Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Sorry once again that we are not keeping up with this blog and updates; lately we have been busy running around trying to get everything together, and on top of that we have both been sick off and on for the last few weeks but now it seems we are getting better and ready to work harder. Things have been going great here with all of the projects and we can't thank you all enough who have supported Uweza for making it all happen.

With Tumaini, our partner health project, we have been busy with patients in and out of the hospitals as well as adding more HIV+ patients to our home visit initiative. Now, there are over 200 families in Kibera who have joined the home visit program, where we visit them and ensure they are taking the proper medication and diet, as well as provide company and an outlet for discussing their issues. We are working on creating a database and profile of all these families in the near future.

Furthermore, the girl named Jenny that we talked about in our last blog entry who we met at the hospital and was abandoned has been returned home by her grandmother and we recently visited her to check on her and she has improved tremendously. Before, she could not sit up even, and when we found her at her home on Sunday she was sitting up outside and looking much healthier. She has been persistently requesting that we take her to school but she is not yet healthy enough to go. In the meantime, we brought her some gifts including a cd player and drawing materials to keep herself occupied in the house.

This week we will be having a Tumaini Outreach meeting to discuss plans for implementing a Young Girls' Health Initiative, where girls get together to discuss vital health matters with proper counselors and doctors, as well as a Health Exchange Program, where HIV+ patients travel to other support groups in different areas and exchange ideas and discuss health matters. All of this could not happen if it wasn't for all of you helping to support these initiatives.

In our Soccer League, we have recently added two more Kibera teams, making our Kibera league up to five teams now (2 Boys Under 12 teams, 2 Boys Under 14 Teams, and 1 Boys Under 18 Team). Furthermore, we are returning to Malaba in Western Kenya in the next two weeks now that we are better and healthy to work on improving the 2 teams we started in June of this year and to equip them with soccer balls and all the necessary equipment. Next week, the boys on the 5 Kibera teams will be entering a Kibera-wide soccer tournament, so we are hoping for their success! The three teams attached to the Tunza Children's Center have received their uniforms and can now wear them proudly, and in the future the other 4 teams will also receive uniforms. Here are photos of the Tunza boys and their uniforms, for full team profiles visit uweza.org/soccer:
Tunza F.C. Boys Under 12 Team

Tunza F.C. Boys Under 14 Team

Tunza F.C. Boys Under 18 Team


As for Jamii Children's School, we have recently started rebuilding the kitchen to make it more efficient as well as healthy for the children and cooks. We added an underground pipe that connects the water tank to a brand new sink in the kitchen, so the workers no longer need to drag large amounts of water to cook and clean across the school. Additionally, we are building a stove with two huge pots and two chimneys and it is almost finished. Before, the kitchen staff had to cook one thing at a time and it would take all day to cook one meal for the children. This also wasted more resources because it took double the amount of firewood, and in the last year the price of firewood has doubled -- so the new stove will save the school a lot of money in the future. Furthermore, the smoke from the cooking would just circulate inside the kitchen and constantly be inhaled in large amounts by the staff and the children; now, the smoke billows out to the air through the chimneys, making the kitchen much more healthy. In addition to the kitchen, the school also received new blackboards, as they were stolen during the election, and thanks to those who donated for our 2008 Backpack Fundraiser, all the children received new backpacks and school supplies. Learning has now continued at Jamii Children's School. As for the future, we are arranging to take the children on some educational trips in the near future and will keep you posted.

More pictures are coming soon, I just figured out how to add them, so for the next entry we will have pictures, and news on Tunza Children's Center and the construction and renovation we have been doing, as well as our plans for more relief efforts in the refugee camps. Thanks so much for your continued support!

-Meghann
Uweza Aid Foundation

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