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The Harvest Has Come to Kitui!

Our deep thanks to all of you who donated to our World Food Day campaign in October to help provide food to the community of Kitui, Kenya, that we serve through Mocha Club.  We have been sponsoring a group of orphans there for the past few years.  Kitui is a community that was largely affected by drought, with no documentation of rain since May of 2006.

Good News!

The harvest has come to Kitui! They finally got rain this past rainy season and were able to grow new crops.  Because of your help through World Food Day, we were able to help sustain life until these new crops arrived!  Check out these incredible photos and celebrate with us!

From our African Leadership National Director in Kenya, Benson Mutisya: “YES!  God is faithful to his people. This time He has remembered the Kitui people. THANK YOU FOR STANDING WITH US DURING THOSE THREE VERY DIFFICULT YEARS. GOD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY.”

The Harvest…

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The little girl, Abby, is the granddaughter of Benson Mutisya, our African Leadership National Director in Kenya. Abby is four and half years has never seen corn crops before. Here she is saying, “Our God finally supplied our needs!”

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Susan Mutisya, Benson’s wife, shows some of the newly harvested crops

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The harvest has come!

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This corn plant didn’t seem to care which way the corn was produced as long as it produced some anyway!

The Famine Relief Before the Harvest…

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Truck loaded with provisions

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African Leadership National Director in Kenya, Benson Mutisya, hands out provisions to the Kitui people

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Thank you!

The Kitui Orphan Project: The Mocha Club Experience Webisode 6

Check out this beautiful video from Char & Skiff introducing you to the orphans Mocha Club serves in Kitui…

The Mocha Club Experience: Starting November 1, 2009, Seattle Pacific University recent graduates Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington and Charlie “Char” Beck visit all of Mocha Club’s current projects in 7 countries and take Mocha Club supporters and friends on a three-month virtual adventure to experience real life in Africa. Stay tuned for regular updates!

"Welcome to Kitui" by Skiff

Written a few days ago…

Kitui

road in Kitui

by Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington

Welcome to Kitui, Kenya.  The wind blows frequently through this sparsely populated area—located three hours east of Nairobi. I am sitting in a small country cottage without running water or electricity.  The stench of mosquito repellent mixes with a pleasant smell of simmering vegetables on the kitchen stove.  The pace of life here is slow, albeit hard working.  Farmers awake long before the sun rises and go to bed long after it sets.

Meals here are simple.  Breakfast often consists of tea and bread.  Lunch is heartier with a plentiful helping of beans and rice.  Dinner comes late (often past 10pm) and is usually a concoction of the day’s leftovers.  Conversation at night takes place under the dim light of candles or no light at all.  The day’s events are discussed, family issues are reconciled, and evening prayers are given as thanks for another day.  Like many communities in Africa, life in Kitui is not taken for granted.  Some people are dying.  Most struggle to put food on the table.

Charlie and I will spend the week on a property of several acres, where teenagers work to cultivate crops of beans and corn.  The owners are thankful to have something most are without: jobs.  Michael works as a pharmacist (or chemist as it’s called here), while his wife Jemimah teaches at a local elementary school.  The couple is well-respected in the community.  In addition to their busy lives at work, they are also in charge of the Kitui Orphan Project.  The organization, funded by Mocha Club, provides food rations, clothing and school fees to kids left orphaned by AIDS.  It is truly a bright light in a community darkened by death and disease.

Upon our return to Nairobi, we will compile a documentary about the project.  We will hear from Michael and Jemimah.  We will also speak with project volunteers.  Most importantly, you will hear from the orphans themselves. We are especially excited to introduce to you to Comfort.  She is a six-year-old girl who lost her mother to AIDS when she was just two.  Stay tuned in the coming days for more details.  In the meantime,  take care.

The Mocha Club Experience: Starting November 1, 2009, Seattle Pacific University recent graduates Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington and Charlie “Char” Beck visit all of Mocha Club’s current projects in 7 countries and take Mocha Club supporters and friends on a three-month virtual adventure to experience real life in Africa.  Stay tuned for regular updates!

GUEST BLOG: "My Experience in Kitui" by Allison Buchignani

Dry land in Kitui, Kenya

trees in Kitui and a field that will hopefully grows crops again soon

I had some eye-opening experiences when I went to Kitui, Kenya this July with African Leadership.  Kitui is a village 3 or 4 hours outside Nairobi, Kenya. They are in the midst of a severe two-year drought. When we drove down the dirt roads, the air was thick with dust. Everything is terribly dry and brown instead of the lush green they described from a few years ago. The people of Kitui are praying desperately for rain to come in November when the next rainy season should start. I hope and pray it rains soon so these families I met can once again farm the land and have enough to eat.

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Boys in Kitui

In Kitui, the littlest children speak mostly their tribal language, Kamba, so rather than just talking, we spent time painting, singing, playing games, and holding hands with them. I might have imagined this extra effort involved for communication would lessen our connection with the children, but I actually found that it made our experience richer. They seemed to understand who we were and that we loved them through our actions, and we felt the same sentiments from them. I love the idea that we were challenged to be creative in the ways we showed our friendship and care for them. I hope that I will be able to continue to think and act like that even when I’m with friends who speak my language!

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Allison with Benjamin

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Benjamin is one of the orphans in Kitui supported by Mocha Club’s Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children project.  If you choose to support that project, then you are making a difference in some very wonderful children’s lives! This picture was taken while Benjamin was waiting in the batting line-up after just running the bases! We were exchanging “high fives” and cheering for the other children. Benjamin is adorable, mischievous, curious, and friendly. Because of some fairly serious health problems as a baby, he has trouble seeing, but that didn’t stop him from learning to swing at a baseball and playing and running all day long! Before we left Kenya, one member of our team decided to pay for Benjamin to get new glasses…and hopefully more home runs!

Editor’s note: Allison Buchignani was on the African Leadership Kenya trip in July 2009.  She is also a volunteer for Mocha Club.

View more trip photos here.

Famine relief in Kitui, Kenya

Thanks to your generous giving, Mocha Club was able to send half of the funds to help with famine relief in Kitui, Kenya. This is the same place where we are supporting a group of orphans, and several of the orphans and their caretakers were included in the famine distribution.

As you can see from the photos below,
the corn was all withered by drought since the seasonal rains have been missing for quite some time. There are dried crops everywhere…

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Mocha Club and African Leadership donors have helped provide maize and cooking oil for a number of families in the area until June, to help them get through the dry season. For the orphans, “family” is extended family, and can mean anything from grandmothers to aunts uncles or friends.

Here is a report on the initial famine distribution from our National Director in Kenya, Benson Mutisya:


Thank you for sending the balance of the relief funds. We had a very successful distribution last week for two days. With the help of the local chief and the church leadership were able to identify the most needy cases in the location. But in every center we had almost double the number who turned up expecting to get something. The need is overwhelming and people are in great need. About 23 families with small children camped overnight at my home gate hoping to get any left overs, but there was none. I had to speak to them in the morning and promised to consider them when I return in two weeks time. Those who received thanked God for sending help from the U.S. when the times are so hard. Some commented that this was the most organized and orderly distribution ever, where there were no nepotism or favoritism by the officials. The chief appreciated the efforts of African Leadership to the community in her location.

Please convey the most sincere appreciation from the recipients who said, “May God bless you for your love and kindness to people you don’t know, yet you care about them”.

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Meet more Kitui orphans…

Remember when we introduced you to the Kitui Orphans in Kenya that MC is helping support? We’d now like you to meet…

 

Musangi, Sindi, Katindi - orphans in Kitui, Kenya

These three girls in Kitui, Kenya finished primary school and passed very well to qualify them for their secondary school education! From left to right: Musangi Mutave, Sindi Ndemwa, and Katindi Ndunge.

 

The Mbilos

The parents of these three boys died when the oldest was only 10-years-old and the youngest was 5. These are the Mbilos, who are very bright kids at school with mean score performance of A and B in high school.

1. Felix Mbilo in the purple shirt is now 21-years-old and has completed his teacher college course. Before joining the college he had attained B in secondary school exam.

2. Simion Mbilo, who is the second born of the family, has finished his secondary school last year. His performance has been very impressive with a mean score of A, which means he is a university material.

3. Sammy Mbilo is now in form four, a very bright young man with also a mean score of A.

These three young men were rejected by the relatives after the death of the parents, but never allowed this to deter them from working hard to achieve high learning!

THANK YOU for helping give these young men and women a brighter future!

Orphans in Kitui, Kenya

We wanted to introduce you to some of the orphans in Kitui, Kenya who we’ve been able to help support through Mocha Club. There are 21 children between the ages of 4-18 in this area. They are considered orphans since both of their parents have died of AIDS and they have no other relatives who can provide for them. Through Mocha Club and African Leadership, we are also able to help provide support for a social worker there who reports back to us on how the children are doing! Your support helps provide things like school fees, uniforms, shoes, and medical attention when necessary.

Meet Rose and her grandchildren…

Rose and her grandchildren

Rose Musunza in Kitui, Kenya lost her husband about 20 years ago, and 8 years ago, she lost her son with his wife to AIDS. Her son left behind three children under the care of their 79 year old grandmother who was a housewife in a very poor Kitui village. The three children are Rose (11 yrs old, in class 6), her brother Mwania (10 yrs old, in class 5) and brother Musunza (9 year old, in class 5). Two years ago, Rose was desperately looking for someone to take the children because she could not care, feed, or even clothe them. Rose is now the happiest women in the village to see her grandchildren not only being fed, clothed and taken care of, but also in school! She always refers to African Leadership as her redeemer, but of course we know it is God using our organization to reach out to that family.

#MCJourney2018 : meet Allison!

We are excited to introduce you to another person on our Mocha Club Journey 2018 team! 

Up next…

Meet Allison!

I’m thrilled to be heading to Kenya and I wish I could take all of you with us! I have been a Mocha Club member for 9 years and have loved learning the stories of our friends in Africa and hearing about their generosity, creativity, and ingenuity as they build schools, educate kids, and so much more. When I visited Kenya in 2009, I was inspired by many people (see ancient blog posts here from MC projects in Kitui and Nairobi) but felt especially connected to the students at New Dawn because of their courageous personal stories. As a MC volunteer, I helped raise funds for them for many years with friends in Nashville, and I’m so excited to visit them again and walk in classrooms and talk with teachers.

More about me… I’m the Managing Director of the Nashville Office of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We fundraise to support St. Jude’s mission of finding cures and saving children through wonderful volunteers, corporate partners, and brilliant committees who host dinners, concerts, marathons, radio-thons, walks, golf tournaments, a rodeo, and much more. When I’m not working, I love yoga, cooking, gardening, and walks with friends in my Nashville neighborhood. I was also recently described as “A Nashville food blogger without the blog,” because I love trying new restaurants and always have a new favorite.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

**If you would like to donate – either to Allison’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Allison’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student