~12th Of Never~
How our support started......
How our support started ~ Olemoncho School
Many people ask us what we do when we go to Africa each year, & they are quite surprised when they hear that we live with and support a maasai community...... among other things.
Over the years we have visited many countries in Africa, but predominatly we go to Kenya. There, we have 2 families with whom we live & support. Our 2 kenyan 'daughters' who live with their grandma, 15kms out of Nairobi, and a maasai family who live on rural land on the outskirts of Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
The 'help & support' started back in 2000 when we had been sponsoring Suzy via world vision,... we first visited Suzy's family in in 2001,.. which was also the year we visited Joseph and his maasai family for the first time. After that it was 2004 when we visited the small maasai school where our maasai family children went. It was graduation day, so we took a few books and other stationary and told them we would be back the following year with a bit of support. From there, the following year, we vistied the doctors clinic and well.... we just haven't stopped yet. Now that clinic has gone, but we are now helping the main Aitong hospital,.... and more recently (2012) the Lodwar hospital in northern Kenya. We do not have any medical training or association, but ask the doctors for a wish list then try to see if we can source those items or more. Some items are donated freely, so give us discounted deals and some things we source and buy ourselves.
Over the past years it's fair to say that we have made a difference to quite a few people. Nothing great, we're just small-key,...but we are consistant. We, with the help of our fundraising campaigns at Moomba, & a few generous donors, have been fortunate enough to be able to help the doctors clinic in Aitong with various medical equipment, baby scales, microscope, centrifuge, solar power & fridge. At the school, we have built a classroom, cemented floors, supplied various books and stationary, repaired rooms, supplied desks, & recently had solar power installed and brick sqat over toilets built.
On a personal level, we have been keeping a teacher at school by supplying him his monthly wage since April '06, & we are now also putting him through 3 years of university to get his degree, after he has proven to us that he was able to get his diploma under very difficult cirmcumstances.
It is all quite amazing when we sit here and see how much our little bit of effort has helped that school. On our trip in Feb. 2011 we went there specifically to get the solar installed, which the great guys at Moomba had helped make happen with their kind contributions, but that is also the time when we learnt about the urgent need for another classroom,... we decided there and then to help with a personal cash donation to help towards the new room,~ we have been so excited in this last month, because we have just heard, that a permanant stone class room has now starting construction. (late April 2011)
This is the second time that we have been informed, that due to our ongoing support, that the school has had extra funding from the council and got things done. It was because we, as Australians (outsiders), are consistantly supporting the school, that a local MP decided to recognize the school and declare it a government school, which brings it's own rewards, such as a couple of teachers, food for the students & text books etc. That was a huge development at the time, and now, they are being recognized again because of the efforts put in by the community, the conservancy and us. The council is paying the balance for the classroom.