Our first annual PATHWAYS conference was a huge success. We were delighted to hear the progress each of our students have made this year in their academic studies as well as their own projects developed to help Kenya.
Isaac Ngere is working to develop a self sustaining orphanage for children who have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS, Monicah Wairimu is working to provide safe water to members of her community in Elementaita who for years have had to live with fluoride contaminated water, and Levis Maina has brought the volunteer organization “Hands On” to Kenya in order to improve communities through volunteerism. The presentations of these students were an inspiration to all who attended.
We are grateful for the leadership of the PATHWAYS mentors, Father D’Agostino (Isaac Ngere), Eric Kimani (Monicah Wairimu) and Mike Eldon (Levis Maina) and for the dedication of our Vice President for Kenya, Mbaabu Mathiu, and our student coordinator, Beatrice Auma. Others who have helped us are Mary Gichuru and Fatma Hyder.
During our time in Kenya we were fortunate to learn first-hand about two of our student’s projects. In Monicah’s village of Elementaita we met with women from two households that would benefit from water tanks designed to collect rain water during the rainy season. These women represented two of five families that Monicah, along with her community advisory council, has chosen, based on their level of need, to provide water tanks. Monicah realizes these water tanks are a temporary solution and is continuing to research ways to provide a permanent solution to the community’s lack of a nearby source of safe water.
We were able to participate in Levis’s “Hands on Kenya” first large volunteer project which involved cleaning wards in Kenyatta National Hospital. This project attracted the participation of 60 motivated and hard-working college students. The work and dedicated volunteerism were well appreciated by the hospital administration and staff.
Finally, while we were not able to visit Isaac’s orphanage program in the Homa Bay district, we did visit Father D’Agostino’s (mentor) project Nyumbani Children’s Home after which Isaac has modeled many of his plans.