Help Mercy go to university

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Tassen voor Matunda


We maken stoffen tassen van stof uit Kenia, die te koop zijn

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Op zoek naar smartphones


We zoeken gebruikte smartphones voor Matunda. Heb je er een liggen, dan horen we dat graag. Binnenkort gaat er iemand naar Kenia en neemt weer spullen voor ons mee. Het liefst simlockvrij en met oplader.

Alleen opladers (vooral voor Samsung) zijn ook welkom.

Bij voorbaat dank!


Joyce and her brothers were some of the first kids at Matunda. Her mother died and her father is not able to take care of them. Her younger brother Michael, one of the youngest and longest at Matunda, actually laid the first stone of the new building, together with the founder, Fredrick Mukolwe. Their names are on the plaque on the outside wall of the building.

Joyce did well in grade school, and is the natural leader of the group of teenage girls at our center. With a sponsor, she was able to attend her first year of high school this year, but seemed to be gradually doing less well. She even had been skipping school, which is not a good sign. Continue reading


He was a cute little guy, just turned one in September. Always busy trying out new toys – pieces of wood or plastic, hammers – anything he could find around the building site of Matunda. Always smiling, following everything, wanting to follow you, get picked up. A really likeable little guy.

About two weeks ago, he got sick. He seemed to have a cold; a slight fever, wanting to sit more than usual. Then he would get up and go play again. Slowly he got worse, his mother took him to the doctor. As is the custom here, he got what seemed to be a lot of medicines. Continue reading


One of our newest additions to Matunda is Mitchell. A shy little girl of eight, she started with us the beginning of this year, as her single mother can’t take care of her. She’s quite sociable, well-liked by the other kids, and easy to get along with.

As we had a sponsor for her, she was able to start school quite quickly in the preschool class and did quite well. As she was a late starter, she had some catching up to do, and did exactly that.

She just had her “graduation” and will be starting primary school in January. At the ceremony diplomas were passed out, and it turned out that she was first in the class.

To say the least, we are really proud of her!

A borehole

Just outside the gate

Some time ago, the World Bank financed water and sewer systems in our area. There already was access to electricity (for those who could pay for it), but water and sewer are an important part of good hygiene and disease prevention.

So that’s good news, right? Sure for the sewer system; that is going well. However, during the last year, we have had water three times. We have a water meter and pay monthly fees, but as I said at the water office, “I can’t wash my hands with the meter”. Of course it’s crazy to be paying for something that is not doing what it is made for – delivering and measuring water flow.

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Cleaning up the neighborhood

We started this program last year and restarted again this year – cleaning up the streets of the neighborhood. (Check out the story from last year.)

Inspired by a group led by several Australians, who started a large project (usually around 25 young local people working), they have been cleaning for a few years now. Moving from one street to the next, they not only try to clean, but to inspire by word and example, that others will follow and understand what it means to clean up and keep it that way. It’s surprising how many people and store-owners now keep the area in front of their house or shop clean. Continue reading

Tour of the building

Outside the front gate

Things are finishing up here as far as the building goes. And as far as the money goes. The plumbing, roof (it’s not leaking anymore!), electrical work, and plastering are all done. The painter can now finish up his work. The outside wall is done, and it’s just some ceilings to be finished that were waiting for the roof to not leak, and the “skirts” – the bottom three feet or so of the walls of the building and the outside walls that are a darker color. This is to keep it looking better even after being rain-splashed on and with continual touching by the kids.

Laura, a Belgian girl that is staying at the same house I am at (one of several volunteers with Alice, who runs a school in another area), has been painting figures in one of the rooms. A real improvement and it livens it up a lot. We’re grateful that she has been doing this. The other young people at Alice’s have also chipped in and have been preparing the walls and paint, and painting. I never realized how hard it is to mix paints to get the colors you want! Continue reading

What’s in it for me?

Why do I do this? Why do I regularly go (often with Marianne/Jo) to a country that is poor, although better than many African countries? If the government or the rich Kenyans would take of these people, I wouldn’t be needed. (This is actually true of richer countries, as well!) And there are so many poor that this is a drop in the bucket.

Does it feed my ego that these people are so grateful or that everyone wants to talk to me; that the children greet me so often? Do I feel important that I’m the boss and I can tell people how to build and what to do? Is it guilt that I was born in a rich country and have had all the chances these people haven’t? Of course I had to make good on those advantages, but still. Continue reading

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