Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Pine Rivers Yoga Community Learns of Fiwagoh

Sue accepts cheque for $2000

When we were gathering items for the container I sent our wish list to my yoga teacher, Ruth Campbell. She forwarded this request to her mailing list of yoga students who responded with an amazing amount of items to send to Fiwagoh. Ruth attended our thank you party back in March and invited me to share our DVD presentation with the yoga community.
We did this recently at a lovely evening that Ruth and Calum hosted at their home. 40 people attended a Musical Soiree and learnt of Benson and Florence and their wonderful work. Much to our delight, this evening raised in excess of $2000! This money will go towards building the trade school. What a great effort! Well done to Ruth and her amazing band of helpers, especially Shirley and Belinda for all their wonderful catering!

Hillbrook Anglican School Embraces Fiwagoh

Hillbrook is a wonderful school on Brisbane's northside. In year 11 all students are required to select a community project and volunteer for 20 hours. In 2010 my son, Brandon chose to help out with the container project. He then shared with his friends about the wonderful work of Fiwagoh and so this year his class, with the support of their home teacher Ben Behan, organised a movie night and raised $1000. What a phenomenal effort!
This money has been sent to Benson along with other generous donations  totalling $2500 enabling the commencement of the construction of the much needed trade school building....and caused an awful lot of excitement.
By law the children have to leave the orphanage at the completion of their secondary school studies unless Fiwagoh can offer further education. The current school building has very limited space so Benson and Florence are desperate to provide a trade school in a new building so that they can continue to support the children and further prepare them for future employment. During Sue's visit the older children were pleading with her to help them find a way to stay longer!
So you can imagine our delight, when we visited Hillbrook recently to say thankyou to 12 Green only to find out that the entire year 12 group had banded together to donate a further $900 to the construction of the trade school!
Thank you so much to The Year 12 Class of 2011! You have made such a difference to this project and your contributions have given us confidence that this is going to happen!

Crops are well underway....

Thanks to everyone who has contributed towards the $27500 that we have sent to Fiwagoh for the water project! As you can see below, the garden is looking fantastic!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Water Project

The greenhouses that we have funded are now fully installed and operational. This will make a huge difference to their ability to raise seedlings successfully in the harsh conditions.

Also the watering systems have started to be installed.

Ok..... you can have a pet!

Like most parents, Benson and Florence have succumbed to the pressure to allow a couple of pets, on the condition that they are not fed anything that is fit for human consumption, for obvious reasons! The children collect weeds to feed them......

Rainwater Tank Construction

With extra support from Better Life Mission in Switzerland, a rainwater tank has been constructed to help with the supply of water for the 'house'.

Check out the construction method...

Excavation - many hands make light work!

Removing the excess soil....

Who needs an Excavator?

Bore Hole Tank Now Completed!

Thanks to everyone who contributed donations for the water project. We have been able to fund the construction of this tank near the bore hole that will make it possible to water the garden! This is a major accomplishment and a huge step towards a a sustainable food supply! Benson, Florence and Peris (the volunteer horticulturalist) are overwhelmed by our support of this project.


This story has touched my heart. It comes from Lena from Switzerland who is one of Fiwagoh's most faithful supporters and a regular visitor to the orphanage. It makes me reflect on my own children and how freely ... and spontaneously ... and infectiously they smile.

Lena and the Smilers!
"I would also like to mention that I often see children with a smile when I meet them the second time. When they come to the orphanage they are hardly able to smile because of the circumstances in their lives that have weighed them down. Elizabeth is just one example. I noticed how she was smiling this time. In October 2010 I had not received one single smile from her. She explained to me that before she had no reason to smile. Hannah Muthoni also is a wonder when it comes to smiling. She had come to the orphanage before my first visit in the beginning of 2009. Many times I had tried to get her to smile. But it was impossible. But this time she approached me with a big smile. It had taken her several years until she learned to smile. Most children are learning it within half a year."
Lena Clerk - Volunteer 

What an incredible story! Imagine if one of the key performance measures for our work was our ability to generate smiles!

First Aid and Medical Supplies Leave Brisbane

Thanks to the wonderful support of David Hobson at First Aid Kits Australia, we have been able to purchase an enormous amount of supplies (approx $6000 worth, two pallet loads) for $700 and these have now been shipped. This will make a huge difference to the little in-house clinic where the senior children treat the little ones. Claudia, the regular visiting volunteer doctor will be back in house soon, so she will get a lovely surprise when the goods arrive.
Thanks to all our generous donors who have helped make this happen and of course to David. You are an angel in disguise!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

New Website!

We are also now the proud owners of a website that will direct you straight to this blog.
The link is as follows:

New Projects

As the garden project has become a reality, we have now identified the next two priorities that we want to focus on.
One is to replace a very old and decrepit van that is used to collect food and run essential errands into town and move the children when necessary. Due to it’s many problems, each outing is marred by repeated breakdowns!  For example a two hour trip to Nairobi takes all day. If it weren't for their ingenuity in making repairs (using 'pantihose and coathangers'), there would be no vehicle!! A new or good quality second hand vehicle would change their lives!
The other project is to construct another building to house a trade school, further educating the older students for life after Fiwagoh. At the time of Sue's visit in January a lot of tools and other donated items were yet to be put into use as there is not enough space in the current buildings to enable an effective learning space/workshop to be set up. The older children were expressing their concerns to Sue during her visit as they are approaching the age where they will have to leave Fiwagoh and they desperately need skills to be able to support themselves.

News from the Garden

Two months ago today, thanks so much generosity, we were able to forward $17000 to Fiwagoh for the garden project.Today's news is that the two tanks have been completed. This means that they have a large holding tank near the borehole. This water supply will be piped to the garden using the irrigation system that has also been purchased with our funds. A second smaller tank has been built and will be plumbed into the orphanage living quarters for the house supply and will be fitted to the desalination unit that has been donated out of the blue, to be shipped from Brisbane shortly along with a water pump also donated. This will reduce operating costs significantly as they are currently paying for a water supply from the local council.
They have also taken delivery of the Poshamill that Sue organised when she was in Kenya in January and they are now milling their own flour which also saves them money.
The garden is now producing pumpkins, some soy beans, carrots and greens. This supply will improve greatly as the new water supply takes effect.
As of this week the three greenhouses funded by our donations are being installed and the installers are training the staff and children in how to best make use of these facilities. Among other things, they have plans to grow organic spirulina which is an amazingly nutritious food.
The very exciting news is that these new developments are not only helping the orphanage but also the community at large as the public are invited to come and use the poshamill, obtain water and they will also be able to share in the produce from the garden as the supply exceeds the demands of the orphanage. Benson and Florence are so excited to be able to help the community at large, as always, with their unrelenting spirit of sharing.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

First Aid Supplies Ordered

Today we ordered our first aid supplies to be shipped ASAP. What a surprise Benson and Florence will get....a whole pallet load of bandages, bandaids, alcohol swabs, disenfectant, dressings, eye pads, burn treatment, triangular bandages, a blood pressure machine and stethoscope, etc etc!! How exciting!!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Medical Supplies

We have found an amazing man who sells first aid supplies. He happens to have a grandson adopted from Africa so is particularly keen to give us a hand. He is willing to sell us approx $6000 worth of supplies for $1000. To date we have received $100 towards this target. If we can fund the remainder these supplies will be able to be sent with the desalination plant. If you can help please refer to the 'Donate' tab.

Tank and Green House a Reality

Great news folks. Some generous donations have been received and we look set to be able to fund the tank and two green houses. We have also been generously given a desalination plant that will be able to turn the bore water into a 'house' supply for the orphanage. This is amazing news as Benson is currently paying for the water used for drinking etc so this will save a lot of money!
The desalination plant will be shipped from here along with a donated pump. There are a few other details to finalise, but this dream is very much becoming a reality.
A big thank you to all who've helped!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Thank you

Thanks again to everyone who came to our thank you party tonight. It was just lovely to see everyone there. Special thanks to all those who helped on the night especially for all the contributions of food. Also a special footnote....Sue was meant to pass on greetings from Benson tonight and it slipped her mind. Benson was praying for a successful evening for us. I think his prayers were answered yet again!

Friday, 25 March 2011

We're official!!

Yesterday was an exciting day as we got the official notification that Fiwagoh Mission Orphanage is now a registered charity in Queensland. This means that we have been able to open a bank account and can issue receipts and make payments to Fiwagoh, all of which will be audited annually. We plan to support the orphanage by making financial contributions to help with important projects. The first priority is to help them establish a watering system for their garden. By getting water from their bore onto the garden they will be well on their way to being self sufficient with regards to food. This is so exciting as it will alleviate some of the pressure on their budget allowing for money to be spent on other things.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Thank you party and slideshow

I am really excited as this Sunday we are having our slide show party. We have 80+ guests attending. I'm looking forward to everyone hearing about the wonderful work of Benson and Florence.