Dear Madam or Sir, dear friends and sponsors of Kids of Maseno e.V.,
we look back on the year 2015 with joy because we are ever closer to fully establish and complete the children’s home in Maseno. Today, we would like to inform you what else our association achieved this year in close cooperation with our partners in Kenya.
Public relations: Kenya – Germany
Sensitizing families, encouraging communication
This year again, Austine Otieno and his team in Kenya campaigned to raise awareness and sensitize the public for Deafness in Kenya. “We often go to churches and markets to disseminate information about Deafness”, Austine told us. Austine and his team inform the public about the causes for Deafness and demonstrate how Deaf and Deafblind people can be fully integrated into society. “Especially learning sign language diminishes communication barriers”, Austine emphasized. Unfortunately, last year the team in Kenya was not able to offer sign language courses on a regular basis. This was especially due to the high costs for renting a classroom. However, Austine was already able to solve this problem for next year: Starting in January, courses will be offered in the facilities of the Church for the Deaf.
Sport connects people
Last year, Austine formed a soccer team with Deaf students from Maseno. It was one of his goals to sensitize the general public about Deafness and to also make Deaf children more “visible” through these sporting events. What is more, Austine wanted the children to feel more integrated into society through their participation in soccer games.
As a result, there are now 22 players on the school’s soccer team who regularly compete with teams from neighbouring schools. Because of this great success, Austine now plans further sport activities – especially for the Deaf girls at the school.
Germany: Business as usual
This year, we were all quite busy with our professional and family lives. That is why we were not able to participate at the “Sonnenmarkt” in Mainz as we did in 2014. However, we all kept on pursuing our aim of sending the “Kids of Maseno” to school. We continue to inform our sponsors through our website and other reports (e.g. we contributed to the newsletter of our partner ELAN e.V.), and we will continue this work next year.
The children’s home
After some of the teaching materials were destroyed in a fire last year, we launched a campaign to replace the lost materials. It is due to your numerous donations that all materials could be replaced! We would like to thank you very much for your contributions!
There are further good news on financial matters: The team in Kenya is now able to pay some of the running costs by breeding and selling rabbits, chicken and furniture from their own carpentry. We strongly believe this is a great achievement! Again, we would like to note: This was only made possible by your support!
What is more, our building project advanced. Works on the first dormitory are completed, only the kitchen remains as a temporary solution. Thus, the first children were already able to move in and they made themselves comfortable there. Right now, ten children are living there. But there are many more children who would like to move in! For now, they are on a waiting list and they hope that construction of the second house will soon continue. We do everything we can, so that other children will be able to move in as soon as possible. Once again, we rely on your help and contributions!
Sponsorships in 2015
Sponsorships are one of the most important pillars of our work. Still, many children depend on your support. Other projects, like the breeding of chicken and rabbits, only help to cover part of the running costs. That is why we hope that you will stay committed and continue your sponsorships and tell your friends and colleagues about Kids of Maseno!
Indeed, we have quite specific requirements for our interns. That is why it is sometimes hard to find qualified interns for our project. We expect our interns to have:
- intercultural competence
- some knowledge of sign language (German or English/Kenyan)
- experience in working with children or youth with disabilitiesAgain, we would like encourage you: If you know anybody who fits this profile and who might be interested, please let us know! There are many good reasons to apply as an intern: A stay abroad in a beautiful country, working in close cooperation with teachers and children and improving your language skills. What is more, the school has a new headteacher and there will be more options for co-operations!
Outlook on 2016
The running costs of the children’s home but also the sponsorships are funded by our sponsors, members of our association and donations from private persons but also through the website betterplace.org.
Next year, we want to launch another big project: We would like to start the construction of the second building of the children’s home. In the last five years, you have shown that we can reach this goal! That is why we would like to encourage you to support us again: Tell your friends, colleagues and families about our project.
Kids of Maseno celebrates its fifth anniversary!
It only seems like yesterday: We were a group of highly-motivated students when we decided to support the “Kids of Maseno” five years ago. Since then, we grew older, started families and our professional lives. Even if it is sometimes challenging for some of us to find more time: We are fully committed to the Kids of Maseno! And we noticed once more how important this commitment is when Austine Otieno sent us this E-Mail:
„Greetings from Kenya. We hope that this report finds you all in good health. I have taken this golden opportunity to thank our main partner of Kids of Maseno e.V. for the good cooperation, which we have enjoyed since the inception of Kids of Maseno, Kenya. Without working with us we would not have reached this stage. Thank you, “Kids of Maseno” members, officers, as well as friends, who have taken some of their busy time to be a part of us. Also thanks to Kids of Maseno in Kenya for the cooperation on all the ways as we are struggling to achieve our goals in the activities of the project.“
We would also like to thank all our members and friends in Kenya for the good cooperation and we also look forward to our cooperation in future!”
Your team of Kids of Maseno
Text: Julia Herz-el Hanbli
Pictures: Kids of Maseno Kenya