Tag Archives: gifts

Catching Up – Kenya 2017 (Part 1)

Hi All,

Amy and I arrived in Kenya early on Saturday morning after a pretty speedy set of flights from London to Mombasa.

When we arrive in Mtwapa our first job is always to have a catch up with Rieder (Milele’s sponsorship coordinator). We obviously try our best to keep in touch when in England via WhatApp, email and phone calls but nothing is quite as good as a chat over a cup of tea for really understanding what is going on.

Our next (and very fun) job is to visit some of the children at home and distribute the packages and letters sponsors had sent. Throughout the course of the day we managed to see Amina, Issac, Riziki, Saidi, Steven, Edward, Emmanuel and Josephine. Phew!

Amina and her family are doing well, when we got to their home her family were busy preparing and cooking prices of fish to be sold that morning. Amina herself seemed to be very happy out playing with her younger siblings and cousins and she is (as always) doing very well in school.

Amina receiving a gift from her sponsor – Thank-you Chloe!

We also visited Isaac and his family. He is growing by the day and has thoroughly enjoyed his first year at Mtwapa Elite. He will be graduating the kindergarten this year and we are all absolutely thrilled with him. His success is not least attributable to his incredible mother, who takes him to school every day, communicates really well with the teachers and supports him in learning in every way. She manages to shower both her children with love and unconditional support as well as working incredibly hard to make money from her three home-grown businesses! While visiting Isaac we gave out some little dinosaur toys and Isaac loved playing with them with his little brother Anthony. Our co-ordinator Rieder saw a moment to get an insight into their minds and started playing with them, asking Isaac to choose a character for each member of his family. He loved the game, choosing dinosaurs for himself and Anthony and then a figure of some palm trees to represent his mother. When Rieder asked him why the the palm trees, he was quick to reply “because they’re beautiful!”

Isaac (in blue) and little brother Anthony
Isaac (in blue) and little brother Anthony

The next family we visited was Riziki. When Riziki started in KG2 last year the teachers were unsure if she would be able to progress into KG3 as, given the fact that she had never before attended school, her grasp of written and spoken English was understandably poor. One of her teachers offered to provide some extra tuition and with this help she was not only able to progress into KG3 but she is now, quite literally, top of the class! We also gave Riziki a letter and gift from one of her new sponsors (Paula, Lucas and Imi). The parcel was filled with lovely, thoughtful things which Riziki loved, Amy spent some time showing Riziki what the new and exciting things were but being a clever little girl Riziki needed very little help working everything out!

Riziki looking very excited after receiving her parcel.

After seeing Riziki’s family, we took a short walk across to Saidi’s place. He is growing taller by the minute it seems and is doing really well at school. He has now settled into life in Standard 1 at Mtwapa Elite after graduating kindergarten last year. When giving him his letter and gifts from his sponsors, we were really impressed by how much his reading has come along – he read the letter aloud to us confidently (although he needed a bit of help with the word ‘Dorchester’!) Thanks to Janet, Tim and Jason for their lovely gift and letter.

Saidi with his gift from his sponsors
Saidi with his gift from his sponsors

Next on the list was Steven, who lives next door to Saidi. Still the best of friends, they graduated together into Standard 1 this year. Steven has also settled in well and his teacher is pleased with how he is doing in school. He loved his pen-torch and postcards from his sponsor Angela, it was a really nice way of showing Steven where she comes from – although Rieder did clarify that Angela didn’t live in the castle herself!

Steven with his gift from his sponsor
Steven with his gift from his sponsor

Next was Edward’s family. He is cheeky and lively as ever! Edward is wonderfully full of energy – everything is so exciting to him. This has been slightly challenging in the classroom environment in recent years. However, since moving up into the next class he appears to have managed to settle down a little and contain himself. His mum is very involved with his learning and education, always communicating with his teachers about his progress. She was proud to show us his school record file and tell us how well he is doing now he is a ‘big boy’ in Standard 4. Edward was keen to tell us about how he learned about money in maths – demonstrating his skill in calculating change! His twin baby siblings, Edith and Elliot, are due to start kindergarten themselves in January – regular readers will remember them coming along and be astonished to hear how big they are now!

Within 10 minutes of entering the house, Edward was modelling Amy's sunglasses!
Within 10 minutes of entering the house, Edward was modelling Amy’s sunglasses!

From Edward we went to see Emmanuel. Emmanuel was one of our first sponsored children and I think many of us still see him as that slightly nervous, giggly six-year old. No more. Now Emmanuel is a polite young man of sixteen and is preparing to sit his final primary examinations, the KCPEs, in just a few short weeks. We can’t overstate how proud we are of Emmanuel – he is so studious and dedicated to his work but still finds time to care for the younger children in the children’s home. Emmanuel has a high target for the KCPEs and judging by his recent performance it is not unlikely that he could make it. We wish him all the luck in the world. He is excited to finish his exams and have some well deserved time off in December when he can visit his family in Takaungu. We have no doubt he will be demonstrating his newly acquired football skills – thanks to his gift from sponsor David.

Emmanuel with his gift and letters from his sponsors
Emmanuel with his gift and letters from his sponsors

Last but by no means least was Josephine, who welcomed us to her beautiful new home which she shares with her two cousins. She is currently halfway through a course at Mombasa College in Secretarial Studies and is developing her skills in filing, computers and administration. Josephine’s home looks exactly as you would imagine for a chic young adult – modern patterned rug and reality TV on in the background! Josephine has always been a fashionista and enjoyed posing for her photo with her new necklace from sponsor Michelle. When we asked her what her expression was, she replied, ‘It’s Style’.

Style!
Style!

 

Josephine - I can't keep a straight face!
Josephine – I can’t keep a straight face!

Save a Life this Christmas

Great news!

The Milele Christmas Gifts are now available! They make a perfect gift for ‘hard-to-buy-for’ people this year! Donate to Milele this christmas and we will buy a mosquito net (£5) or a food parcel (£10) for a family in Kenya. In return you will get a gift certificate to pass on to someone in this country explaining why the gift is so important  – the ideal substitute for a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine.

Mosquito Nets (£5)

With malaria one of the biggest killers of children under 5 in this area, nets keep little ones safe during their first few years of life. They are specially treated to provide maximum protection.

6 month old twins making good use of your mosquito net donations last year
6 month old twins making good use of your mosquito net donations last year

Food Parcels (£10)

No family should be hungry this Christmas. Food parcels provide healthy and tasty sustenance to families who are malnourished and struggling for food.

Food parcels are a great way to help families who are hungry this christmas
Food parcels are a great way to help families who are hungry this christmas

To Order:

To order a net or a food parcel drop me an email to amy@milele.org.uk

Lets make a real difference

Last year together we managed to give Mosquito nets and food parcels to 38 families. After visiting the homes of these families and seeing the incredible difference they make, I can truly tell you there really is no better way to spend your money this year. One mother told me she had been really scared of Malaria after the long rainy season, but since receiving the net, not one of her children has contracted Malaria. This year we can do even better – we can reach even more children and families and save more lives.

Thank-you

Milele Christmas Gifts

Milele Christmas Gifts

Donate to Milele this christmas and we will spend your donation on crucial, life-saving christmas gifts such as mosquito nets or food parcels. In return you will recieve a gift certificate explaining exactly how and why your gift was so important. These are perfect stocking fillers for those ‘hard to buy for’ families and will make christmas all the more special knowing you have helped a child this year.

To get involved in Milele Christmas Gifts this year simply send us an email or give me a call on 07950329398. Donations can be made of any sum (increments of £5 only please) and 100% of your donation will be spent on the children who need it most! Give us a call or drop us a line today to get yours started.

Mosquito Nets:
£5 for one net
With malaria being one of the biggest killers of children under 5 in Kenya they are a way to keep little ones safe during their first few years of life. They are specially treated to provide the most protection and last around 15 years so can be re-used by the extended family.

Food Parcels:
£5 for one weeks worth of food
Food parcels will provide basic, healthy and tasty sustinance to families who are struggling for food this christmas. They consist of basic staples such as flour, maize, rice and beans as well as vegetables and some meat, chicken and/or fish, so they will provide a healthy diet for an average sized family.

Gifts for the boys!

Kaingu reading his letter from Uta; one of his sponsors
Kaingu reading his letter from Uta; one of his sponsors

The four sponsored boys Charo, Safari, Kaingu and Emmanuel received their letters and presents from their sponsors yesterday. Rarely has there ever been a more excited and happy group of children! They felt truly special and the attention was all on them for the first time ever!

We gave each boy a bag with all their presents and letters inside it, and they meandered calmly to the door to open them all up…then as soon as they thought they were out of sight ran and jumped all the way to the table!

Each of them was thrilled and opened their presents in their own way; Charo smiling to himself and carefully examining each item individually. Taking in every detail of the letter slowly; taking the lids off each and every pen to get a better look at them!

Safari ripped open the bag, grinning excitedly then quickly got everything out and spread it all out to see, picking up first one thing then the next; then sitting down to read his letters carefully.

Safari reading his letter from the PreSchool Playstation; one of his sponsors
Safari reading his letter from the PreSchool Playstation; one of his sponsors

Kaingu sat quietly on the chair to open his package, smiling secretly to himself, his face splitting into the occasional grin; then becoming super-cool again as soon he caught sight of you looking!

Charo proudly showing us all his presents
Charo proudly showing us all his presents

Emmanuel opened his blackboard first and just played with that, forgetting there was anything else! Then going back to the bag as if remembering that there was more, taking out another thing and once again getting carried away playing with that!!

By the time they had all opened their presents and read their letters they were proud as punch to have all these people wanting to sponsor them… I got the impression Charo couldn’t quite believe it!!!! We took lots of photos to try to capture the moments for you, and we really hope you enjoy them.

Once again thank-you so, so much to everyone who sent  letters or presents to the boys. It was so lovely to be able to show them how much other people care about them; an experience they have not been very familiar with so far in their lives.

Emmanuel practising his writing skills on his new blackboard!
Emmanuel practising his writing skills on his new blackboard!

I am sure your replies will be really nice, we are hoping to help them write all their letters sometime next week so we can bring them all back to you.