Building Sustainable Development

By Jaclyn Snook

Poverty. This is a word with many meanings. It’s a word that touches the lives and hearts of every nationality, country and city. Poverty. This is a word that no one wants to have attached to their name and in many cases is a word that turns many away with an instant onset of fear. Poverty touches the lives of people I call my dear friends and family. What does poverty look like? That is a question that would take weeks to even scratch the surface of. Poverty is mostly seen as a lack of basic needs such as food and water. But poverty can also be relational, a lack of personal loving relationships.

My heart burns to see every person old and young have the same opportunity to reach their full potential in life. It’s my dream that children all around the world grow up with the opportunity to get an education, have food in their belly and someone to love them. This is what we are trying to do at Kuamini. We are helping children in desperate need of assistance to go to school and have a meal to feed their belly and mind. This fills my heart with so much joy knowing that a child who would otherwise become just another statistic is given a chance. They will be world changers.

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We at Kuamini strive to promote sustainable development in all the areas of our work. We have a desire to give a hand up not a hand out. We desire to end the cycle of poverty in the lives of the people we reach and create a relationship with them not just mechanically “help” them with our magic western ways.

Charity giving plant

Creating Sustainable Development

If my last statement sounded harsh…I’m sorry. I just have seen the richness of the culture and beauty amongst the poorest of poor. I’ve seen people with absolutely nothing give with so much generosity and love than people who have it all. This challenged me and still does every single day. A woman raising her children alone, living in a mud hut with nothing gave me 5 yards of fabric because she cared for me. This woman who sewed her heart out to put food on the table and send her children to school sacrificed so much to show she cared. This woman lived in material poverty but was one of the wealthiest in spirit I have ever met. She didn’t need me, I needed her. She didn’t need me to buy her material goods I needed her to teach me about generosity and love. As a charity we strive to look deeper than surface level when we assist those in need. We want to help but only if it will help someone help themselves.

What does this look like? Buying and raising chickens, buying a brick maker, providing a meal for hungry students, helping children go to school so they have a chance at a future. It looks like life partnership, also known as friendship! I wouldn’t mindlessly feed a friend’s addiction or weakness. I would love and partner with them to see that they reach their full potential. This is what we stand for at Kuamini – serving others through sustainable development.

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Garage Sale Fundraiser

Our board members had a meeting on Monday and I find myself really inspired by the people on “Team Kuamini”. A really positive, fun and compassionate group of people. One of us will get an idea and from it, sparks ten more ideas from all of our creative minds.

One of the major topics of discussion that we tackled in the board meeting was fundraising. It’s really  the next step that we need to make in order to progress with getting the word out about Kuamini and starting to do the work we need to do in Kenya.

We brainstormed many fundraising ideas and we are going to be starting these initiatives in just a few weeks! The first thing we are doing is a garage sale in Paris Ontario. We are going to sell good, used items and also delicious baked goods. The funds that we raise at the sale will go towards renting a booth at another event which will give us the chance to get the word out about Kuamini and also to raise more funds so that we can purchase mosquito nets and possibly construct latrines in Kenya.

If you live in Brant county and would like to either donate goods, volunteer at the sale or shop at the sale we’d love to hear from you!! You can leave a message here or contact us on facebook.

Malaria

One of the major challenges people in Kenya face is Malaria.

Malaria is a mosquito borne infectious disease that is spread by female mosquitos biting unprotected people. Common symptoms of Malaria include fever and headache however in more serious cases people with Malaria experienced slipping into a coma and even death.

The two best ways to prevent Malaria include the use of mosquito nets and insect repellants. Unfortunately these items are not readily available in the areas most affected by Malaria.

Last year over 200 million people got Malaria and over 1 million people died from the disease. Most of those who passed away were children living in Africa. These numbers may actually be higher in reality as many cases were not documented.

The Kuamini team have talked about this serious issue in Kenya and have included this concern in their action plan to bring wellness to the people of Kenya. One of our goals will be to provide mosquito netting to those who need it. This will increase health and well being which will allow people to attend school, go to work and to thrive in general.

I  the future we will look at how to fund the netting, where to get it from and how to distribute it to those in need. Where there is a will there is a way!

 

About Kuamini and the Team

We are a dynamic group of individuals based out of Southern Ontario and we are working together to form a charity that will aid in the well-being of individuals living in Kenya.

Follow this blog to learn more about our process, the projects we are working on, who we are helping, who we are and how you can be involved.

We welcome your comments, suggestions and of course, your encouragement!

Stay tuned as we add more information to this blog, create our website and expand our social media presence. We have a challenging but beautiful journey ahead of us!