Sponsor a Child

Kisima’s director reports that once the children know they have a sponsor they hold their heads higher, have a spring in their step, and show a renewed dedication to their schoolwork. Sponsor a child for $300 per year. Younger students require two sponsors for full support while older students need at least three. The cost of books and exams during their last two years is quite high. Sponsor a teacher for $400 per year. Each teacher needs four sponsors for full support. When you choose or are assigned a child it would be great to write a letter to introduce yourself and include a photo. The kids LOVE to receive photos. Please do not send packages because they may not arrive. The address to send letters and photos is Kisima Academy, P.O. Box 74, Postal Code 50211, Naitiri, Kenya.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Day

The children and staff at Kisima celebrated Christmas in the new dining/church/assembly hall.  There was great excitement as they celebrated the birth of Jesus with a cake and tea and biscuits.  Everyone at Kisima is very grateful for the new building.  It means that the children will not have to stand outside to eat their meals or eat them in their classrooms if it's raining.  It will also give them a wonderful place to gather for their church services and their school assemblies.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alternative Gifts for Christmas 2012


This past year has brought significant progress to Kisima thanks to you and a growing number of Friends of Kisima Academy. A seventh grade classroom and six new latrines were completed.  Solar power was installed in the classrooms and dormitories to the complete awe and delight of the children. The solar lighting project included sensor lights to aid nighttime access to the latrines. 

Of note, seventeen Friends of Kisima visited the academy last March. This was the first time the school had hosted a group of goodwill ambassadors including nurses, former teachers, a veterinarian, and others with open hearts and willing hands. 

On the project list for 2013 is a preschool classroom and some "campus housing" for the principal and one or two teachers. Currently the principal is housed in one of the old mud classrooms. The lifespan of the mud buildings is limited and last year the old kitchen washed away in the rainy season. We are looking forward to preventing an emergency housing situation for the staff.

There is still much to be done to help Kisima Academy reach self-sufficiency. There is still ongoing need to buy farmland, livestock and feed, seed, fruit trees, tilapia fingerlings, medical and dental supplies, school supplies, and more. The Friends of Kisima are offering donation holiday gift card inserts again this year. Please consider making a donation to Kisima a part of your gift giving this year. Any contribution will be greatly appreciated.   Please send your donation to Bright Star Foundation, P.O. Box 6747, Kokomo, IN 46904-6747 and indicate that it is for Kisima Academy.  Note which gifts you would like and include an e-mail address where your downloadable gift card insert can be sent.  Thank you!

1.  School supplies for one child                                                          $15
Pencils and paper are still basic necessities for students worldwide.  Next come rulers, eraser, art supplies and...well, it all adds up.  Kisima is a registered Kenyan school and the children take yearly government exams.  It is the only school in the area that takes orphans.  Its 100 orphans and 120 disadvantaged students from the community are eager learners who would truly appreciate a gift of school supplies.


 2.  Feed a child for one month                                                           $15
 Kisima Academy has made great progress toward self-sufficiency with its gardens, crops, tilapia fish farm, chickens, and cows.  However, there is still a need to supplement the children's diet with fresh fruit and other foodstuffs that are purchased in nearby villages.  Your gift to feed a chld for one month will help ensure balanced nutrition.


3.  A flock of chickens                                                                         $20
Chickens are among the animals raised at Kisima.  Their eggs provide the children with a valuable source of protein and other nutrients.  Through your gift of chickens the children will be able to enjoy eggs more frequently.


4.  Medical and dental supplies                                                           $25
In March the visiting medical team was able to examine all the children and staff at Kisima as well as many of the community members.  We hope to have another medical team on the trip next June.  In the meantime the children need tootbrushes, baking soda and salt for brushing their teeth, de-worming medication, bandages, antibiotic ointment, Tylenol.  A gift of medical and dental supplies will help keep the children healthy.


5.  Textbooks for one child
The students at Kisima Child Care Academy are enthusiastic about learning and they love their books. Their textbooks are all in English with the exception of the Swahili language books. If not for Kisima these children would not be educated. Your gift will provide a year’s worth of textbooks that will transform a life.


6.  Farming supplies
Kisima owns three acres of farmland and leases another two to grow maize and beans. Much of the other acre and a half that Kisima owns are given to gardens.  They are able to grow enough to feed the children for about half the year. A gift of farming supplies would help buy seed and fertilizer and hire the labor needed to grow the crops.


7.  Soccer equipment
The older children would like very much to form a soccer team and play other schools in the area. For this they need soccer shoes, uniforms, balls and some money for transportation. A gift of $50 will cover a child’s soccer expenses for a year.

8.  Sponsor a child for $240 for a year
There are still many orphans who are waiting to know that they are connected to someone who cares about and prays for them. When children are sponsored they hold their heads higher and smile more. Though Kisima Child Care Academy seeks to become as self-sufficient as possible through crops, fish farming, and livestock the orphans need many other items such as clothing and shoes that must be purchased. Sponsoring a child will help meet these needs as well as make their life brighter.

9.  Sponsor a teacher for $360 for a year

Several of the teachers still need to be sponsored.  Kisima Academy educates not only its 100 orphans but also 120 village children whose families are too poor even to send them to the public school. Your gift will help the Academy employ a dedicated and compassionate teacher who will make a difference in the lives of Kisima’s students.
Please send your donation to Bright Star Foundation, P.O. Box 6747, Kokomo, IN 46904-6747 and indicate that it is for Kisima Academy. Note which gifts you would like and include an e-mail address where your downloadable gift card insert can be sent. Thank you!



Saturday, October 13, 2012

District rankings

The district school rankings have been published--Kisima came in 9th out of 116 schools.  Hurray for them!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dining hall construction started

Construction has started on the dining hall/assembly hall but further progress will have to wait until more money comes in.  Currently children pick up their food from the kitchen window (in the background) and either go back to their classrooms or stand around outside to eat.  It will be nice not only to have somewhere to eat but also to have a place for assemblies and church services.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Recent progress

More beds have been purchased.  Most children have had to double up--not bad for the smaller children but the bigger ones really need to have their own beds.  More still are needed.

Martin was able to purchase another acre of land.  In the photo on the right children are enjoying fruit from a tree on the new land.  Another acre to grow crops means being closer to the goal of self-sufficiency.

Martin has finished the insides of the classrooms as funds have been available.  There is just one classroom yet to be finished. 
Many people who went on the March trip donated money for about 100 new uniforms as a memorial to Mary Young.  Hellen, the seamstress, really has her work cut out for her! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Zonal exams

Kisima ranked #5 out of 65 schools in the zonal exams.  When you consider that this is a comparatively new and rapidly growing school/orphanage and that none of the children would have otherwise had an opportunity for an education this is an incredible accomplishment!  It speaks to the dedication of the teachers and of Martin and his wife, Margaret.  There's no government provision for orphans in the rural areas and the 102 orphans at Kisima would have been left to fend for themselves.  The other 118 children are either from extremely poor families or single mothers (30% of the children in rural areas don't go to school). 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15, 2012 Newspaper article

Mary Doerr, who went on the March trip to Kisima, wrote a nice article in the Petoskey News-Review:
Check it out!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012 Computer learning

In an area where hardly anyone has even seen a computer the Kisima children are learning how to use one.  This should be a big advantage to them in the future.  The computers are heavy, old IBM Thinkpads without even any WIFI capability but they are tough and perfect for learning.  The one disadvantage is that charging them takes a lot of power from the school's solar energy system.

July 12, 2012 Class gardens

 In addition to the fields of maize and beans there are several garden plots where they raise kale, carrots, sunflowers, and arrowroot. Classes 4, 5, and 6 each have their own garden where they raise, respectively, maize, millet, and beans. Not only are they contributing to the school’s food needs but they are learning valuable skills as well.

July 10, 2012 Cleaning

It's so good to see the children taking pride in their school and environment by picking up litter and mopping the classroom floors.

June 12, 2012 Lots of activity

The children are enjoying all the things we brought/installed while we were there. 

The maize has been planted and is doing well.  In the past Martin has been able to grow about half the maize needed.  Recently he was able to purchase another acre (below) so they will be able to closer approach self-sufficiency.

April 27, 2012 Very sad news

Mary Young, right, was one of the group that visited Kisima last month. She became ill a week or so after we returned and died this week. She was a wonderful, caring person who gave selflessly to the orphans. From Martin:
"I am very saddened with the untimely and sudden death of sister Mary Young. Surely it is unbelievable and unbearable remembering that it was just the other day we were with her doing good to God's people. I am very sorry and much affected because as Kisima community we have lost a great friend. It is not easy for somebody of her age to have been so courageous to make such a long trip to Kenya and more so Kisima and commit herself to the demanding task that she was doing.
There is nothing we can do but pray for her beloved family that has been left behind unexpectedly. We pray that may God stand with Steve in these difficult times and also stand in the cap of her most loved mother and give him comfort and love that he received from her. May God also give him strength to put up with the difficult situation and understand that God loved her most."

April 12, 2012 Shoes!

All 102 orphans have new shoes.  Many, many thanks to Nancy!

April 8, 2012 Albums posted

I posted an album of the trip and an album of the orphans. There are still 70+ deserving orphans who don't have sponsors. Please help! The links are at the top left.

April 3, 2011 The visit

A group of 17 people from five states just arrived back home after a very rewarding and productive trip to Kenya. I'm working on photo albums of the trip and of the orphans but for now here's a photo of the welcome ceremony. Several members of the group held a medical clinic and treated 360 children and adults, not only from the school but also the community. Several other members installed playground equipment and built bookshelves. Other members taught music, dental health, and even how to build with Legos and Lincoln logs. More details to come.

March 15, 2011 Solar lighting!

Many, many thanks go to the Rotary Club of Vienna, Virginia, and to John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, Virginia, for donating the money for solar lighting. Kisima is so rural that it's off the grid. Lighting was previously provided by an unreliable generator when it was working or kerosene lamps when it wasn't. The children are so excited to have reliable lighting with the flip of a switch.

February 11, 2012 Soccer team?

Many of the boys are very interested in forming a soccer team and playing other schools. Martin is teaching them rules and theory. Eventually they will need a proper soccer field, uniforms, etc.

January 27, 2012 Christmas Day 2011 at Kisima

From Martin: "Christmas Day was one of the best that we have ever had since Kisima began. Though it was sunny because it is summer here, the weather was good because the children were able to play outside and run all over making joyful noise. At least they were able to eat something just like the other children in their homes, indeed this added value to their life. In fact when January set in, they were all ready and set to begin learning with a lot to share with the other children. To their surprise, they learnt that they were able celebrate Christmas better than the other children bearing in mind that life standards have really gone up."

December 31, 2011 New stove

The new kitchen has a new energy-saving stove! It uses much less wood than the traditional open flame seen in the back of the photo. Wood is scarce and expensive so the less they can use the better

December 17, 2011 Alternative Gift Fair

John Calvin Presbyterian Church sponsored an Alternative Gift Fair and Bonnie and Denise had a booth there for Kisima. Thanks to them and to the people who responded to the needs of the orphans and bought alternative gifts for their friends and relatives this Christmas

November 27, 2011 Alternative Gifts

Alternative Gifts 2011

Please brighten the lives of the children and honor your friends and relatives this Christmas with gifts to Kisima Academy in their names. Much progress has been made but there are still many needs to be met. Your gift, no matter how small, will be a huge help. Please remember that 100% of your donation goes directly to Kisima and is tax deductible.
1. $10--School supplies for one child.
2. $13--Feed a child for one month. Kisima is able to produce much of its food but there are still items like fruit that have to be purchased.
3. $18—A flock of chickens. More chickens means more eggs for the children.
4. $25 for one month or $300 for a year—Sponsor a teacher. Click on "Sponsor an orphan program" at right to see photos of the teachers as well as of the orphans.
5. $35—400 bricks for building a new classroom. A new classroom must be built each year as the children advance in school.
6. $35—Textbooks for one child.
7. $40—10% of a cow. More cows are needed to provide enough milk for the children.
8. $50--Contribution toward playground equipment. Currently the only play equipment the children have are a few soccer balls and a few jump ropes.
9. $240/year—Sponsor a child. Many children have sponsors but there are 77 who are still waiting to hear that someone prays for and cares about them. Click on "Sponsor an orphan program" link at right to see photos.
10. Any amount toward other needs—tables, benches, bookshelves, chairs, school uniforms, sandals, toys, art supplies, first aid kits.
Please send your check to Bright Star Foundation, P.O. Box 6747, Kokomo IN 46904-6747 and specify that it is for Kisima Academy. Include a note with your email address and which gifts you would like to purchase. Thank you so much for being a blessing to the children at Kisima Academy.

November 22, 2011 Leisure time

The Kisima children enjoy their leisure time.  In these photos the girls are practicing singing and dancing and the boys are relaxing after a game of soccer.  They would like to form a team and play other schools.

November 20, 2011 Lighting to come

Great news--the Rotary Club of Vienna, Virginia, voted to award Kisima money for indoor and outdoor solar lighting. Thanks so much! We plan to take some of the components with us the next time we visit. It will be very nice for Kisima not to have to run the generator every evening for light. The school is too far from a village to have electric power.

October 28, 2011 Good harvest

All at Kisima thank God for the bountiful maize harvest and good weather for the sunflowers, beans, and kale. The more that can be produced the less that has to be bought to feed the children. The aim is for Kisima to be as self-supporting as possible. In the last photo, a few girls have set up an improvised seesaw.

October 10, 2011 Maize harvested, kitchen finished

The maize has been harvested and shelled.  The stalks will be used for cow feed.  The kitchen is finished!  Now they just need a stove...  A dining hall would be nice also...

September 21, 2011 New kitchen

Here's the new kitchen. Check out the post from June 1 to see the old "kitchen." The cook, Eliud, is going to be so happy to be able to cook standing up instead of squatting over an open fire on a dirt floor. He'll also be very happy to be in a kitchen with a vent to let the smoke out and windows to let the light in.

September 15, 2011 It's so good to see happy, smiling faces!

It's so good to see happy, smiling faces and to be reminded of where they would be without Kisima Academy.  There's no provision for orphans in rural Kenya and many of these children were street children; others were living with relatives who often used them for free labor.  None would have been able to go to school.  At Kisima they are well cared for and given a well-grounded, Christian education that prepares them for a productive future.

September 12, 2011 Another tilapia pond

Thanks to Bill and Debra Kirby of The Tilapia Project (see the link on the right), there is another pond to raise tilapia at Kisima.  In the photo it has just been dug and filled--it will clear up in a few days.  The fish are a wonderful source of protein for the children.  We appreciate so much Bill and Debra's continued interest and support.

August 19, 2011 Maize and millet

Kisima is blessed by being in a fertile area of Kenya, unlike the north which borders on Ethiopia  and  the east which borders on Somalia.  It's in the far west, not far from the Ugandan border.  So far this year the rains have been good and the maize fields should produce a good crop. Kisima owns one acre and leases two acres to grow maize which is a staple food for Kenyans along with beans.  For most lunches and dinners they eat githeri, a mixture of maize and beans. Usually some kale is added.  The three acres should be sufficient to feed the children for about half the year.  Eventually some more acreage is needed.  The current priority is for a new kitchen (see photo from June 1).  The present kitchen, an old mud structure, is collapsing from all the rain a couple of months ago.  A new one is badly needed.  Martin also grows millet for the children's breakfast porridge and that crop was just harvested last week.