ChildFund New Zealand is the sole supporter of a community-based organisation that is working to enable long-term development in Emali, Kenya. The community’s priorities include access to water, improved education, and increased incomes so parents can support their children.
- The Community
- Stories from Kenya
Welcome to Emali, Kenya
The busy trans-Africa highway splices this barren piece of Kenya. On one side of the road, the Kamba people tend their fields, the men coaxing oxen yoked to ploughs, the women hoeing large fields to keep the weeds at bay. On the other side, colourfully-beaded Maasai quietly shepherd their cows to graze on the silvery shrubs and tufty grass, while women lead donkeys with water containers strapped to their backs. Children work alongside the adults. Even at a very young age, they are required to pull their weight.
There is poverty here – you can see that people are hungry and bone tired. The arid climate means there are frequent droughts which means no harvest and the death of livestock. Families walk an average distance of 5km to get water, a task mostly done by women and young girls, and water sources are easily contaminated.
ChildFund New Zealand is helping the community to cope with both the tough times that constitute their every day existence – and the really tough times when people consider themselves fortunate to eat just one meal a day. Accessible, safe water is the solution for many of the problems – water not just for household use but for crops and livestock.
Consequently, there is always a new ChildFund New Zealand-supported water project on the go. As well as this, we’re emphasising education as a priority need identified by the community. ChildFund supports early childhood centres and schools. ChildFund has also been working with women and youth to see they have the skills and access to loans to help them get ahead. In all of these endeavours, the community are right there, actively bringing about change.
The Chair of the Parents and Children’s Committee said,
“... tell [the people in New Zealand] how much this community appreciate them. I can recall that you had a disaster recently [the Canterbury earthquake] and, despite our problems, we were even thinking about how we could help you. We were surprised when the people of New Zealand added even more support.”
What’s on Emali’s community plan: Water systems, early childhood centres and teaching support, income generating activities, and improving the quality of education.
12 December, 2013
Fighting malaria through technology
Malaria is one of the world's deadliest preventable diseases and claims millions of lives every year. Children living in developing nations are at particular risk from malaria due to inaccessibility of health care. However, thanks to a new device designed by researchers in the Netherlands and Kenya,...
26 November, 2013
From 2 hours to 20 minutes: bringing water to families in Emali
In April 2012, the situation in Emali was dire. On the road from Nairobi to Mombasa, Emali always had water issues. So much so, there was no way families living here could possibly hope to recover after the Horn of Africa Drought.When ChildFund staff first interviewed Krystal, her village had no wat...
08 November, 2013
Swapping Letters for a Kenyan Visit
After sponsoring Rency since she was 5 years old, Errol and Kaye Hadfield topped off years of enthusiastic letter writing with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to meet her in Kenya. Errol describes their memorable journey. Rency is 20 now, so this trip has been a long time coming, and we were so excited...
07 November, 2013
A gift of seeds makes Ayo's dreams grow
When Ayo’s dad abandoned the family, and a drought came, things became very tough. That’s why the drought-resistant vegetable seeds given by Kiwis were such a help. Ayo’s mum told ChildFund staff:“It was dry; the farms were empty and there was nothing growing. I was ...
01 November, 2013
Borehole provides fresh water and a fresh start
Life has been pretty hard for the community of Emali, according to Jackline, the teacher at Entumoto early childhood centre in the Kenyan rural township. In 2011 they struggled through a severe drought and the fear of future droughts is never far away from people’s minds.
11 October, 2013
A family holiday like no other
After more than 15 years of child sponsorship, Marg King, her husband Phil and their eldest son, Jamie, jumped at the chance to meet three of their sponsored children in Kenya. Marg tells us her story. Visiting our sponsored children is something we’d always wanted to do, but it jus...
27 August, 2013
"Thank you very much for our goat!"
Moses is an orphan from Emali, Kenya who lives with his grandmother, Grace. His mother passed away when he was only two weeks old from HIV/AIDS complications. Thanks to the generosity of Africa Orphan Rescue supporters, they received a goat, vegetable seeds, and the chance for a secure future. After...
20 June, 2013
A Tale of Two Lucys in Kenya
Lucy de Latour set out on an adventure to Africa in September 2012. After spending two months working as a volunteer in Uganda, she crossed the border into Kenya to visit her sponsor child of three years, a very special nine year-old called Lucy. My first impressions of Kenya were inevitably colou...
07 February, 2013
A strong bond between Kiwis and Kenyans
Kiwi sponsor Clare Lindsay, from Auckland's North Shore, decided to begin a trip to Africa by visiting her sponsored child Francis. After writing letters for 15 years, Clare describes what it was like to actually meet Francis in person.My 16 year old daughter and I made a 25 day trip to Africa...
17 January, 2013
An update on Molly
This update from Kenya shows just how much Molly's life has changed since she was filmed for ChildFund's Africa Orphan Rescue ad.Molly is now ten years old and still living with her grandparents. She is now in primary school in standard seven and next year she will be in standard eight, which is the...
09 January, 2013
Making a lasting difference in the Horn of Africa
In late 2011, a drought and famine crisis threatened the lives of people living in the Horn of Africa. Thanks to the incredible generosity of everyday Kiwis, ChildFund has been able to not only provide emergency assistance to families in Kenya, but work with communities to develop long term so...
17 December, 2012
An amazing experience in Kenya
When Rosanne Worsfold from West Auckland visited her sponsored child in Kenya, she saw first-hand how child sponsorship really works.“Arriving at the local Kenyan airport was a big culture shock. Africa was very different to anything I had experienced before....
Primary school education is free in Kenya but it only begins at the age of six or seven. ChildFund New Zealand has renovated or constructed more than 30 preschools in Kenya in order to give children a foundation for learning that will help them transition from home to school. 1,700 children are now learning basic skills and have access to nutritious meals and clean water. The children receive regular medical checks and are vaccinated against diseases such as measles.
Emali is a rural area of Kenya that is very prone to drought. ChildFund New Zealand has worked hard to ensure that the community has enough water. Water tanks have been given to preschools, water pipelines have been extended, troughs have been built for livestock and two sand dams constructed. Even in the dry season, people can dig down into the sand behind the dams to find water. The dams have allowed farmers to water their crops and give their families healthy food.
Robert used to sell small amounts of spinach but during the dry season he had to leave his family to find extra work. Construction of a sand dam has changed his life:
"I'm married with two children – a boy and a girl. We earn a living through farming. It was a hard life before this project began. I've benefited much from the dam because now we get a lot of water and I can plant more. The children have changed because of the nutritious food they get. Nutrition is important for them. Even their mental capabilities are improving – my son is now number one in school!"
Conor helps his dad in the fields beside the dam. He said, "I help my father, seeing that the spinach does well. Our new house is liveable now. It's nice living in it, and that's just because of the farming. I want to be an engineer when I grow up because the roads in our area are muddy and dusty."