SHARE Africa April Newsletter

BOARD MEMBERS TRAVEL TO KENYA

SHARE’s Board President Usha Wright and Vice President, Jerry Warshaw traveled to Kenya recently to observe the operations. Here is a summary from Jerry of what they observed:

Dr. Ken Wasserman and his wife Mari Phillips met us in Nairobi, and we traveled together throughout our stay. Our first stop was at the Doublejoy Orphanage and while it is not part of SHARE it is dear to our hearts. SHARE was instrumental in Doublejoy’s start-up decades ago and has continued to support it till today. We were able to witness the successful outcome of our Clean Water Project during the visit. Until recently, the majority of the water supply at Doublejoy was from rainwater harvesting, which was increasingly threatened by worsening droughts due to climate change. The new well that we built for them at the end of last year (thanks go to our Board member Brenda for spearheading this project) is functioning beautifully and is supplying enough water for the approximately 100 orphans and their teachers.

We also saw the new van that was financed from last year’s fundraising efforts (mostly at our annual dinner and golf outing). This van has enabled us to expand the Mobile Clinic program, which the villagers are using in large numbers and continue to safely transport our orphans back and forth to school. We were able to visit a remote examination and treatment site made possible by the new van. There we observed about 50 people being cared for. Dr. Ken witnessed the exams and treatment from our local trained medical clinicians. The people appeared in very good spirits and extremely grateful for receiving this very basic healthcare.

The Kenyan SHARE Board invited us to their meeting and Ken presented an Empowerment idea to help support orphans who go to vocational schools get financing to start a small business. The Board welcomed the idea enthusiastically. Discussions on how best to initiate this ensued such as studying existing similar programs, finding mentors for the new startup business, etc. Ken offered to finance an empowerment fund sufficient to support the first 3 or 4 children with interest free loans during its pilot stage. As the program develops, we will keep you informed of our progress. Thank you Ken and Mari!

We also visited villages where our orphans stay during school break and met several of the guardian families they live with. You may recall that we started providing food to the guardian families to help take care of the entire guardian family and our orphans during these holiday break.

 

    

 

 

THE GRATITUDE OF THOSE WE HELP

A young man, Midko Ochieng Kuss who was a SHARE orphan and sponsored by Robert Broadhurst accompanied the group throughout the visit.  Midko went to university specializing in photojournalism, graduated second in his class and now works as a freelance photojournalist making a decent living and aspiring to work for one of the leading newspapers in Kenya.

In speaking with them, Midko thanked them for all SHARE had done for him. He said, “education is a passport to the future”. He stressed that the healthcare and other programs of SHARE helped to build their “resilience.” He went on to say that the kindness and compassion offered by SHARE “…changed the lives of hundreds.” Then he concluded by saying “you don’t know us, but still you loved us”.

Jerry Warshaw also noted: “We visited schools and met with school principals, many who grew up in the area our orphans are from. We also met with a number of the orphans, and they uniformly spoke about how grateful they are to SHARE.

To offer some quotes from the kids that we met:

     “I am grateful, so grateful to you”

     “I can smile again, I am no longer living under a cloud”

     “I will make of my life something special, you will see.”

     “As I want to make you all proud of me.

     “Please thank everyone in SHARE for me.”

SHARE WEBSITE UPGRADE

We have heard from several of you that you would prefer to make donations via the website without having to register with a PayPal account. We have finally cracked the code on enabling this feature! We needed to upgrade a portion of the website to allow just a credit card entry. We thank you for your patience and are happy the issue is resolved.

UPCOMING EVENT – MAY 5 JAZZ HAPPENING

Please join us on Sunday, May 5th at 5pm when we will be holding a jazz event at the beautiful Nyack Library for the purpose of reaching out to new prospective supporters. The evening includes jazz piano by the renown Bruce Barth plus refreshments and a silent auction. Please attend and bring a friend for a relaxing evening and to help us introduce more people to SHARE. The details and ticket information can be found at:

https://shareafrica.org/share-jazz-event-and-fundraiser

SHARE ORPHAN SPONSOR (SOS) ANNUAL FEE INCREASE

First, thanks to all our SHARE Orphans Sponsors for believing in our mission and for their ability to greatly impact the lives of their SHARE orphans. It’s a harsh reality that many of the over 1,000 orphans we have jointly supported into their adult years had less than a 50% chance of surviving past their childhood. SHARE’s Orphan program provides boarding school tuition, school uniforms, health care, mental health counseling and transportation for these kids and has not had an increase in its annual fees since 2017. This year however, the inflation situation in Kenya is forcing us to make a change. Effective immediately, we are implementing an increase in the annual fee from $600 to $650. We honor and appreciate all our Orphan Sponsors and don’t take this lightly. Please contact Brenda at BrendaR@shareafrica.org if this presents a great burden for you as sponsors or if you wish to discuss the need for the change in further detail. She’s always happy to talk with you.

SAVE THE DATE

SHARE’s annual dinner and golf outing will be held on September 16, 2024. Please save the date. More information to follow.

Thank you for your continued support!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Usha Wright
President

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