What's in our April 2019 issue: Notes from the Field; Communications Committee Report: This Pump Has Changed Our Lives; National Volunteer Month; Mark Kartchner "The Conscience Screams to Do More;" Save the Date ~ Into Africa Auction; Even a Monster Needs Love
Water is life, and clean water means health.~ Audrey Hepburn
Notes from the Field
By Nereah Obura, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator
Dear P4P Friend,
“To get water, we would cross into Tanzania to get this precious commodity during the dry season,” Monica, a Kopanga woman, told me.
“We would walk there four times in a day carrying 20 liters (5 gallons) of water each time, walking for 48 kilometers (30 miles) in a day. This was barely adequate, but we had no option.”
Even though that sounds like an impossible task, during the dry season it can become a necessity.
Accessing clean drinking water is a major challenge across the Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Kopanga/Giribe area is no exception. There are a number of springs in the area, but most are not protected, and the water is unsanitary.
P4P’s Water Committee has worked with the communities to protect two springs in the region, Nyamthong’no spring in Kopanga and Mubachi Spring in Mubachi. Unfortunately, water levels usually go so low during the dry spell that water does not come out through the pipes that were installed. Most communities are forced to draw brown, cloudy water from the ground or walk several miles to a functioning spring.
In 2006, the government dug a water pan in Kopanga to allow the community to fetch water for domestic use and for cattle. The community was to register this water pan and fence it to avoid interference, but this never took place and today it is muddy and unsafe -- just like any other pond in a rural village.
One unique case in Kopanga is the Nyanganira Water pump, which was dug in the early 1990s. The pump eventually broke down and the community was not able to repair it. P4P was approached and helped repair the pump in 2013. Since then, the local water committee has taken very good care of it.
This pump is open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is guarded so it will not be misused. Villagers pay 300 Kenyan shillings (about $3 US) to become members, then pay .20 KES (20 cents US) monthly to access water. Each family is required to have a pit latrine at their home. This has greatly lightened the burden of the women. According to the chairman, Mr. Joshua Ochuka, the pump breaks down approximately every 12 months but because they collect a small amount of money from users, they are able to repair it without struggling.
“This pump has changed our lives,” said one beneficiary. “Given that the water is so clean, easily accessible and affordable has made our lives easier. Unlike our counterparts who have to wake up in the middle of the night to go look for water, we get adequate sleep, are able to go to our farms, come back and get enough water for the day, and still have energy left to go to the market and attend to the other household chores.”
April is National Volunteer Month and the perfect time to recognize the volunteers who travel to Kenya with us and those who help here in the Inland Northwest.
'Asante Sana' means thank you in Swahili. Those are powerful words in any language, but they only scratch the surface in conveying Partnering for Progress’ gratitude to our volunteers. This month is the perfect time to tell you, our invaluable volunteers, how much we appreciate and treasure you.
Over the last 12 years, 89 people have paid their own expenses and often taken vacation time to travel to Kenya to work on P4P’s health, education, water and economic development projects. Of those 89 volunteers, 20 have traveled to Kenya multiple times and our co-founders travel with groups every year.
Dozens of people serve on the Board of Directors, committees and fundraising programs that keep the wheels turning and the programs in motion so that P4P can continue our valuable work in Kenya. Our volunteers range in age from high school students to retired folks, and each one brings their own unique talents to the work they do with P4P.
The simple truth is that P4P would not exist without volunteers. Our two part-time staff members carry large workloads here in Spokane, and they would not be able to accomplish all that they do without volunteers. We are deeply grateful.
Winston Churchill said, “You make a living by what you make, but you make a life by what you give.” By volunteering with P4P, you are making a world of difference, a world away. Asante Sana!
While Mark Kartchner and his wife already lived lives strongly committed to sharing their good fortune with those in need, it was a book that led them to P4P.
The Life You Can Save inspired the Kartchners to research the effectiveness of non-profits in order to make the biggest difference with their contributions. After talking to a few friends about Partnering for Progress’ work, they were highly impressed and wanted to join P4P’s efforts.
“P4P asks for input from the communities they are serving and is committed to the communities for many, many years to come,” said Mark.
“They are also very conscious about the challenges of helping and approach their work with humility and feedback.”
Mark has served on P4P’s Water Committee for the past year as a very knowledgeable resource: he owns an engineering firm, Kartchner Engineering, which focuses on plumbing, electrical and mechanical engineering.
“I have always been passionate and felt obligated to give a portion of what I have, and it is amazing to find a local group like P4P that is committed and conscious of the challenges of giving.”
While Mark has never been to Kenya, he volunteered for a month in Northern Nigeria doing lead remediation. The experience opened his eyes to the immense deficiency of these countries. While there, he stayed in a small village with no electricity, thatched roofs and a 10 percent mortality rate among children.
“I was astonished at the level of poverty. The conscience screams to do more.”
Transplants from Boise, Mark and his wife Marianne moved to Spokane in 2004. They have four children, Holland, Cate, Caleb, and Taylor.
Even a Monster Needs Love
You're invited to P4P's Civic Theatre benefit performance of the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at the Spokane Civic Theatre.
In this hilarious farce, Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced "Fronk-en-steen"), grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, inherits his family's estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor, and a leggy lab assistant, Inga, Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestor. "It's alive!" he exclaims as he brings to life a creature to rival his grandfather's. Eventually, of course, the monster escapes and hilarity begins. Rating: PG-13.
The Civic Theatre is located at 1020 North Howard Street. Doors open at 6:15 PM for coffee, desserts and raffle. Curtain time is 7:15 PM.
Our annual auction will be Saturday, November 2, at the Mirabeau Park Hotel. Festivities start at 5:30 PM. Plan to join us! We always have exciting auction items, and this year we’ll test your bidding skills with a condo stay in one of America’s happiest places, a handmade African-themed quilt, outdoor excursions, dinner packages, spa baskets and more. Much more.