May update from Joyce:
May was a busy month! We have four more volunteers living with us right now: Jennilea and her sister Kayleigh, Anneke and Andy. Jennilea and Kayleigh are from Canada, Anneke is a friend of Anna’s from Holland. She will be staying five weeks, Jennilea and Kayleigh are staying four weeks. Andy Rosenhek, our first volunteer at Peace Matunda, has come back for the month of May. He is also from Canada, he returned this month to visit with the kids. We are very happy to see him again. Andy did fundraising back home and brought a generous donation to help fund the construction of the new building. He also brought over medicine and supplies for local health clinics. We really appreciate his work with future projects with the Cicely Foundation and Rotary Club. All of his hard work and dedication has been extremely helpful in keeping our School and Orphanage improving at a very fast pace. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers, you are doing an amazing job.
Good news: our new orphanage is just finished! We are so happy. Ten new kids moved in two weeks ago, so there are now twenty one all together! The youngest; Happyness, Leah, Dickson, Dorkas, Gladness, and Merry came from a village forty kms away called Makiba. They are between three and five years and in the baby class at school. Aside from Dickson all the kids still have both parents but they are unable to support them so they were very thankful to have them come to Peace Matunda. Farajeal, eleven, and Addita, five, are from Ngarenanyuki. Farajeal is in the Standard 1 class and Addita is the baby class. Godson is six years old and in the new Kindergarten class. Agape is five and in the baby class. The new children are getting more and more settled in their new home. Thanks to all mosquito nets left by previous volunteers, every child sleeps under a net. The new children have been very good adapting to living at Peace Matunda. This transition for them has been made much easier thanks to the older children taking care of them; especially Emma, Doris and Jesca.
The fourth classroom at the Peace Matunda School was also finished this month! The sixty kids in baby class were split into two sections, one baby class and one Kindergarten. The baby class is back in the oldest classroom and is rapidly growing. Including the eight children from the orphanage there are thirteen new kids in the baby class. Teacher Magdalena has been teaching the baby class with volunteer Sarah’s help. There is a new teacher for the Kindergartens starting in June. We have been able to hire a new teacher, William Mafie for the Standard Two classroom; Martha is going to teach Standard One. This will be a great help for the school as now all the classrooms will have a Kiswahili teacher. The children are still making great progress in their reading and writing and math skills.
Volunteers Jennilea, Sarah and Anna took Dorris, Emma, Jesca, and Alex to Arusha National Parks late this month. The children enjoyed the opportunity to see different animals like Zebras, Giraffes, Monkeys and various types of Birds. Seeing these wild animals was definitely an exciting and educational experience.
It has been two weeks since Madeleine returned home to the United States. Madeleine did an amazing job at Peace Matunda. Over the six months that she was here, she helped out Peace Matunda in several ways. She painted our old classroom, and helped out many families in the community. Before she left we had a pool party with kids! She brought all of the kids and adults to have lunch at Masai café, we had pizza, and then we went to Ngurudoto Lodge for swimming and playing at the playground. The kids really enjoyed the lunch, it was so good. The kids also loved the pool, the young ones played in the kiddy pool but with the volunteers help some of the older children were able to swim really well in the big pool. We had so much fun! As a final farewell the Warriors of the East came all the way to Peace Matunda to play for us. Thank you Madeleine, we miss you and think of you often.
The last week of May has been very busy! A group of eight people from The Cicely Foundation from the United Kingdom have arrived to stay for about a week. They came to visit and to see how things are going. They were very kind to bring many new supplies and toys for both the orphanage and the school. The children have really been enjoying the chalk boards, hats, balls, games, books, and everything else! Their donations for the new building along with their advice and guidance are also much appreciated! Thank you so much!
Another child moved to the main house this month. Next in the rotation of the orphanage kids was Jesca. She was a great helper. She was helping many things like cleaning, doing the dishes, setting the table, holding a little baby Stephen and other things. Thank you Jesca!
The next step in our plans at Peace Matunda is to start the foundation for a new building. This building will start with a base of 4 rooms: two classrooms, a dinning hall and study area for the kids. We have received some help from our volunteers Kayleigh, Sarah and Jennilea who held a fundraiser back home and were able to purchase stones, gravel, and dirt to begin part of the foundation. The idea to make three stories is due to the small plot of land we have and in order to preserve some of the land so that the children have space to play. We will continue to keep everyone updated on the progress of this new project!