Archives for sandralewis

THANK YOU to Bishops Waltham W.I.

It is so heartening in this troubled world to find people who are so kind. After a talk to Bishops Waltham W.I. a group of these wonderful women came together to make Sanitary Kits for the women of Kenya. It is amazing that women will work so hard to help women , that they will never meet and who live so far away. Women supporting women always inspires and motivates me to keep going. I had a really fun afternoon with these ladies and then they handed over the kits at a very nice coffee morning. The W.I. group also donated sewing machines, fabric and all sorts of things that we could sell to further our work in Kenya.

Bishops Waltham ladies sewing for our Kenyan women








Your kindness will be shared with our ladies and girls in Kenya – thank you so much

If you would like to help us with this work or support any of our projects with the most vulnerable women and children then email me on  or write to us via this website

Congratulations to Our First Graduates

Jennifer proudly shows her certificate

Eunice is so proud

You cannot believe how excited I am to show the young women who have recently graduated from our Vocational College in Bondo, Siaya County.

These young women were the first students and we all grew together. Finding our way through the educational maze finding the best venue for the college, working under difficult circumstances but, we came through all of this proud and  triumphant.

We have moved the college to its new permanent home in Kisumu and we have added carpentry and arts and crafts to our skills offerings and I will be posting about this soon.

The graduation ceremony was attended by a representative of the First Lady of Siaya County, Mrs  Judith Adala, and the Assistant Chief for East Yimbo , Pala sub-county. Also attending and helping with the presentation was Mr Peter Odihambro, The Chief Officer for Vocational Training in Siaya County.

Representatives from the Great Lake Foundation and parents and families came to congratulate the students. We heard from the Teachers and of course thanks to Bishop Phoebe, Purity Onyango and Pauline Gayah, who have worked so hard to make this happen.

However the stars of the day were our students who overcame so much to complete this course and bring new skills and hope to their families. We are so very proud of you all.

Lining up to receive their certificates


A Mother speaks about her daughter and the course

Our Students. All lined up in their graduation gowns and with their sewing machines

Receiving their certificates

None of this could have been achieved without the help and guidance from “Tools For Self Reliance, who provided the machines and hand held us through the process of setting up this college. So many Rotary clubs in District 1110 who trusted us and who willingly supported us financially, in particular Boscombe & Southbourne, Locks Heath & Bournemouth. (I will post a full list later)

We would also like to thank and pay tribute to the management and volunteers of the Ichthus Charity Shop , Totton, who have sponsored the teachers. Dear Friends, Rotarians look what You have achieved, YOU have changed the lives of these girls forever and have enabled us to keep going with this project.

LEARNING CHANGES LIVES- our new campaign

Senior Pupils start a new term

The children hold up their bags and boxes

At Phoebe’s Family we believe all children have the right to an education, especially if it breaks the cycle of poverty. We support Bishop Phoebe Onyango with her mission to offer education to as many children as possible in the Kisumu and Bondo areas of Kenya.

Everything is becoming more bureaucratic and expensive and we need an injection of money to up-date our senior school, buy equipment for the nursery and  junior schools and finish the Technical Academy. So today we are launching our new campaign


Salem senior school is one of the few senior schools that offers the orphans and slum young people a chance of further education. It is a substantial building but  is in desperate need of repairs and decoration. The school also requires a small laboratory and library to meet the educational boards requirements. If we cannot make these repairs and alterations we will not be able to run the school in future years. We have the opportunity to make this school one of the best in Kisumu , but right now we need some help. We have recently renewed the kitchen and built new toilets so we have made a great start will YOU help us finish this ?

A bigger and better kitchen with a solar panel

WE have new toilets







Our Technical Academy offers some of the most disadvantaged people a chance to learn a skill that will eventually earn them a living. Currently we offer sewing and tailoring but we will offer carpentry in the New Year, We are renovating an old building, in a safe compound. Salem Ministries Trust own this building so there will be no annual rent, saving £2000 a year. We need funds to finish and equip this building. YOU could help by spreading the word to friends and family.

Making a skirt is easy when you have been trained

Learning about the machine is the first step








The third part of this campaign is learning materials for the nursery and junior schools. We need such basic things to help these children learn to love learning. Every penny you donate will go directly to our projects. The whole team in the UK are voluntary and do not claim expenses, our team members are truly dedicated to this cause.

Equipment is needed these bags and books were sent 5 years ago through Rotary Club and we need to replenish them

A chance for us to learn










We have set up a Virgin Money Giving page please could you donate something and help us save these amazing projects.  YOU could share with your family and friends . Every child has the right to an education and we can  make this happen for these children.





Phoebe’s Family + Great Lake Foundation = Dignity and Good Health for Kenyan Girls and Women

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

In 2016 Louise Berrington, my friend & travelling companion and I left Kenya on a mission to start a sewing academy and to provide sanitary wear for as many girls and women as possible. When we visited in February of this year we stood in the sewing school and met our first students and now we are making and distributing sanitary kits to as many women and girls as possible.

This is a dream come true and the implications run wide and deep. Less girls will drop out of school, more women can be employed as they will not have to stay at home for one week out of every month. The kits will mean the recipients will not endanger their health by using contaminated matter like old leaves and newspapers. These girls and women will feel more valued and above all we have dignified menstruation, it is just part of the wonderful things women’s bodies do.

We could not have achieved this without the support of the first Lady of Siaya county, or all of the donators in the UK. Rotary clubs in District 1110 have made an enormous difference to this campaign and they continue to support the work we do in Kenya.

I also have to mention the Ichthus Charity Shop in Totton,  we could not have done this without you. Hand in Hand with Ichthus is the New Forest Community Church who have been and still are stalwart supporters. There are many more individuals who have supported this campaign  and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. These kits are life changing and YOU have been a part of this.

Receiving the first material from the local Government

The very first pouches containing the sanitary towels

These Kits are being made and distributed by the Great Lake team in Bondo. Our thanks to all involved especially the First Lady of Siaya County

Thanks to Lynn’s girls for making the UK version of the kit

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 .

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 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


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