Gives love, hope and a future

Welcome to Phoebe's Family come and meet our family and friends

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Meet the Family

Meet the Family

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Welcome to Our World

Welcome to Our World

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Help us grow

Help us grow

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Our future

Our future

Projects to keep our family going
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When Women work together GREAT things happen

The Pouches containing the sanitary towels

Making sure we get the best use of the materials

During our trip in February 2018 we were able to distribute   sanitary kits for the girls and women of the orphanage  and sewing academy, made by volunteers in the U.K..

It has always been a vision of Bishop Phoebe and Phoebe’s Family supporters to make these kits in country.

We were asked by Siaya County’s First Lady to attend a meeting to  discuss this project. All the attendees were enthusiastic but  it was hard to see how it would be funded. Well the first Lady true to her word has found the money to start the production of our washable sanitary wear. She is providing materials and some wages for the people who are making the kits.

 

This is a huge  step in the right direction of dignity for the girls and women of Kenya and it starts a  healthy open attitude to menstruation.

Our washable sanitary wear means girls will not drop out of school, women can stay at work and we are not creating toxic waste.

So “THANK YOU” to the first Lady and her husband  and we will watch as this project unfolds. if you would like to know more about our work please contact us on info@phoebesfamily.com .

Phoebe and Sandra meet the first Lady (centre) and her staff

receiving the first material

Godsent Sewing Academy has MOVED !!!!

Moving the sewing academy will bring us closer to financial independence.

In the effort to make our sewing academy sustainable we have moved it to one of the buildings on the Bondo Farm.

We will need to make a few alterations but it will save the annual rent. This is all working towards the financial independence of the Sewing Academy. Lets meet some of our lovely students. You can contribute to this project by contacting us through this website, all donations are appreciated and all the money is used in Kenya. You can email us on info@phoebesfamily.com for more detailed information.

David is our only male student so far

Say Hallo to Eunice

This is Femia

Another First for Phoebe’s Family G.B.

We are so proud to announce that we have sponsored  Paul Ochieng through his first year at Agricultural College in Nairobi. Paul will be studying for 3 years and then we hope he will take over the management of the Farm at Bondo working side by side with his amazing Mother Bishop Phoebe. The farm is a very important part of the sustainability plan for the Orphanage and schools. Selling produce will help pay the bills. Bishop Phoebe has so much to do having Paul and his new found knowledge will be an enormous help to her. The farm is being planned very carefully, our current campaign is to buy 200 Mango saplings at only £2 each perhaps you could help contact us through this website and buy a Mango tree that will provide finance for the orphanage and schools. We will keep you up to date with Paul’s progress. Contact us for more information on info@phoebesfamily.com

 

These watermelons will make a profit for the farm

Paul is looking forward to his time in Nairobi he is our first sponsored student

Young Sam the little boy we sponsor helps on the farm at the weekends and holidays he is only 6 years old but loves to help with the butternut squash harvest

The Sewing Academy – A plan is a dream taken seriously

In 2016 we returned from our visit with a dream and a mission, to build a sewing school and to access sanitary wear for the women of Kenya.

To go there this year and stand in the middle of our Dream was amazing, thanks to the great work of our team in Kisumu and Bondo.

We were greeted with love, respect,dancing and singing, an out pouring of joy and hope from our students.

We talk to the students and heard their stories, some are heartbreaking. We show them the sanitary kits that they will receive and tell them we they will each have a kit. They were over joyed and there is more Dancing and singing.

The students will, take their exam in November of this year so we look at the work. We identify the students who will need more help. The staff are there to help the students succeed.

We could not do any of this without our Partner Tools For Self -Reliance. Thank you for everything you do Jo and Sarah and the Netley team.

Meeting the students for the first time

Some of the students bring their children, we need a playpen

Freya holds up trousers David has made

Kenyan Trip 2018 An Eventful Time

On the 10th of February this year Becky Sutton, Freya Nicholson (both Trustees) and I left Heathrow Airport bound for Kisumu Kenya. This was a first for Becky and Freya and there was much excitement.

We took 9 cases packed with things for the orphanage, schools and the Sewing Academy .

We were welcomed by a beautiful Nairobi sunrise and we flew on to Kisumu where we were welcomes by the Women and members of the Great Lake Foundation. Meeting old friends and making new ones is always exciting but also overwhelming.

Then on  to the hotel to settle in and then on to meet PHOEBE and her wonderful family at the church in Kisumu. We had a tight schedule but spending time with these amazing women and children is what our visit was all about.

Then we met up with the Bishops who support Bishop PHOEBE and we were able to give Tunu Phoebe’s Grand daughter the shoes we had brought for her, thankfully they fitted and I think she wore them to bed.

The next day was to be the first day of Becky Sutton’s training for primary teachers so it was something to eat and back to the hotel to catch up on sleep. Please watch this space

Tunu loved her shoes

A beautiful welcome to Kenya sunrise in Nairobi

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

The start of a new year can be time for a short look back and a long look forward.

2017 brought many successes to our work with Mama PHOEBE and her team. The chickens continue to lay and some to hatch bringing this project to a strong status. We grew the sponsorship programme and that enabled us to send regular money for the children.

Meet little Phoebe who is the 4th Child to be sponsored this week

We launched the “For Me “ sanitary wear programme and the programme is currently in a South African women’s prison, Sierra Leone and hopefully Ghana, as well as volunteers in the UK making kits for Kenya. We will take the kits to,Kenya in February where we will start production there.

The For Me Sanitary Kit

On 18th September we opened the Godsent Academy for sewing and Tailoring and our students are making great progress. This is a project that we believe will train Women and men providing them with skills, independence, and an income. Next stop a carpentry work shop.

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

2017 also had some moments of grave concern. Mama Phoebe’s health, the elections were very tense and stressful times and we hope that they are behind us and better things are planned for 2018.

One of which is our trip in February , 2 of our Trustees and myself will be visiting Kisumu and Bondo, we are very excited to be progressing our relationships with the children, the staff and Mama Phoebe.

One of the highlights for me was the birth of my God daughter Olivia, her mother Purity is Phoebe’s youngest daughter.  So as our beautiful family strengthens here and in Kenya we wish all of our sponsors and supporters the very best for 2018

Beautiful Olivia, welcome little one

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.