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

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

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


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

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


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!”

2017 The Year of Our Children – Sponsorship

Brain is shy with a beautiful smile

Brian is shy with a beautiful smile

Tunu and Friends

We are all Friends

WE are going to make 2017,”The Year of Our Children”.  We will endeavour to get sponsorship for as many of our resident children as possible and we start really well by getting a new sponsor for Brian.

Brian is 4 years old, a shy but delightful little boy with a smile to melt any heart, he has been with Phoebe’s Family for 2 years. Very little is known about Brian’s parents except we know his Mother died about 2 years ago.

We have found him the perfect sponsor and it is a great start to 2017 and our new campaign. YOU could sponsor a child for as little as £56 pounds. Full sponsorship is only £500 per annum. Your child would receive food, clothes, school uniform, and an education. Other options are to sponsor a child’s education for just £56, £93 or £175. The cost is dependant of the age of the child you sponsor. We make it easy for you and there different ways to pay.

If you would like more information then please visit our website at www.phoebesfamily.com or mail us on info@phoebesfamily.com. We are a small but effective charity and we know sponsorship benefits all parties.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and start the new year with a loving giving gesture.



We wish YOU a Peaceful and Happy Christmas

We will look back to 2016 with much affection. Our trip in August inspired us to register this charity and with our little team of Trustees and Volunteers we have identified projects and we have worked hard to bring them to fruition.

The last few months has been all about the chickens and I am hoping we will have sent the money for 350 by the end of this year. I could write reams about this charity but I know you all have lots to do, so I will make these few points.

  1.  We could not have done it without YOU
  2. Thanks and my love to all who have helped us this year
  3. Your money and donations get to where they were intended this I can guarantee
  4. Phoebe Onyango is an extraordinary women and it is a privilege to work with her
  5. You change the lives of children with little hope
  6. Together we can do even more next year.

God Bless and Happy Christmas to you all

Learning how to inoculate the chickens
Learning how to inoculate the chickens


Older Orphans paying their way through school with a rabbit project
Older Orphans paying their way through school with a rabbit project


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


We are so proud of our new school equipment. Thank you  Roborough Rotary Club
We are so proud of our new school equipment. Thank you Roborough Rotary Club


Mama  Phoebeshowing me the orphanage in 2012
Mama Phoebeshowing me the orphanage in 2012