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.

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.

July 24, 2011 Good job!

Kisima Academy was ranked the best school in the area for conserving the environment by the National Environmental Management Authority.  Good job!

July 15, 2011 Crops are doing well

Things are going well at Kisima Academy.  The children are happy, healthy, and progressing in school.  The millet (pictured), maize, and kale are all doing well.

June 19, 2011 Moving day photos

Happy boys in their new dorm!

June 1, 2011 More good news and bad news

The good news is that the boys' dorm and the sixth grade classroom are almost finished. The boys are very excited to move into their new quarters on June 18. They'll be so happy to be out of the old mud classroom!

 The bad news is that the kitchen, which is still in an old mud building, is collapsing with all the rain they've had recently. A new one is needed urgently. Can you help?