Gives love, hope and a future

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Meet the Family

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Welcome to Our World

Welcome to Our World

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Help us grow

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Our future

Our future

Projects to keep our family going
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Now 12 more girls can train

Yesterday John and I delivered 12 more sewing machines to Barking to be wrapped and packed by the staff of Amba Forwarding http://ambaforwarding.com. Another huge thank you to Kris Shah who helps us when ever he can.  These machines are headed for Kisumu , Kenya to the Godsent Sewing Academy.

This project is based on the model from TFRS (Tools for Self Reliance) http://tfsr.org This marvellous charity collects, refurbishes tools and sends them in kits to Africa. They currently send to 6 countries and although Kenya is not one of those 6, the staff have helped us provide sewing machines and haberdashery boxes to our new sewing academy in Kisumu.

The trainees regardless of what skill they are learning also have training in, life skills, nutrition, HIV/aid prevention and business management. Our girls complete a certificated course and then get to keep the machine they have been using. They can then start their own small enterprise, feed their family and educate their siblings or children. This is of course life changing.

TFSR have a small staff and a huge band of volunteers who beaver away to recycle and upgrade tools for Africa, we couldn’t do this without you  so, “Thank You”, to all.

We have to raise funds to send these machines so if you would like to know more about how you can help contact us through this website or info@phoebesfamily.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Sandra and Jo see the machines safely packed ready to start the journey

A Goal is a Dream taken Seriously

On the 18th of September the Godsent Sewing Academy, Kisumu Kenya, opened its doors for registration of the first of our sewing and tailoring students.

This is a project that Louise Berrington and I stumbled on when we visited  Kenya last year. Two things happened, we realised a sewing academy would help the girls and women to be more independent and self sufficient and secondly we realised that there were thousands of women and girls with no access to sanitary wear.

When we were visiting projects we came across a young lady sewing and from that meeting an Academy was born. Little did we know that this chance meeting would start the exciting journey down the road to our sewing Academy.

The young women we met in 2016

 

On our return I met with the wonderful people of Tools For Self-Reliance in Hampshire UK. http://www.tfsr.org and they agreed to give us 12 hand sewing machines. We just needed the money to ship them and of course it came through a very generous person who lives near me.

Kris Shah from Ambaforwarding info@ambaforwarding.com then arranged the transport from UK to Kisumu , Kenya. Not an easy thing to do, but Kris made it happen.

Mama Phoebe and her Great Lakes team have worked very hard setting up the academy. We also have to give thanks to Locks Heath Rotary Club and Boscombe and Southbourne Rotary Club for their financial support, we couldn’t have done it with out you.

One of the things Louise and I worked really hard on was finding a way to provide sanitary wear to these girls and women to afford them protection and dignity. We looked at lots of schemes and ideas and then we realised if people could sew then they could make sanitary wear for the girls and women of Kenya.

We will be telling you more about the “For Me”, campaign it will have its own page and we will be giving you lots of updates from now until we visit in February 2018.

The Academy will also have its own page and again we will be reporting back and telling you how it is all going.

Right now I want to introduce you to two of our students. Please meet Matilda. Matilda is 17 and she had to give up school because the loss of her father meant there was no money for school fees. She and her family face many hardships, her Mother works but can only pay the rent and there is often no money for food. This course will help all the family as Matilda has a chance to start a small business or get a paid job and pay for her siblings to be educated. Her Mother will also be able to help Matilda and who knows one of her sisters might learn to sew as well.

Jennifer is 19 and very bright.  When her Father died she too had to leave school. Her Mother is a member of the Great Lake Foundation and we are so happy to have Jennifer training with us to improve the life of her family.

These girls will learn many sewing and tailoring skills and they will also study business management, health and hygiene and nutrition. We will encourage them tolearn as many crafts as possible so they can make many things to sell.

This academy really can change peoples lives and bring about independence for these families, something we feel very strongly about. We will be introducing you to the students and the staff so watch this space. We will also be asking if you want to contribute to the next shipment of machines.

Jennifer smiles at the camera she is really happy to be in our academy

Matilda is learning how to thread the machine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What came first the Chickens or the Eggs?

Well in the case of the Phoebe’s Family, “Chicken for a Child Campaign”, it was definitely the chickens. Just to remind you we sold beautiful gift cards designed by Penny Timmis. Each card represented a chicken in the new chicken houses in Bondo built by Just one Africa. We ran our campaign from just before Christmas 2016 to Easter 2017. These cards were (and still are the perfect gift). Now look what happened.

These eggs will change lives

These Chickens are kept in amazing conditions they roam in large pens during the day and go in at night

Lots of big chickens

Sustainability in action breeding our own chickens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our sincere thanks to everyone who sold our cards and even more important are the people who bought these cards. This project is such a success and the women involved are learning about animal husbandry across a wide range of topics. This in turn will make them feel proud and then it gets better because the money raised will pay for the children to attend school.

Watch out for more posts as we have lots of exciting news.

There is always GOOD News some where in Phoebe’s Family

A quick rest whilst the records are updated

Kenya is a beautiful country with wonderful people but like all countries there will be times when there are problems and August 2017 has been one of these times. General elections are so emotive and surrounded by so much fear, lets hope the worst has gone and that there are great things to come.

One of these great things was a Free Medical Camp , organised through a long standing friend of Phoebe. He came over with seven people from Colorado U.S.A and treated 3,900 people in two site.

These amazing people started in Kisumu and were there for 2 days. The worked around the clock, helping everyone they could.

The medical services have been out of action except for extreme emergencies for over three months. Most of the Doctors and nurses appear to be striking. I am sure there are some who are not but this puts the whole community under enormous pressure and unnecessary pain.

The team  moved on to Bondo where they treated many members of the Great Lake Foundation, a network set up by Phoebe and her colleagues to motivate and initiate small community businesses throughout a huge area of Kisumu, Bondo and Siaya. Once again this team of wonderful medics worked tirelessly and treated the elderly, children and widows of the Bondo area.

There may be bad things happening but when you look there are ALWAYS ordinary people doing Extra-Ordinary things in this world.

A huge thank you to the, “Magnificent Seven”, from Colorado USA.

“Rotary and Peace the World Over”

This is the toast we finish our meetings with at Locks Heath Rotary, and many other Rotary groups and meetings all over the world will also toast to this. But today we will be toasting to peace and order in the beautiful country of Kenya, where they are holding their General Elections.

These beautiful girls lost their parents in a Kenyan Election massacre don’t let this happen again

Politicians all over the world are supposed to be working for the people of their countries but sometimes this is not so. Democratic elections should be about freedom to choose, but again this is not always so.

I could write much more about my views on Politics but I will not. I will ask you all regardless of you faith or beliefs to spare a thought or say a prayer for Kenya today and for the next few days. In the hope that the wonderful people of Kenya get what they deserve, PEACE, JUSTICE, CHOICE and GREAT LEADERSHIP.

We are now a U.K. Registered Charity

We are so pleased to be able to announce to all of our wonderful supporters that we have gone through th registration process and are now a registered charity.

Our number is 1173109. This will show on the Charity commission website within 48 hours.

A big thank you to Naked Fund Raising who were so helpful, and all of the Trustees who supported the application.

We are so proud and privileged to be supporting Phoebe Onyango’s work in Kenya.

Here are just a few reminders of the work that is taking place. If you would like to support us then please contact us through  info@phoebe’sfamily.com

 

Rows of Kale

Mama Phoebe and Purity giving out the shoeboxes

We are so proud of our new school equipment. Thank you Roborough and Locks Heath Rotary Clubs

Friends

Peanut processing they are picked and roasted and processed by these wonderful ladies

Louise is settling in to her new home

The lovely Risely Family from Australia who sponsor 2 children

Rotarian Elaine Conniff collecting from “Material Things”

Made by Beryl whilst it rained !!

Clever ideas to be sustainable

The Grand children are very excited

When Phoebe’s Family met Peace Jam 2017

The team at Phoebe’s Family have enjoyed an extraordinary weekend because they took part in Peace Jam 2017 in Winchester.

What is Peace Jam?? well, it is the most amazing world wide initiative for young people. It encourages these young people to think about Peace in our world and the way that they can peacefully contribute. A Nobel Peace laureate is invited to every Peace Jam and this years Laureate was none other than the fantastic Leymah Gbowee from Liberia. Leymah led the Liberian Peace Chapter of the Women in Peacebuilding Network (WIPNET), to call for the end to the civil war in Liberia. This war was ravaging the country and it through Leymah’s leadership of the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace that the war was stopped.

We were inspired and moved by Leymah’s contributions, she says “When the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire”.

Leymah Gbowee speaks at PEACE JAM 2017

 

The Phoebe’s family Team Sandra Lewis, Becky Sutton, Freya Nicholson and Jemima Herd presented and demonstrated up-cycling with large groups of young people, their Mentors and Teachers. We were joined by other interested parties and we had a wonderful hands on session.

The young people were creative and enthusiastic and we made some lovely things. Freya took some of these young people out and about to sell our famous chicken cards, just to give them the experience of selling a few. Little did we know that they were fearless sales people and we raised enough money to buy 50 chickens!!!! Well done the sales team.

Becky headed up the plaited rugs team and they worked so hard

 

Becky guides the plaited rug team even Rotarian Steve George has a go!!

Students,Teachers and Mentors work side by side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jemima worked quietly teaching the students how to use a sewing machine, whilst Rotarian Tony Allchurch from Jersey Rotary Club got creativewith the rage rug team, Polina Park was a natural and I think would have made a whole rug if we had the time.

Tony and Polina of Sidcot School, make a rug

We learned a great deal from Tony as he has worked in Kenya for many years. We were so impressed with the enthusiasm for helping showed by these young people. it was clear they had learned from Leymah and would take their experience out into their world. So Thank you to everyone who was involved with our fabulous weekend, the organisers, the volunteers and the participants and to all those who showed such an interest in Phoebe’s family G.B. We will see you again next year.

 

More Children Sponsored

We are pleased to announce we have recently added 4 children to our sponsorship list. Sponsorship is so important to the running of the orphanage and schools as it enables Phoebe to pay for school fees and salaries. The other thing about sponsorship other than the gift of money is the gift of friendship from the sponsor to the child. To know you have someone some where that cares really gives these children hope. So a big thank you to our latest sponsors. You know who you are. For more information about how to sponsor one of our children please contact us info@phoebesfamily.com

Ashley in her new head scarf is one of the new sponsorship children

Nicole in her beautiful coloured jumper is the third new sponsored child

Caleb smiling for the camera

Louise Our Cow has arrived at her new home

Yes, Louise has arrived and is happily settling in to her new home. Little does she know the difference she is going to make to the lives of her new family and then to other families when her calf is passed on.

This is such a fantastic scheme and we are so proud to be involved. Louise had a marvellous reception, her new owner Clair ( In the purple Coat),  was so pleased to see the  precious new member of her family.

Food was waiting and she will be so well looked after.

The Great lake Foundation Members were also there to celebrate this very special event. The more cows we can give the faster this scheme works. £650 will but a vetted cow , who is in calf  with some food and transport to her new home. If you are interested in contributing then please contact us on info@phoebesfamily.com Watch this site for update on the birth of Louise’s baby

Louise is settling in to her new home

Clair and the reception committee from The Great Lake Foundation Clair and the reception committee from The Great Lake Foundation

 
Louise is settling in to her new home

Meet Louise – Our first “Pass on a Cow”

Yes we have donated our first cow to the “Pass on a Cow”, initiative. One of the many Great Lake Initiatives to help the rural orphans in Kenya have a better more secure life.  This cow is beautiful and very precious, hence her name Louise, dedicated to my wonderful travelling companion for our trip in 2016.

Louise the cow, is in calf and will soon produce and this calf will be  “Passed On” to another family to help support the family and the orphans in the surrounding village. This will help many families, however the process is slow, and so, if we can donate cows it really helps. Each family has to prove it can take care of the cow, support and training is provided and a special pen and shelter is made. The cow will be really cared for.

Louise id beautiful and precious

Louise is beautiful and precious

Here is Louise on her way to her new Family

Here is Louise on her way to her new Family

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This cow was donated by a couple who thought they had enough things and bought Louise for Christmas. Thank you so much.

If you would like to help a family or donate please contact us at info@phoebesfamily.com.

We will follow Louise with interest and bring you updates of her progress, maybe we will call the new calf “Thelma!”