What's in our September 2019 issue: Notes from the Field - Water Is Life; Into Africa - Lots in Store at this Year’s Auction; Meet P4P Volunteer Vicky Markussen; “If It Had Not Been for P4P, My Child Would Have Been Long Dead;” African Affairs Expert Joins P4P Board
No kind action ever stops with itself… A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. ~ Amelia Earhart
Notes from the Field - Water is Life
By Nereah Obura, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator
Dear P4P Friend,
P4P embraces a holistic approach toward the problems that households in Kopanga face daily. Trapped in between poverty and ill health, these families cannot make progress unless we address both at the same time. In this respect, P4P’s water and health programs address sickness and malnutrition, while education and economic empowerment programs address poverty and livelihood.
P4P water projects partner with schools and clinics to provide safe drinking water. Our Kenyan partners provide gutters and a concrete base, P4P provides a 10,000-liter (2,642 gallon) rainwater catchment tank. We have also protected two springs and installed two borehole pumps. These initiatives have helped a lot, however, they are limited because the tanks often go empty during the dry season. Alternative sources of water are usually not safe to drink.
P4P has provided 15 water tanks to schools. One of these institutions, Ogada Girls Secondary School, has a population of approximately 200 girls, many who are boarders. Ogada’s two water tanks hold barely enough water to last after the rainy season and the girls must walk approximately a mile-and-a-half each way in search of water from a spring. It is not safe for the girls to leave campus, they lose study time and are often too tired to concentrate in class or do their homework.
To remedy this situation, the Ogada school board of management undertook the expensive project of digging a borehole. Unfortunately, the borehole cannot be used since the school cannot afford the water pump which costs over KSH 700,000 ($7,000 USD). The school board has approached P4P to help with this project.
Once the borehole is fully functioning, the school intends to share the water with the community at a minimal fee, just like the Nyanganira Water project which is now self-sustaining through subscription fees. This will enable the community to access clean drinking water as they help offset the maintenance costs for the school’s safe water.
Ogada Girls Secondary School needs a pump like this one at Nyanganira
We have learned that P4P is at a loss to help provide a pump, however, since this cost was not included in the current budget. Ogada Girls School is just one of the many cases P4P sees where the need is serious. Against this situation, we hope that you will find it in your heart to donate toward these important projects. P4P’s Into Africa Auction will be November 2. I hope you can attend and support the girls at the Ogada School.
P4P's Into Africa Auction will have something for everyone. Food connoisseurs will enjoy the wonderful African and American cuisine. Adventurers can bid on a tree-to-tree challenge course, standup paddle boarding and a fly-fishing expedition. Shoppers will feel like they’ve entered a world market as they browse original art, exotic clothing and a collection of authentic African carvings and masks.
We have creative classes (card making and holiday painting), a Sandpoint getaway and a Gonzaga basketball package as well as fun theme baskets including a very special Lucky Dog gift basket brimming with treats for your furry friend.
All this fun and shopping is for an important cause. By attending Into Africa, you are supporting P4P’s programs in Kenya and you are helping us Make a World of Difference, a World Away.
After Vicky Markussen met P4P’s executive director Dia Maurer at a Dining for Women dinner in 2019, she was sold on the organization.
“I really respect P4P’s mission, but also everyone's enthusiasm and commitment to the organization,” said Vicky.
Vicky is recruiting volunteers for P4P's annual Auction and will herself supervise the volunteer activities for the live auction at this year’s event.
A self-proclaimed “army brat,” Vicky grew up moving from place to place before finally landing on the west side of Washington State at the age of 17 when her father was stationed at Fort Lewis.
Vicky earned an accounting degree from the University of Washington, then lived out her career in the Seattle area. She owned two businesses, one as a wedding floral designer and a second as an auction and fundraising consultant for nonprofits. Her experience has been invaluable as we plan this year’s Into Africa Auction.
When Vicky retired in December of last year, she moved to the Spokane area and settled in Liberty Lake. However, boredom soon crept in, so she started looking for volunteer opportunities and a part time job. Partnering for Progress and the Providence Sacred Heart Gift Shop were perfect fits.
Vicky spends her free time cooking, entertaining, hiking and traveling. “I'm a sucker for a great view. I recently hiked the Queen Charlotte Trek in New Zealand. It's a 45-mile route one way. I did one way.”
"If It Had Not Been for P4P, My Child Would Have Been Long Dead"
Sivia was the fourth born child in a family with five children. She was so malnourished that her family continually took her to the hospital in hopes she could be made healthy. However, not till her parents enrolled in P4P’s Power of Milk (POM) infant nutrition program did it look like the little girl would finally have a chance at life. Under the Power of Milk, she received food supplements and her parents attended weekly classes while gaining valuable community support.
“If it had not been for P4P, my child would have been long dead,” Sivia’s mother said.
When Sivia completed POM, her parents received two chickens, a hen and a rooster. They sold the offspring and began saving shillings to buy a ewe and a lamb. Their livestock is thriving today. Sivia’s father attended P4P’s agriculture classes and increased his crop yield. The family also planted a kitchen garden and are growing plantains, mangoes and vegetables.
From near tragedy, this family has built a future with food security and enough extra income to save for Sivia’s education.
Your support has allowed P4P to provide families like Sivia’s with hope for the future. Because of your generosity, P4P has accomplished the following:
1500 Children and clinic patients have clean water at school and the clinic because of rainwater catchment tanks and pump projects.
425 Girl students have received Days for Girls sanitary hygiene kits, improving their school attendance.
130 Malnourished infants have graduated from the Power of Milk nutrition program.
24 High school students are attending classes thanks to scholarships.
26 Kenyan Community Health Volunteers are trained to identify and treat the most common and urgent health problems.
37 Farmers learned better agriculture methods through education, seeds and fertilizer.
8 Cooperative groups are earning money in their communities through small business grants.
5 High school graduates are attending higher education thanks to scholarships.
When you receive this year’s annual appeal letter from Partnering for Progress, we hope you will think of Sivia and of these accomplishments and give generously. Asante Sana for your support.
We are delighted to welcome Megan Hershey, PhD, to P4P’s Board of Directors. Megan joined Whitworth University faculty in 2011 and is associate professor in the political science department. She brings a wealth of international and African experience, specializing in comparative politics, African politics, international development, politics of HIV/AIDS, non-governmental agencies and foreign aid. Megan is widely published and is proficient in Swahili, Kenya’s native language. Jambo! to our newest Board member.