What’s in our September 2020 Newsletter: Notes from the Field ~ Power of Milk graduate Elly Ochieng; Health Committee Report; Into Africa Auction Wants YOU; Graphic Designer Lends Her Talent to Into Africa Auction; Developing a Business During a Pandemic
We should remember that even in the worst of times, our lives remain infinitely better than those of people living in extreme poverty. ~ Peter Singer, “The Life You Can Save”
Notes from the Field
By Nereah Obura, P4P Kenya Program Coordinator
Dear P4P Friend,
Six years ago, Elly Ochieng was one of our Power of Milk (POM) babies. Because of the nutritional supplements P4P provides and the training his mum received, he progressed quite well and was a healthy child when he graduated from the program.
Like all other families of POM children, Elly’s parents were given two chickens when graduating. The family has taken exceptionally good care of them and their number has increased to ten adult birds. Some are even having chicks. The Ochieng family has made enough money selling eggs that they were able to purchase four sheep. Now, Elly’s father, Eberson Onyango Otieno, says he would like to sell the sheep and purchase a cow.
Elly's father would like to sell the sheep and purchase a cow.
Elly is the fifth child of a family of seven children. With the eggs the family gets from the chickens and education that his mum received from P4P, all the children are healthy. The youngest, whose nickname is Soldier, is thriving thanks to the good care his family gives him.
Elly is now eight years old and in the first grade at Magongo Ribe Primary School. Taking care of the chickens is his responsibility, and his mother proudly says her son is very good with animals. Eberson reports that Elly is so attached to the birds and sheep that he would never want to see them suffer.
Elly feeds his chickens grain and vows to fix the mud walls of the kitchen (in background) himself so that his chickens can get back to “their bedroom.”
However, recently the family lost their outdoor kitchen to the heavy rains. This is where the birds spend the night and without a safe place for them to sleep, Elly is worried they will get sick or be attacked by an animal. He decided he would fix the mud walls of the kitchen himself so that his chickens can get back to “their bedroom.” It will take a while for Elly to reach his goal, but we’re confident he will.
Health Committee Report By Angie Smith, Health Committee Chair
The world continues to struggle with Covid-19, and rural Kenya is no exception. Food resources are already scarce, the government provides little to no assistance, and people are faced with curfews and closures of open markets.
COVID-19 has closed Kenya's open markets making food scarce
Covid-19 has forced cancellation of the weekly Power of Milk (POM) meetings at the local clinic. These important sessions are where children are weighed and measured to monitor growth, and caregivers are provided much needed health education.
The absolute worst-case scenario has already come to pass: two children in the Power of Milk program have died this year. This heartbreaking news has caused us to redouble our efforts and put even more emphasis on helping mothers get more nutrition themselves so that they can produce enough milk for their babies.
Thankfully, and despite having their own struggles during this time, our two staff members in Kopanga have been able to continue much of their valuable work. Nereah Obura, who is P4P's full time Program Coordinator, oversees all our activities in Kopanga. She has delivered 30 tower gardens to POM families. These self-contained gardens require less soil, less water and less work overall than a traditional in-ground garden and give these caregivers a way to provide nutrition for their families.
POM mother plants seedlings in her vertical garden
Charles Atha, P4P's part-time Nutrition Assistant, oversees our Power of Milk nutrition program. He has been able to visit many families in their homes, assessing needs and following up on sick children. He provides essential education to nursing mothers and encourages them not to neglect their own nutritional needs. So far, P4P has distributed 350 emergency food baskets containing corn, beans, oil and other staples to families in need. These baskets cost $10US each.
The Health Committee would like to extend our utmost gratitude to our tireless employees in Kenya and to our stateside volunteers, staff and all who support P4P’s programs. Because of all of you, we can continue to fight against malnutrition and improve the lives of this most vulnerable population.
P4P's sincere gratitude to our amazning Kenya Staff, Nereah Obura (L) and Charles Atha (R)
Art. Health. Education. Fashion. Relaxation. Food. Fun. These are just a few of the categories of over 60 SILENT auction items in this year’s Into Africa Virtual Auction.
And the LIVE auction? A riverside getaway in the shadow of Mt. Baker. A ski weekend at Schweitzer Mountain. A stunning, hand carved African chest. Pie for a year. A golf-lover’s extravaganza. And more! We have an eclectic and exciting list to choose from.
Sadly, we won’t get to mix and mingle in person this year, something we will all miss desperately, but the auction will go on virtually with a multi-day SILENT auction and a LIVESTREAMING event.
How does this work? Using your smart phone, desktop computer, laptop or tablet, you register at the sites listed below any time before October 1. Remember, there are TWO online events: the SILENT auction and the LIVE auction, and you will need to register for them separately.
The LIVE Auction On October 1 from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM, we will hold a livestreaming auction. This is where you will hear from our featured speakers, learn about our programs and have the chance to bid on exciting LIVE auction items. There are two steps you must take.
Invite your friends, lots of friends, to bid on SILENT items and join the LIVESTREAMING event. There is no charge to you or any participants and sign up is open now. Instruct your guests to follow the above steps and register. You will be given a registration code, SAVE THAT CODE so you can sign in the night of the livestreaming auction. Everyone must register to participate.
If you have questions or would like help registering, contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know this is probably new to you and we’re happy to help.
Graphic Designer Lends Her Talent to Into Africa Auction
Giving back to the community is an important part of Desautel Hege’s business philosophy. The Spokane public relations, advertising and branding agency (known as DH) encourages its employees to share their talents with nonprofits and worthy causes, both locally and internationally.
Lucky for Partnering for Progress, two of DH’s creative employees have contributed their skills to our programs. When Jasmine Albinson, who we profiled last month, learned we needed a graphic designer for Into Africa promotional material, she introduced us to Linda Jones.
Linda has worked as a designer in the Spokane area for over 15 years and has been at DH for three. She is currently their associate creative director.
“I have always found it important to give back to the community,” Linda says. “And I enjoy when I can do that through design.”
Not only does Linda work full time, she is also the mother of two little girls, is a marathoner and volunteers as a board member and advisor for the American Advertising Federation of Spokane. She is the vice president of the Spokane Swifts Running Team, volunteers with Bloomsday & Active 4 Youth and contributes design material to Spokenya.
Whew, that’s one industrious woman. When they say, “if you want something done, give it to a busy person,” we couldn’t agree more. P4P is grateful that this person has donated her talent to P4P’s Into Africa Auction.
Last month we introduced a new project, and we are happy to report that many of you responded generously and joined the Chicken Club.
Until Covid-19 hit the world, P4P was working on a plan to start a large business in the Kopanga/Giribe region of Kenya. The Economic Development Committee devoted over a year to researching possible businesses, and we consulted extensively with the local community. The enterprise that had the most potential was poultry farming, so we developed a business plan and began securing startup funds. Then Covid-19 stalled everything.
P4P’s Board of Trustees decided that this was not the time to begin an effort that would require substantial time, resources, volunteer effort and considerable groundwork. Instead, the Board chose to begin a pilot project working with existing farmers in the area and use the startup funds to help them grow their small businesses. We have partnered with Limafrica, a nonprofit that provides chicks, vaccines, feed and training to small farmers.
We do not expect a swift return on investment, but we hope more than ten families will earn enough profit to send their children to high school, feed themselves adequately and save enough to reinvest in their farms.
Would you like to help? Join the Chicken Club!
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia have granted P4P startup funds of $3,000 and challenged us to match that amount to get this pilot project started in 2020. Join the chicken club to reduce poverty thousands of miles away.
If you would like to make a gift, please click above for payment via credit card and PayPal or send your donation check to Partnering for Progress, P.O.Box 28191, Spokane, WA 99228 (and please note: Chicken Project). Asante Sana!