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We have had a very busy summer of fundraising with a wine and cheese tasting event at Bluebell Vineyard in mid Sussex and a stall at the village Street Fair in West Hoathly. Around 55 people came to the Vineyard on a very warm Sunday afternoon in early July to taste their wonderful sparkling wines paired with cheeses from High Weald Dairy. This was followed by a ploughman’s lunch and tour of the vineyard. Thanks to the generosity of the vineyard, the dairy, Beales Farm Charcuterie, Ouse Valley Chutneys and our key sponsors RH & RW Clutton, we had almost no overheads and raised the amazing sum of £1,400 which will go a long way in Loiyangalani. Another warm sunny afternoon for the West Hoathly Street Fair saw us serving PIMS to visitors and again a wonderful result with £400 raised from that activity. This is all good news as we currently have the challenge of a weak pound against the Kenyan shilling, which means our money doesn’t go quite as far as previously.
Over in Kenya the good news is that the university lecturer strikes finally came to an end in mid May, and the students that are being sponsored through higher education were able to return to their studies. We pray that there won’t be a repeat of this strike, which was highly disruptive.
It is anticipated that the Lake Turkana Wind Power project will start generating electricity towards the end of September - over a year later than planned. The next milestone will be when we hear when Loiyangalani, 40km away, might be connected to the grid.
Loiyangalani recently reached the UK news, with a piece in the Daily Telegraph and a photograph of the Cultural Festival which takes place annually and draws visitors from far and wide, as it really is the cradle of human civilization. Here is a link to the festival website Lake Turkana Cultural Festival
Now that we are into September, the children are returning to school for the final term of their year. Some former secondary school students are also starting vocational courses - Kelvin is going to train to be an electrician and Peter and Daniel are going to teacher training college.
We received a desperate request last term for pants and sanitary towels for the older girls at the primary school. The towels had been provided by Unicef but there had been a long interruption in supply. These are things we take for granted in the developed world and yet look at the delight on the faces of these children to receive something so basic but vital.
As we approach the end of the year we will be looking for new sponsors for children to start secondary school in January. Please do ask around your friends and families and encourage them to approach us to sponsor a child. If everyone could find one additional sponsor that would be a huge help.
Finally please look out for our Christmas appeal later in the year. Two years ago we did a My Donate appeal to raise £2,000 to cover the cost of the breakfast for all the children at Loiyangalani Primary school for a year and plan to do the same again. It will be launched in late November.
Our huge thanks as always for all your support - we couldn’t do any of this without you, and the families in Loiyangalani that we support through educating their children are extremely grateful.