Monday, December 14, 2015

Tis The Season

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season so far.

Personally I am trying to keep everything very low key this year. I have only just put up the Christmas decorations last night. I've decorated my mantle and put a wreath up in my living room window as well as some red jingle bells on my entry door.

I've opted to use a miniature tree with lights and red baubles on my table top rather than put up a large tree this year.   But first I have to finish altering some nightgowns for my mother for Christmas presents as I use the dining room table for sewing. I should finish sewing on Monday.  Then I will decorate my miniature white tree. Right now I'm using up every corner of my floor space in the front rooms for my arts and crafts supplies and other necessary furnishings so I don't have a space to put up my larger tree.  I don't mind not having a larger tree to decorate because I find it a tad too much work for me.  Especially since December is always a very busy month and I'm not even  home on Christmas Day on any year.

In this season where "tis the season to be jolly", we celebrate friends and family and often that means giving them gifts that they've either requested or we think they will like or appreciate.  It makes most of us feel good to give a gift from out hearts to those we love. Truth be told, many people receiving the gifts do not really need them but it has become a tradition to give gifts at this time of year. I'm all for the giving of material gifts to loved ones so long as it is within reason and one doesn't rack up a lot of debt to do it.

I would much rather give practical helps and gifts to those I know truly need it and to many I do not know, especially the widows and the orphans.  This year I am wondering if any of you would like to give a gift to those you do not know? People who live on the other side of the world in a small town called Mauche in the East African country of Kenya.

This is a sad tale of a young woman, now a widow and single mother whose husband succumbed to the ravages of HIV last week.

Besides leaving his wife, he left behind three children behind ages 1 1/2 years old, 6 years and 8 years old.  They have nothing. No home, no money, no way to get food.

It is a case of the father and the mother having to live separately for some time due to the need to find any work they could find. After a long separation the man went elsewhere for what he might ordinarily get from his wife.  He suffered the consequence, got ill and died.

He died a bitter man and it is a real shame that he was unable to get the right help or he might still be alive today.

My friends and I have been trying to determine how we can help the destitute family left behind.  I don't have a lot to really help them in the best way possible.  But we have come up with a plan and if I can get the help of a few of my readers, it would go a long way toward putting this family on it's feet to becoming self-sufficient.

Like many people in Kenya the mother has family land. Currently she lives in rented housing located about 10 km from her land.  She won't be able to pay the rent when next it comes due.

We plan to buy materials (materials required are wood, nails, iron sheets and labour) to build a tin shack on her property.  We also hope to provide some funds to buy seeds and fertilizer, possibly a chicken and a rooster so that baby chicks can be produced, raised and sold for income.  We cannot afford a cow for this family and especially the children to have milk.

My friend was thinking to borrow a cow but that isn't likely realistic since most people in the village also need the milk from any cows they might own (many people do not own a cow because they are expensive).  But it would be good to buy a diary goat or two to provide the milk and goats are much cheaper (about $100 Canadian or $70 US).  It is also necessary to buy wood and wire to make a chicken coop for the chicken and rooster and seeds for the garden. They also need some food to eat until the seeds can take root and produce a harvest and two of the children need to go to school.

Right now it is raining.  A lot. 

These ladies in the photo are the neighbours. The houses in the background are a better grade of housing than what we can afford to build.  It would take 4 times the funds I've sent for such a house.  We simply cannot afford that and need to get this family into temporary housing as soon as possible.

My friend has to travel from a village several hours away to help this woman and to oversee the plans to help her so the funds I send are properly expended and workers do not take advantage of her.  He can't stay more than a night each time.  There is no bus or transport to this area and the cost of return travel is very expensive on a boda boda taxi (motorcycle taxi) at 3000 shillings ($42 Canadian or $30 US). It will take 2, ideally 3 trips, to oversee the work and buy whatever needs to be purchased.

The motorbike cyclist had a very difficult time to get back up the hill and return home.

Neighbours condoling over tea.
Just think of trying to keep warm with no real sweaters or blankets. There is no indoor heating in such homes.

In order to make a simple drink of tea you must make a fire in a pit like the one in the photo below. It is a lengthy process.

I  will end the pictures and story here. 
I would not ask for your help if I could do it all on my own.

But I fall short of being able to get this family on their feet by myself.
Any amount you can offer would be a huge help!

Only you know what you can do.  If you can do something,
kindly let me know or simply send a donation 
to kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com

If you have any questions, you can write me at the same address or
you can complete the contact form to the right of my blog post and I will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks so much.
Merry Christmas.

Christmas Tree Emoji (Twitter Version)


Jeanie said...

I find that we are doing fewer gifts as we age for many of the same reasons. This year I think Rick and I are -- for our main present -- exchange charitable groups and make donations to the other's favorite cause. I did that for another friend, too, who has "everything." A few small fun things to open, some made by me, and a gift to an endowment that matters to them.

Your garland mantle is so pretty with the lights! I love it!

Linda said...

I love your photos and the song! Fewer gifts can be happening because people just don't have the money anymore.

Denise said...

you are a precious gift my friend.

Stephanie said...

We don't exchange presents anymore, haven't done so for many years. Wonderful images!

Existe Sempre Um Lugar said...

Votos de Feliz Natal

jabbott said...

Hi penny, some people have hard lifes, I will see if I can help x

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

What a thought provoking post.

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