Buildings and resources
Fresh water, a training center and basic personal hygiene.
Access to water storage, dedicated training centre and new toilets, these are a few of the projects funded by SOSK.
Amongst many needs, fresh water, a training centre and basic personal hygiene were identified as fundamental projects that once achieved would allow other benefits to flourish.
Fresh water is scarce in the slums. It is usually collected during a downpour. One of the teachers drops everything, races out and grabs a container, gives it a quick rinse then places it strategically under the heaviest waterfall! No rain, no water.
Around $1,500 was spent to purchase a 10,000L tank, the guttering, pipework and concrete needed for installation. For the children and staff, to have water to drink, to wash hands, to cook and to bathe without restriction has been an enormous godsend. It was also extremely alluring for the other 15,000 or so slum inhabitants. That led to the construction of a sturdy, secure wall around the compound.
When water is plentiful, the excess is sold creating a source of income for the school.
Taken for granted in western civilisations, the toilets were crude stinking pits that overflowed when it rained. In 2015 a septic system and toilet block were installed. The children (and adults) are very proud of their sparkling, ceramic loos.
Working alongside Minalyn in her Life Beads Kenya (LBK) projects, SOSK helps to provide equipment and raw materials used to teach destitute women employable skills. The products made, such as baskets, uniforms, jewellery, shawls, beaded bags and wooden items are sold with the income returned as a weekly wage.
Most of the women being either destitute, single mothers or HIV positive, it is the first time in their lives that they have been able to support themselves. The craft-making skills, business and retail knowledge are giving them the opportunity of financial independence. Some have found secure jobs. Others have chosen micro-finance. What began as a jewellery venture has become a multifaceted industry. The program has been such a success that it has literally burst out of the veranda of Minalyn’s house. From 10 women employed a few years ago, Minalyn’s tiny space somehow squeezes in around 30 now!
Plans were made to create a training centre. Together, SOSK and LBK searched for a suitable location upon which to expand. After almost 3 years of frustrating and painfully slow dealings with the local authorities, we purchased land and obtained the building permits to construct a training centre. The design plans are exciting and reflect our dream of providing spiritual shelter and hope to many more in need. The workshop will cater for the various enterprises, all of which require different spaces. A classroom, storerooms, shop, kitchen and shamba (market garden). In September 2014 the first clod was turned in the laying of the foundations.