May News Update

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.

The new kids Leah, Dorkas, Gladness, Dickson, Happiness and Merry
The new kids Leah, Dorkas, Gladness, Dickson, Happiness and Merry

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.

Madeline, Anna and Jennilea helping the kids to swim at the pool party
Madeline, Anna and Jennilea helping the kids to swim at the pool party

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!

New kids Godson Farajeal, Addita and Agape

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!

New kids Godson Farajeal, Addita and Agape

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!

April News Update

Sarah with the kids - She gave each of them “Canada” stickers
Sarah with the kids - She gave each of them “Canada” stickers

April news update from Joyce:

As usual, this month has gone by really fast. The children and our matrons are doing well. Our new child, Shiela, has been very good at adapting to living at Peace Matunda. She is getting more and more settled into her new home. Three volunteers who came in March – Susan, Nancy, and Carly – left this month. They did a really nice job at Peace Matunda. We appreciate their big help. The kids had a lot of fun with them.  Carly, Oliver, Johanna and Madeleine had a birthday this month so they celebrated with the kids. We had chocolate cake and birthday crowns at each party!

Naomi, Magreth, Jesca, Doris, Calvin, Livingston, Corfield, & Alex
Naomi, Magreth, Jesca, Doris, Calvin, Livingston, Corfield, & Alex

We had a new volunteer named Sarah arrive from Canada. She is staying for six weeks and she is doing a nice job. The kids love her so much. She is teaching in the baby class together with Anna. She and Anna are really doing an amazing job. It is so nice to have two volunteers in one class because the baby class has more than forty five kids.

More good news …We are about to finish our new building. Madeleine and the builders are helping to paint. Madeleine is so cool! She is doing an amazing job. We are very lucky to have Madeleine here. In the past, Madeleine took two kids into town to have fun. Oliver is resuming this tradition. Oliver took Magreth and Emma to town to eat lunch and play on the computer. We are really thankful. Anna, who has been here for 3 months now, recently accomplished the biggest feat in all of Africa: she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with Bella, Kaaya’s cousin. Good job Anna!

Bella, Kaaya’s cousin, with Livingston, Doris, Magreth, & Mery in their New York T-shirts
Bella, Kaaya’s cousin, with Livingston, Doris, Magreth, & Mery in their New York T-shirts

We also received donations from Madeleine’s mom and two of Madeleine’s friends in Nashville, TN. Madeleine’s mom donated underwear for all of our kids and even our neighbors’ children. We really needed more underwear here! The kids were thrilled. The Krauss family from Nashville donated pillowcases, small hand-knitted towels and a book for the kids. The handmade book and each pillowcase were donated from the children in Glendale Elementary Kindergarten class. Thank you so much for your big support. Our children can now use the new pillows that Madeleine donated (20 pillows!). Before, the kids had no pillows on their beds. Susan gave each of our kids “I LOVE NY” T-shirts from the big city in the United States. Susan used to live there. The kids will always remember Susan when they wear them. Also, Carly and Nancy gave each of the children blue jean skirts (girls only) and athletic shorts for the boys. Team Waki donated mattresses for all the new kids who will be joining us. The new room is almost complete. Thank you for all of your donations!
This month, Livingstone moved here. He was very happy to move to the main house. He is very good in class and he is also a good helper. He helped set the table, clean the table, and pick up the trash. He is so nice. He is also good friends with Corfield.

This month we had a new Matron named Tumani. Dorris is no longer working for us. Instead, we have hired Tumaini. She came from a small town nearby and she has a lot of working experience from another orphanage known as Nkwaranga Orphanage Centre. Doris went back to her family in order to take care of her three kids.

Matunda News – June 2008

Matunda news from Johanna Hemmingsson, Project Manager

Hey everybody,

I’ve been absent all the month of June. I came back to Peace Matunda last night after spending 4 weeks in Sweden and France (so I apologize if my English is worse than usual…). I’ve tried to get updated on everything that has been going on here, but with all the volunteers coming and going it’s hard to get a clear and coherent picture. All in all, it seems though as everything has been going smoothly. Luckily we’ve had very many volunteers here to help. At the moment, we have 8 volunteers, but totally in June, there have been 12 volunteers here, and 11 at once at the most. This off course has demanded a lot of changes.

We now have one more volunteer room with another 8 beds in it. So in total, we can now accommodate 16 people in the main house. This is also a part in the preparations for receiving a group of 20 people from New Zealand coming for a safari in September. We are also in the process of building toilets and showers in a separate house in the yard.

With so many volunteers here there have been many new and exciting activities going on. They have taken our kids from the orphanage to the nearby water falls a couple of times so they get to play in the water. They had a pizza night where they got take out pizza for everyone at the orphanage. They also made cookies together with the kids one day. Apparently the result wasn’t great, but everybody had a lot of fun… which is the most important. Huge “Thank You” to volunteers Kasey and Michael for taking so many great pictures while I’ve been gone.

Bad news is that the laundry machine broke and that the warrant isn’t valid anymore. Someone is coming up here in the next couple of days to fix it and hopefully it wont be too expensive. Until then, we will go back to hand washing.

Good news is that the baby class has been split into two groups. We now have a baby class with kids age 2-4 where they can do activities more appropriate to their age group. Then we have a preschool class where the children can do more advanced reading, writing and counting activities without being held back by the younger kids. Alex and Jastin, who had a lot of difficulties, have been placed in the preschool class instead of being in standard 1. In this way they will be able to catch up and hopefully soon be back in standard one.

Volunteers Kasey and Michael raised money to make sure that all the kids in he baby class each have their own back pack for school.

Other good news is that Magreth, Jesca and Nixon have finally been able to go to an eye doctor. Volunteers Bridget and Danny paid for this. Their eyes are much better now and Jesca and Magreth are getting glasses. Nixon is having another check up soon to see if he needs it as well.

The greatest news this month is that we have finally raised the money to finish the orphanage buildings! Thanks to Craig Spear, Andy Rosenhek, Tawny Hutchings and everyone donating on givemeaning.com we have been able to raise over 12,000 us$. I really want to thank everyone who has been participating in this being possible! It is such amazing news that the children will soon get their own home.

Lori Beckstead is still working on the website. So far everything looks really good and it will probably be done in a month or so.

Johanna

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