SAVE THE DATE: General meeting on October 16th, 2020
Our annual general meeting takes place on October 16th, 2020 from 4 pm to 6:30 pm CEST in Berlin. We will inform you of the items on the agenda and the exact location in a timely manner. We are looking forward to welcoming a large number of members and will also provide rooms where we can meet with sufficient distance.
Restructured and revamped: Welcome Michelle, Jane, and Janine to the team
In the past weeks we have not only given a lot of thought to the lives of our children in the orphan’s village during the pandemic, we have not only talked about urgently needed repairs and the necessary financial means, we have also discussed at great length about how we as an association can act better and more efficiently both from Germany and on location in order to be even better prepared for future tasks. So we have once again reorganized the management in the orphanage and distributed the responsibilities among several people. Since late July, Kenyan native Michelle Nabwire has been in the orphanage and has taken over the management. Jane Karimi has already been with us since May and handles the bookkeeping and accounting on site. Together with Jane on an interim basis, Purity Wawira, who had taken over the management from Martina Petroll, will once again devote herself entirely to her tasks as a social worker in the orphanage and will be the first point of contact for the children and the housemothers. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Martina Petroll very much for her work with the children and the fresh new ideas she has brought with her.
We welcome Janine Diek who will be supporting the team in Germany. She supports us in our daily doings and is above all the direct link in communication with Africa. We will introduce all three newcomers to the team here in the weeks to come. With this new structure, we are confident that we can master any challenges we face today and those that lie ahead.
A look at the village in the times of Corona.
The video shows life in the orphan’s village during the COVID-19 pandemic. All schools are closed and our UPENDO children are safe and sound in the village. Here is a small insight into how they spend the sometimes long day.
There’s lots to do! An update from the village
Corona is and continues to remain a topic in Kenya and it is sometimes therefore difficult to get an accurate picture of the situation there when looking at it from abroad. However, we are in contact with Purity and Jane, who have taken over the interim management as well as the accounting and controlling on site and report to us daily. Fortunately, all children and adults in the village are in good health.
Our village remains in lockdown. The doors are only opened for shopping and the most urgent repairs. Since the schools are still closed, this is where the children do their homework. And when they aren’t doing that, it is also where they dance and play in the fresh air.
New challenges – there is much to do!
It slowly became apparent to us that our village has been around for 13 years now and is in need of many repairs. Termites have chewed through a lot of the cables, so we currently have to completely redo the electrical system. But, at the moment, other repairs are also urgently needed. In addition to the electrical wiring, things like painting, putting up mosquito nets and installing new stovepipes for the kitchen need to be done.
Some of our children are facing a completely new challenge that has nothing to do with the virus: They are growing up! And that means job training, studying, and living alone. We will report about these changes.
A big thank you to our donors!
In these difficult times, in which everyday life is only possible to a limited extent and our orphans are looked after and cared for around the clock in the UPENDO Children’s Village, we were able to record some special donations. We would like to thank you for this on behalf of the children as well.
IMAD ALJOUDA * JULIAN DREUW * SABINE HECKT * SABINE AND PETER KIENZLE * MECHTHILD KIPCKE * FRIEDRICH-PETER MEILAHN * DIRK NACHTSHEIM * GABRIELE AND JOSEF DIETER VIETH O. * SUSANNE PLOUGH AXE * HELMUT RAATZ * DR. JÜRGEN RAMOLLA AND CAROLA IMBERY-RAMOLLA * SILVIA REHFELD * BORIS AND NICOLE SCHMIERECK * RAINER AND ANGELIKA SCHWARZ * ANDREA VIT * LUCIA VIT * HEIKE WALTER
ALUCONCEPT AG * ELEKTROBAU SÜD * BLECK + SÖHNE BAU- UND TIEFBAU * ENGINEERING OFFICE LIEBERT * JURA GASTRO VERTRIEBS GMBH
Asante Sana! Thank you!x
We would be very happy if every donor becomes a permanent member. Further information can be found on our website under the section “Your help”.
x(in case we forgot someone, we apologize—it wasn’t intentional)
Everyone is healthy! We’ll make sure of it.
First things first: All the children and staff in the orphan’s village are doing well given the current circumstances. No case of Corona has been reported so far. However, the potential impact of the Corona pandemic on the health care system, the economy and also on socio-political cohesion in Kenya is a real threat. This makes it all the more important for us to live up to our responsibility for the village in terms of safety, accommodation and food more than ever before. And this is not always easy. We have already taken a lot of organizational measures to prevent the virus from spreading. All the food supplies in the orphanage have been restocked, so that the supply is safe, and about half of our children currently live with relatives who usually visit them during holidays or at other times during the year. In the orphanage itself, about 25 children are looked after by the staff, who also live permanently onsite. All children, including those cared for outside of the home, were taught the rules of proper hygiene and behavior during the Corona pandemic. We will ensure and do our best to keep children and employees healthy.
Hard times have also begun for donors in Germany. However, it is precisely in these times that we need such valuable financial support. This is the only way to ensure the ongoing operation of the orphan’s village. Schools, shops, markets, and small grocery stores have closed. Only the supermarkets are still open, where the prices of food have increased many times over. We, and of course our children, are happy about any and every amount of support.
A big thank you to the Deutsches Theater in Munich!
The roof of the main house in our orphanage could be repaired at the beginning of the year and re-roofed in Makuti style, so that the original Kenyan style was preserved. For this we would like to express our sincere thanks to the Deutsches Theater in Munich, in particular to its managing director Werner Steer. The show Afrika! Afrika! raised a considerable amount of donations. Werner Steer is very close to the orphanage and visited the children again in February this year. It was a lovely reunion!
Asante Sana – many thanks!
All the best for our kids!
The current worldwide, predominant topic COVID-19 unfortunately also affects our orphan’s village. The Kenyans had no chance to prepare themselves for the pandemic in time. Kenya reacted rigorously when the third Corona case became known. Within two days, day cares, schools and universities were closed. Our Upendo Kids were sent home immediately. While in Germany. the supply of toilet paper seems to have been the most important thing for some, in Kenya, it is the most basic supply of clean water, food, and drinks. Since our children will stay in the orphan’s village from now on and will be cared for all day, this means that the costs for food and drinks there will increase immensely. But what worries us most is a possible infection, as the health care system there is in no small way comparable to German standards. Stay healthy, everybody!
(This photo was taken during our last onsite visit in February)
Our new manager Martina Petroll
This year we welcomed to the team a German manager, Mrs. Martina Petroll, for our orphan’s village in Ukunda. She has been working for us since the beginning of October and moved from Germany to Kenya for this position. As manager in the orphanage she is in charge of all the activities on site and is also our contact person at all times. We are pleased to have found a committed and trustworthy contact person for our children and the German association.
Her contact information:
UPENDO Children’s Village
P.O BOX 1622-80400, UKUNDA
Theatre group Upendo Children’s Village
Our new manager, Martina Petroll, initiated a theatre and dance company in the orphanage. “There are many traumatized children and children with low self-esteem and behavioral problems. Art and dance can be a way to cope with this, but above all to gain a better self-confidence. It is also a new form of expression for the children and also a small talent factory,” says Martina Petroll. Professional support is provided by an entertainer who works with the children once a week. In addition, the Diani Reef Beach Resort is our new sponsor for the entire project. The help is greatly appreciated! The Upendo theatre takes place every Saturday from 2 pm to 4 pm in the Upendo Children’s Village.