|Mpoyan (left), her son Kevin and Regina in their almost built kiosk!|
The tribe elder Bartholomew gave me the full story over tea in a combination of broken English and through a translator I hired on the first day I arrived. The translator was a great English/Turkana/Samburu/Swahilli speaking guide on my previous trip. The elder talked more about what I had learned before about Turkana being excluded from assistance because they were now located in a predominately Samburu community. The few aid organizations here had board members made up of Samburu tribe, the government official was Samburu and he felt he had to help is own people most of who were all not that well off themselves.
I asked the elder to meet with some women who were struggling but were doing thier best to get by.
|Turkana elder's home lounging area|
|A ride with the council person|
Mpayan is like a mother to Regina who has been living on the floor of the place where the alcohol was brewed. Regina's father wanted her to marry at 16. She didn't want to marry this young or the man they were forcing on her. She was preparing to flee when her father was killed in the cattle violence. Her mom had previously died of malaria, so at this point she fled to meet Mpayan who she knew from living Baragoi. Regina has only gone to nursery school but both can do math and a business due to their home brew business.
Both said they could be successful at another business if only they had the money to buy the supplies and a place to start it. "But even I couldn't help with a business, could I help with a bed or blankets? We are so cold at night especially now that the rains have arrived." They showed me the floor, how damp it was and the rice sack they had been sleeping on. I gulped and said to myself I think I have found my project.
|Mpoyan, Regina, and 2 of Mpoyan's kids, the baby is a friend's on their new bed|
|Just getting started with construction|
So this little project is starting fast! Here are some pics. This first one is going to cost about $150 to build it load the simple kiosk with some start up groceries and send the women to an adult training center to improve their business skills. In the process, I've learned how to make a cheaper kiosk and could start another for $100 with groceries.
|Regina and Mpoyan's son Kevin and my two translators/organizers behind her|
Its been pretty easy to do and there are alot more people who could use similar help, if anyone would like to contribute to other small kiosks. I've even learned the local products, where the wholesalers are and the local prices charging for rice, ugali and even condoms. Ha!
I am going directly to the source - through the elders and to the community, buying supplies myself (after a local gets the best price) and supervising the building.
|Some kids I caught trying to drown a boat on Lamu Island|
|The view from the ferry boat from Lamu|
Lamu is a fishing village populated by the most friendly of Muslims. Its a UNESCO site full of old swahilli architecture and has sailboats called dhows sailing everywhere off the coast. I met some new friends and went sailing on a dhow and snorkeling. I felt better about my burn when a few people who got on the boat were from Iceland, the first Icelanders I've ever met. Turns out there are only 350,000 Icelanders in total. No wonder I've never met any before!
|Swahili architecture on Lamu|
|Computer class in Mathare (I love the we have rights too t-shirt)|
Thanks Sam, Chad and Kara for the recent donations. Sam - your money contributed directly to the building of this kiosk. Chad and Kara - yours will go to hiring a teacher at Watoto Wa Baraka - the orphanage that I started working when I first came to Kenya. The next donation of $100 will complete the needed $1200 to hire the orphanage teacher. So exciting! Thanks for all of the support. It is making a huge, huge difference!