Jambo from Kolunga Village Foundation!
2015 was a wonderful year of change and rebirth. We added some new advisors to the board and started amazing relationships with the Tebbutt Family, Project Humanity and the World Agro Forestry Center. We are excited about the year ahead and would like to briefly share our accomplishments for 2015.
We started off the year with a new clinical officer for the Kolunga Clinic, welcome back Winnie Mandela. The team that runs the clinic are hardworking and dedicated, and the clinic services are growing by leaps and bounds.
We made some final adjustments to the Water Project pump and it is now producing at its full potential. In May we saw the benefit of the project; a Cholera outbreak on the island and not one death in Kolunga Village. And according to all the quarterly data from the clinic, the overall incidence of waterborne illness is down. Many thanks to all of you for your generous donations which made the water project a reality.
In November we traveled with a high school senior to Kolunga. Theo Tebbutt is creating (and fundraising for) a sustainable tree nursery for the long term benefit of a committed group of women. In the short time we were there, the plot of land was selected and fencing installed, the selection of the women to run the project began with a series of community meetings, and we had an amazing and informational meeting regarding the project with our new partner World Agro Forestry Center.
We also formed a new relationship with Project Humanity. Magdaline, the clinic director, has been dreaming of a maternity/delivery suite and these incredible people are going to help us make it happen. Thank you Darren Tipton and Rich Madison.
While in the village we sponsored and participated in a Worlds AIDS Day celebration that was planned and organized by the Kolunga community. We promoted an essay writing competition and Theo jumped in as one of the judges. Prizes were awarded to 4 young people, partial school scholarships, for the best expression of “How has HIV/AIDS affected your community”. The other activities of the day included many speeches, poems, songs and skits performed by the children and community members. A rousing soccer match was the grand finale to a great day.
The clinic staff expressed a need for a pharmacy to sell meds that the government does not supply. While in Kolunga in November we made the pharmacy into a dream come true. As we left, the medications were being organized on the shelves, spread sheets to track sales and price lists were created. Just another small way to improve the clinic services in the community.
With all the changes afoot, we’d like to ask you to help us reach our budget goals for 2016. If each of you would donate $100 we will be able to fund the clinic salaries for the year, keep the water project in tip-top shape, and continue our vital work in the village.
For Kolunga Village,
Peter Gordon and Tina Walter
KVF's First Annual Dental Clinic, A Tremendous Success
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Last February, I began speaking with our dispensary's nurse, Magdalene Magawa, looking into the possibility of conducting a mobile dental clinic. She was extremely keen on the idea since many residents have never been to a dentist in their entire life. Below is an excerpt from Magdalene’s February 9, 2011 email.
"Peter in Kenya we have very few dentists. We can only access their services at provincial hospitals and few district hospitals. Three years ago some visitors from Kageno worldwide with dentistry backgrounds visited us and we discussed about the possibility of training one of us in basic management of Dental problems, unfortunately it never went beyond that discussion.
Well the main idea was to bring Dental services closer to the community. As I am writing to you now I will be traveling to Kisumu to visit a dentist and my problems will take at least two days there. Peter the picture I am trying to give is that Dental Services are in demand and will not only benefit Rusinga people but Mbita town and Suba district together."
“Operation Toothbrush” begins!
Help us bring dental care to Rusinga Island.
The Kolunga Community dispensary nurse, Magdalene Magawa, recently alerted us to a serious local health issue: dental care in rural Kenya is almost non-existent. In fact, many people have never been to a dentist. On November 10, Tina and I will travel, along with six KVF volunteers, Dr. Patrick Henrie, DDS, hygienist Joni Farr, and four additional volunteers, to Kolunga Village to deliver dental exams, extractions, and hygiene lessons. The Kolunga Village Foundation will furnish all the necessary dental tools and supplies needed to make the clinics a success. In addition, we hope to give a new toothbrush to every patient we see. (For some, it will be their first!) As you know, we rely 100% on donations from individuals to fund our projects. Please help us by donating toothbrushes, dental supplies, or making a cash contribution. Contact me as soon as possible so that we can bring dental care to those who need it most. As we are a nonprofit corporation, your donation is completely tax-deductible.
Thank you for helping those of us who are less fortunate.
Peter Gordon, President
Kolunga Village Foundation
What an amazing 5 years!
For a small group, I feel we have accomplished so many amazing things. What a little love will do. As of March 2011 here is a brief summary of what we’ve done so far and our vision for the future.
A vital part of health and sanitation in the village. We have now completed 15 latrines, 12 brand new and a refurbished set of 3 that had collapsed and had been abandoned long ago. We also maintain and service the latrines on an annual basis. We are currently helping the neighboring village of Litare with their first set too.
What a simple concept. One we take for granted on a daily basis. We’ve installed 9 permanent metal trash cans, acquired a donkey and cart and hired a person to collect and dispose of the trash. Alphons and Adam are currently teaching the villagers the importance of using the trash cans and latrines.
We had a talented carpenter, Charles Odiero Nundu, from the village build benches and tables for the nursery school. The three teachers got desks and bookcases too.
In 2009 we built a 1330 sq. ft. addition to the village dispensary. It is now an officially registered clinic - serving a community of 8,000. We have also been instrumental in acquiring a propane refrigerator to store vaccines. KVF has also provided funds to buy much needed supplies and we’ve hand carried, delivered and donated HIV/AIDS anti-virals and other medications.
We Care Solar
Peter contacted “We Care Solar“ and was helpful in partnering with them to get a “Solar Suitcase” for clinic director Magdaline. It is a clever device, a suitcase that holds a battery, solar panels, lights and a power outlet so that Magdaline can go on house calls and not have to hold a flashlight in her mouth while providing emergency care, performing cervical exams, or inserting IUDs. She also uses the suitcase to charge the batteries of the blood pressure machine. Here is the link if you’d like to know more about the Solar Suitcase www.wecaresolar.com. Click here to see more about the clinic.
As of March 2011 we have donated 85 goats in the village and around Rusinga. Joseph Ogwella is the goat group leader. He trains and supervises the goat recipients and helps facilitate the ongoing breeding program too. The program was started by Plant With Purpose, and it is based on a zero grazing sustainable model. Click on "Buy A Goat" and learn how this wonderful program works.
The carpenter Charles, we mentioned before, also teaches his skills to the young people of Kolunga. Through Charles’s guidance the kids learn a much needed trade. Many have gone on to become “fundis” (builder in Swahili) and skilled carpenters, earning a wage to support their families and community. KVF purchases tools and sends them over in the suitcases of volunteers on their way to Kolunga.