Monday, December 8, 2008

My Peace Corps Project

Last Monday was World Aids Day, a very big deal in Kenya. We attended an all day event with a parade, singing, speeches, dancing and eating.

For eight weeks/six now, here in Loitokitok, we are being trained in 3 areas, language (Kiswahili), culture and business/technology. In order to "graduate" from trainee to volunteer, we must show competency in all areas. We are requird to seek out, design and implement a sustainable project during this time working with our project/business partner. I have been assigned, David Kioto, an HIV/AIDS communal, co-op volunteer coordinator. HIV/AIDS is a huge problem in Kenya. His group, KISM, which stands for a well of hope, meets weekly. There are a proximately 107 members of this group in 4 villages, 50 plus in Loitokitok near whre I live. They all are HIV/AIDS positive. My proect focus is finding sponsors to fund secondary education for children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school (it is not free here). There are currently 70 children in eed just in this one group. I will be looking to America for sponsorhip funding. Since teechnology is so limited, other then cell phones, we may be dealing with snailmail, and email versus a websit, the ideal. I'll need and apapreciate any help you all gvie provide. The highest level of sponsorhip is a $350.00 per year commitment for four years. The lowest is $245.00 for one year, there are 6 levels needed. This is the amount needed after the government has paid $135.00 and the parents have paid $27.00 plus books and supplies. A Kenyan family of four needs about 25,000 shilingi to live ($340.00 USD) per month. School begins again on January 5th- but this a long term project. I am currently developing a sponsorship form with a child/family bio, photo and need.

Current issues - people in Kenya are very hungry as prices of some staples have doubled since May. The rains have been coming but it is not enough for the maize and beans. To send a blog is about twice the price of lunch so today it is the blog!! My family here is praying for me not to leave - I take that as a compliment. Everything else is good, I am adjusting perfectly and I love the food, it is very healthy. We have taken long hikes on some weekends .

More soon . . . they love Baarack Obama here . . . I hope ALL is well with all of you.