, inexpensive backpack. They also are considering the purchase of a motorcycle trailer, which could make monthly deliveries easier.

tailor