The Olive Branch Foundation

... fighting poverty and corruption through education

Newsletter 43 - November 2017

Dear friends and supporters of our school and orphanage in Kenya,

You may have seen on the news recently of the civil unrest in Kenya due to the uncertainty of the political situation there.

There was much fear and anxiety among the general population that the violence would reach the same levels as 2007 when 1300 people died.  Thankfully, this was not the case, and since the president has been declared it is hoped that it will improve the situation.  Everybody has been praying for common sense to prevail.  Unfortunately, this does not always happen, particularly when politics mixed with corruption and criminality seem to be joined at the hip.

I thank God that we have a very large perimeter wall around our children and that we are some distance from the trouble spots.

Within the school life goes on as normal, children working hard from very, very early in the morning till late in the evening as they prepare for their exams, exams which decide their future.  Our students understand clearly how important their education is to them.  At the moment, the fourth year of the secondary school are taking their final exams before they leave us.  We know how far we have brought them, but by the middle of this month they will be facing some hard choices.  We will be doing our very best to counsel them and guide them into their future career pathways.  Then they have to start using their own initiative and self-reliance that we have instilled in them over these last few years.

It is hoped that some will go to university; some may go into industry; some will be academic; some will work with their hands.  In whatever field of endeavour they venture into, rest assured they have received the very best education and upbringing that we could afford them.  And it is all thanks to you, dear friend and supporter.  At The Olive Branch Foundation we can do nothing but applaud you.

Earlier this year we started to build a second dormitory for the boys and we believed we had all the funding in place. Sadly, owing to raging inflation of materials and labour costs, that particular project is not yet complete and the young ladies that stay with us are still in overcrowded accommodation.  This is something we are hoping to prioritise - to get that second dormitory finished.  If you feel you can help with this, we are still looking to raise a further £2,000 towards that particular project.

Now that sounds like a lot of money, but we're still going to have a very cost-effective building not only in monetary terms but in the welfare of the children.  12p will buy a brick; £12 will buy a roofing panel; £15 will pay the wages of a builder for a day.  What can you afford? Even if it's only a brick, it is one more brick nearer to completion.  Thank you.

In our last newsletter I explained how we're going to have an auction of promises.  The date has now been fixed as Saturday February 24th at the Public Hall in Liskeard. Please put that in your diary and keep thinking about things you can find for us to auction.  Whether it’s goods or services, we can sell it, as always you can rest assured every penny reaches those children.

Finally, as always, I like to thank you so sincerely for your support in the past and your support in the future.  That work in Kenya is changing lives for the betterment of the individual and for society.

Highest regards to you all and thank you so much.

Chris Hirst