Gives love, hope and a future

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Meet the Family

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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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Phoebe’s Family at Rotary District 1110 Conference

President of Bournemouth Rotary with Sandra Lewis. Bournemouth have been great supporters of our Sewing Academy

Jo Shannon from Tools For Self-Reliance and Sandra Lewis what a partnership.

This time last weekend three of the team at Phoebe’s Family where in the House of Friendship at the Rotary District 1110 Conference.

It was held on the beautiful Island of Jersey, in the Channel Islands. It was a well attended conference and we were pleased with the interest that the Rotary Club in this district showed in our charity work in Kenya.

We were stationed next to our dear friends and partners Tools For Self Reliance, (TFSR) and this added to the experience for us, as we could talk about the Sewing Academy in Kisumu that we have opened with help from TFSR.

We had so much we could have shared at this conference but we settled on the Sewing Academy, the washable sanitary kits and our chicken farm.

Our thanks to all those wonderful people who supported us and our thanks also goes to the Rotary team who organised such a great Conference. Some names to mention, DG Alan Smith Conference organiser Mike Smith, Registrar Debbie Dunford and Mary Pike who worked tirelessly to make every thing run smoothly.

The added bonus for us this year was the 14 Locks Heath Rotarians who attended the conference and we gave fellowship a whole new meaning.

Three trustees at the conference 2018

Thanks to Lynnes Girls

One of the great things about running a charity is that it brings to together with wonderful people. Well I have never met “Lynnes Girls”, they are a group of ladies that sew. They took it upon themselves to sew for our SEW FOR ME campaign and sewed an enormous amount of sanitary kits for our girls and women in Kenya.  So this is a very public thank you to your amazing contribution. Women here helping women and girls that they will never meet, isn’t this the best of humanity. When people start moaning about the state of things I smile and think of Lynnes Girls, and I know there are lots of wonderful people in the world we just need to make sure  we see the good that is everywhere.

Packing the sanitary kits to ship to Kenya

Volunteer Jackie makes up and packs this beautiful kits

 

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