Sponsor Matunda


The rising cost of living in Kenya (averaging 7% per year!) is taking its toll. And then we not even talking about the costs of building that (of course!) exceeded the expected budget.

That’s why we are looking for more possibilities for people to support the center.

We are, of course, very grateful for the one-time gifts, but a monthly or yearly donation gives us more continuity and certainty as to the money coming in and when.

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They moved in!


The building was finally finished enough to be able to move in! As they don’t have that much in goods (no room!), the moving didn’t take long to accomplish. It’s a castle compared to the old place, with plenty of room, running water, toilets, but the electricity…

It seems the contractor was supposed to request connecting the electricity several months ago, as it takes two months after requesting and payment to get connected. Oops. So we’re still waiting on that.

Another downside, while we have city water, the pressure is not enough to fill the raised tank (for gravity feed when the water quits, which is often does). We had to put in a water pump, but it’s electric and still waiting to start its work. In the meantime, we have the 5,000 liter tank filled from a tank truck. Continue reading

Almost moving?


In the meantime I’m back in the Netherlands… and in Kenya they still have been able to move. Ok, we’re used to delays, so this news should not really be a big surprise!

We’re a bit further in time, and although the building is still going on – no moving yet. The workers have been busy with finishing the water tanks, rainwater gutters and pipes, plastering the inside of the toilets building and kitchen, painting the classrooms and the room for the caretaker, and when finished painting the toilets and kitchen. Upstairs will not be finished for a while. Continue reading

School trip


The trip was for a large part thanks to a generous gift from a friend and was a huge success! De bus ride to Paradise Lost in Nairobi was in itself an adventure.

They were greeted by a guide and went for a tour of the fauna in the park, after which a visit at a cave with waterfall. For the kids this was the hit of the day! Screaming in the cave and standing above and below the waterfall, getting soaking wet. Continue reading

Time is up (again)


In the meantime my month here has flown by. It was quite busy, with coordinating the building, the necessary backlog of bookkeeping, shopping for things for the kitchen and other things needed, taking pictures, as well as selecting them and putting them and the stories on the site, meeting and talking with all concerned in Kenya, as well as, of course, visiting with the kids.

I really had the hope that we would be able to move in the time that I was here, but unfortunately it was not meant to be. We’re very close, with only some plaster work to be done, and the last of the toilet plumbing, and painting in the kitchen and toilets. Continue reading

Cleaning up the neighborhood


As chance would have it (or it was meant to be) I met several Australians and a Kenyan who started a clean-up group for the streets in the area (Kayole Mtaa Safi – “clean up the area of Koyole”). They are working their way through the streets once a week, using shovels, rakes, pick-axes, and their hands. In the three years that they have been operating, they have grown to a large group of especially young volunteers, who have the intention to clean up “their” city.

If you see the garbage in the streets, it might seem like impossible work, but the will is there to make a difference. In the meantime, you now see more businesses cleaning in front of their shop, but also people in front of their houses. Of course it is necessary to convince the local people that it is in their interest to keep the neighborhood clean. Continue reading

How important is the finishing work?


We are now getting to the point that the difference is becoming clear between building in a Western country and Kenya. As noted before, the building is well-done – it has a solid foundation, sturdy walls with heavy concrete pillars, and a good concrete upper floor.

The differences are clear in the finishing. I have spent a lot of time correcting on the plaster work and straight lines along the balcony, roof, stairway and the entrance steps and edges. The tiles didn’t go that easily and several were replaced, due to bad cutting, rough edges, and just not being placed correctly. In the end, it all worked out quite well.

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After a week


In the meantime het railing is done on the stairs and on the balcony, most of the water lines are in, and electrician is starting with the wiring.

The building is a good, sturdy structure, and safe. Much of that you don’t see. The foundation is very important for a good building, but is in the ground. The concrete pillars and floor are covered with cement and plaster. Now the things are coming that are visible and they are also important. The cement along the railing on the stairs must be flat and even, the edges along the balcony smooth and straight. The gate and railing on the stairs must be straight, as well as sturdy, and the edges of the walls along the doors and the building must also be straight and smooth Continue reading

Back in Nairobi


As noted last time, we had to stop building because of lack of funds. This period also gave me a chance to regroup and get organized to go back to Nairobi, where I just arrived. It’s always good to be back and be welcomed by all the kids and those involved with Matunda, but also the people in the neighborhood, and even on the way walking to the neighborhood.

After a newsletter in Dutch, money has been coming in, and we were able to start building again. Right now we’re working on the first water tank; the one for rainwater collection, but will now be used for city water until we can afford the second one. Also at work are the people raising the outside wall a bit, the electrician, water for the toilets, and handrails and a gate for the stairway. Continue reading

And then we had to stop


It’s disappointing, and it wouldn’t be right if all went according to plan, but the costs have gone up clearly more than was planned for. We´ve seen this coming for a while, as it seems that the financial plan didn’t include a few necessary items, among other things the cost of the concrete floor for the first floor!

In the end, the building is nearing completion, but we ran out of money and had to stop in our tracks. Remaining are quite a few items, as the building itself still needs the railing on the stairs and balcony, the water tanks (one for rainwater and one for fresh water from the city), a couple of toilets, gutters for the rainwater and electricity, and plaster on the walls of the toilets and the outside wall of the compound. Continue reading

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