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. 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 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












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

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 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

When Sally met Samantha they sold 123 chickens

Well this is just fantastic news to be able to tell you all, that the chicken sellers of The New Forest Community Church sold an amazing 123 chicken cards at £5 each and I am just about to transfer that and other donations to Mama Phoebe.

The cards are tokens are a perfect gift to give in the real spirit of Christmas. When you buy a card you pay for a laying hen to be purchased in Bondo, Kisumu Kenya and the eggs are sold to help keep the orphaned children in their villages with extended family and friends. There are hundreds of children in this area left by the loss of a generation and these children are the future of Kenya. To be able to feed house and educate them will bring hope to them, their communities and their country.

Thank you to all the kind people who bought the chickens, please tell your friends about them and if you need more see Sally and Samantha or contact me at



Penny Timmis Christmas chicken

Penny Timmis Christmas chicken

Meet Cluck she lays lots of eggs and is a happy Hen

Meet Cluck she lays lots of eggs and is a happy Hen

Australian Generosity – 3 Chickens sold whilst having a chat

I am in Australia visiting my daughter and her family and just chatting to some Mums at cricket practice led to the lovely Meg buying 3 chickens for our project, “Chicken for a Child”. Thank you so much for your kindness.

The campaign is going well and more thanks go to the good people in the UK who are busy selling our beautiful cards whilst I am out of the country. Sally, Sam Freya and Elaine a Big Thanks to you all.

WE need a huge amount of chickens so if you would like to buy these beautiful cards please contact me at I will arrange to have the cards sent or delivered. They make such a good present with the true meaning of Christmas embedded in our campaign,  its also the ideal gift for the person who has everything.

The cost is £5 per chicken this buys a laying pullet, her inoculation and some food. The eggs will feed house and educate the orphaned children in Kisumu, Siaya and Bondo counties. Please share this information and help us sell our cards. Thanks to all who support us love from down under. X

Penny Timmis Christmas chicken

Penny Timmis Christmas chicken

Chicken for a Child is Launched

After our visit in August of this year we identified many projects to support and one that we felt we could really make a huge contribution to is the Chicken Farm at Bondo.

This is one of the Great Lakes Foundation Projects, aimed at helping the hundreds of orphaned children in the area stay in their villages with friends and extended family.

There is so little money and food Phoebe Onyango has mobilised 90 groups of 15 women to initiated projects to support these children whilst they bring dignity to themselves through hard work and successful trading.

Nine wonderful buildings have been donated by, “Just One Africa”, and American charity who have given the gift of clean water to hundreds of rural families. They do so much good work in Kenya.

Our job here at PHOEBE’S FAMILY G.B. is to fill these chicken houses with laying pullets to provide the funds to feed & educate  the orphaned children in and around Bondo.

Penny Timmis Christmas chicken

Look have this egg for the children

So we have produced, with the help of friends lovely cards that you can give as Christmas gifts. You pay £5 for each card and that buys a chicken and pays for the inoculation and food.

This card has been especially painted for our campaign by the wonderful artist Penny Timmis

Thank you so much Penny we really appreciate your kindness and amazing talent. We will feature 3 of Penny’s works throughout this campaign so why not collect them all?

We have also chosen a child friendly hen picture to feature on our cards, we hope you like her.

The very first card went to Evie, a little girl who was helping with another project. Evie worked hard and  so her card was her reward for being so kind. Evie wants her Kenyan chicken to be called “Cluck”, so Cluck it is Evie, and thank you.




Meet Cluck she lays lots of eggs and is a happy Hen

Meet Cluck she lays lots of eggs and is a happy Hen


The women and older children who look after these chickens are given training and will receive a certificate in animal husbandry. They learn how to care for the chickens collect and deliver the eggs and set up supply contracts for the eggs with local businesses.In time it would be marvellous to have our own incubation unit. These cards will help a child who has been traumatised by loss stay in familiar surrounding and be educated so they can get work and live independently.

If you would like to buy some of these beautiful cards please email me on and I can facilitate the purchase of cards.

Watch this space for more pictures of the project and we will do a count down for you together we can do this and make a difference.

An Amazing Trip to Phoebe’s Wonderful Family

Where do I start to tell you about this amazing trip and the things that I saw and experienced. I guess the first thing to do is thank my dear travelling companion Louise Berrington. Louise worked so hard and was just wonderful with the children( thought I might have search her case when we were leaving )!! Louise was selfless on this trip  always dignifies and nearly always smiling. We laughed a lot and we made a great team as we were out in Kenya to work.

We collected masses of information and that includes all we needed to develop the sponsorship programme for the children that Phoebe supports. I will e loading the latest pictures into the gallery this week. Please visit these children and see if you can find it in your heart to sponsor one of them.

We visited so many project run by the Great Lake Foundation. I will post a new page for this part of Phoebes work but just to explain the concept. Phoebe has mobilised 90 groups of 15 women ( and about 5% men), together they are developing sustainable project to help feed and educate the families in the very rural parts of Kisumu County Siaya and the surrounding districts. There are so Many orphans in this area as 78% of a generation has been decimated by Aids and other diseases. The elderly and vulnerable people have to manage this precious burden of all the children who are orphaned. Phoebe takes a ” Never Give Up ” attitude and the projects are coming together but as always we need YOUR help.

Over the next few weeks I will be describing the projects and giving contact points as well as feeding back from our other successes.

Here are some pictures that make me smile.We were greeted so warmly by everyone. The boys holding the rabbits are paying their way through school by breeding them and selling the meat.

Please keep watching over the next few weeks and just meet more of the wonderful people involved with these projects and our trip.

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 were greeted so warmly by everyone

 We were greeted so warmly by everyone

Older Orphans paying their way through school with a rabbit project

Older Orphans paying their way through school with a rabbit project




Shoes for everyone !

The first Lady of Siaya County Mrs Rosala gave on behalf of Pastor Don of the Light House, 300 pairs of shoes to Phoebes wonderful family. The much needed shoes were part of an event for the Great Lakes Foundation and Connect International. There were many smiling faces and many comfortable feet. I know Bishop Phoebe blesses all of these gifts and donations. It takes a great deal to look after her huge family.

Shoes for everyone presented by Mrs Rosala. Many smiling faces and happy feet

Shoes for everyone presented by Mrs Rosala. Many smiling faces and happy feet

Grandma’s House, Two homes have been built!!!

Well isn’t great to be able to feed back such positive information. Phoebe has built two of the four houses we wanted to build for the Widows of Kisumu.

Many of these women are elderly and are alone with no financial or human support but thanks to YOU and Phoebe’s vision we now have some where for these women to go.

Each house costs about £650 with furniture and a small garden . They have two rooms and a door to keep the warm in and the unwanted out, safe and snug in a home they can call there own, isn’t that what we all want for our Mothers and Grand Mothers??

I hope Stella is looking down on these houses smiling wishing the women love and good luck in their new homes

We will start our campaign for Grandma’s House phase two very soon. Thank you to all who gave so generously


Two new homes for the Widows of Kisumu

Two new homes for the Widows of Kisumu

The Grand children are very excited

The Grand children are very excited

The Literacy Boxes are in Kenya

Yes the Literacy boxes paid for by The Rotary Club of Locks Heath, have arrived in Kenya and are waiting to be taken to the school in Kisumu.

Each box contains school equipment for 25 children, exercise books pencil pens, school bags and much more. This will make learning for the children so much better and the Teachers are really looking forward to having more materials. So once again a big thank you to Locks Heath Rotary and the Rotary Literacy box Trust.