Tag Archives: Isaac

Isaac’s first term at Mtwapa Elite

This has been a big year for our youngest sponsored child, Isaac, as he has started at BIG SCHOOL!

Isaac was previously attending Victory Academy, a small local kindergarten run by a wonderful woman named Madam Susan. Madam Susan runs the kindergarten (for around 80 children from 18months to 5yrs) out of her home and cares for all the children as her own. Isaac has now graduated from Victory Academy and is ready to start big school for the first time!

To read more about Isaac or Victory Academy check out our other blog posts:

Blog Post – Isaac

Blog Post – Local Schools

Victory Academy Classroom - I love the hand stitched posters!
Victory Academy Classroom – I love the hand stitched posters!

Isaac was very excited when he moved this January into the Kindergarten class at Mtwapa Elite! He has his posh new school uniform and is feeling pretty smart!

Check out my smart new uniform!
Check out my smart new uniform!

Isaac is joining Kindergarten 2 at Mtwapa Elite, which is an excellent primary school, currently leading the way in the examination results for the whole of Kilifi County. He will be among family, since 8 of our milele sponsored children already attend this school.

To find out more about Mtwapa Elite, check out our previous blog post:

Blog Post – Mtwapa Elite

Isaac is settling in really well and we are starting some extra tuition for him with his kindergarten teacher to help him catch up with his reading skills. He has already made lots of friends and is in the same class as Riziki, another of our Milele sponsored children. Riziki and Isaac are neighbours and are already firm friends!

We look forward to hearing more about how he is getting on at big boys school – stay tuned!

Mtwapa Elite Academy - Isaac's new school
Mtwapa Elite Academy – Isaac’s new school

 

Kindergarten corridor at Mtwapa Elite - I especially like all the brightly coloured blocks! Very friendly!
Kindergarten corridor at Mtwapa Elite – I especially like all the brightly coloured blocks. Very friendly!
Kindergarten classroom at Mtwapa Elite
Kindergarten classroom at Mtwapa Elite

 

Milele Business Grant Update

Last year I started writing a series of articles about businesses which were being setup in Mtwapa with help from Milele business grants. Having arrived back in Kenya a couple of weeks ago we went around to find out how things had been going.

The biggest success story has to be Fauzia (Mother to Ummy) who has been running her cookery business for the entire year and is still going really strong. She continues to cook three times a day and has been able to support her family with the profit she has been making. Fauzia is the perfect example of how a business grant can work, providing a small amount of money upfront enabled her to purchase the basics she needed to get started and then her skills and passion made it work!

Fauzia Cooking
Fauzia Cooking

Khadija (Mother to Saidi) got off to a great start and had been running a profitable charcoal business via a local shop for over a year. Unfortunately she started to pay into a ill-fated saving scheme which collapsed just before her pay out was due, this put her into a really difficult situation which meant she was unable to continue operating. We have spent some time talking to her about what happened, whilst we are here we will be working with her to improve her financial planning and try to find an alternative business for her to run in the near future.

Mama Isaac with her children and businesses
Mama Isaac with her children and businesses

The final story I have to tell is about Isaac’s Mother; we originally helped her to setup a cafe business which was going well until her landlord decided to redevelop the plot which she was using. This was a big set back and we were really disappointed to see all her hard work go to waste, but we needn’t have worried. Mama Isaac regrouped and adapted, she took the profits from her cafe and bought the ingredients needed to make soap and bleach which she now sells around Mtwapa. Building on this success, she has started to make pillows with recycled materials and foraged cotton pods which she plans to start selling (for a tidy profit) in the near future. Not content with 2 business plans, she also collects any small glass bottles she finds on her travels which she cleans (with her bleach) and sells. I have honestly not met a more dedicated business woman in Mtwapa and it just goes to show that if you have the will to succeed and a positive attitude there can be opportunities everywhere!

Richard

Milele Business Grants – Food

Hi All,

In this episode of the Milele Business Grants series we are going to focus in on a few of the food businesses which have been setup or expanded with the help of a business grant.

The takeaway food industry in Mtwapa is really vibrant, if you walk down almost any street you will find someone selling some kind of food. Whether it’s sweet kiamati in the morning, chipati and beans at lunch time or fried pili-pili fish (straight from the fishing boats) in the evening; there’s always something interesting.

Local Fried Fish
Local Fried Fish

The popularity of takeaway food makes it a really good option for those who have received a business grant. With a small investment to buy equipment and ingredients, the family can use their existing skills to cook up some tasty treats and be making money by the end of the day. Best of all, if there’s any unsold stock the family can eat it for dinner so it’s rare that any food gets wasted.

Fauzia, the mother of Ummy, who is sponsored on the Milele programme, received a business grant to set up a food business and is making a huge success of it.  I’d like to take you through a typical day so you can get an idea of just how hard she works!

Fauzia begins her day at around 5:00 am when she starts cooking so she can catch the early breakfast trade. She makes a few different dishes at breakfast time but by far the most popular is Mahamri; which is a triangular shaped savoury donut that I particularly like to dip in sweet tea! She cooks hundreds of these every morning and sells them directly to her customers as they walk by the stall.

At around 10:00 am she packs up her breakfast stall and makes her way to the local fish market where she buys several kilos of small fish. She cooks the fish in a large curved pan filled with bubbling oil, by the time the fish come out they are golden and crispy, the perfect addition to rice or ugali. After a few hours cooking fish, Fauzia cleans up and starts preparing for dinner.

In the evening, Fauzia mainly cooks a type of spiced potatoes which are usually accompanied by greens and perhaps some meat or fish. After a few more hours of cooking and selling Fauzia is done for the day, all that is left to do is pop to the market to buy the ingredients for tomorrow… and cook dinner for her family!

Fauzia Cooking
Fauzia – Cooking at Her Stall

Fauzia is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, not only does she take every possible opportunity to make the money she needs to support her family, but she does it 7 days a week. Fauzia is making a good living for her self and her family and they are now able to achieve things which were not previously possible.

What’s amazing is that Fauzia is not alone in working this hard, many of the other business grant beneficiaries work just as hard and are becoming just as successful!

Thanks for reading,

Richard

Isaac – Our youngest sponsored child

Hello All,

I’d like to introduce you all to our youngest sponsored child Isaac.

DSCF8415

We met Isaac 2 years ago when Isaac’s family received a donated food parcel. Isaac is a happy, confident and active little boy, who is very friendly and loves going to school & playing with the neighbour children.

Issac's Home
Issac’s Home

Isaac lives with his younger brother Anthony and  incredibly hard working mother. They all stay in a small rented room which is quite close to Victory Academy where Isaac and Anthony both attend school.

Every time we have met Isaac’s mother she has been working hard; either selling nuts, washing clothes or other casual labour. These jobs are often pay very little so Rieder is working with Isaac’s mother to see if Milele can help her to start a more profitable business. I am sure that with her hard work she will make the business a huge success.

Issac after swimming
Issac after swimming

For thew time being, Isaac will continue to attend Victory Academy as it is very close to his home and he is receiving a good level of education. When he reaches Standard 1 he will move to Mtwapa Elite Academy to join the other primary aged children sponsored by Milele.