Our Friends in Eldoret
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us here in Perth but most realise how fortunate we are to be living in Australia with our strong and efficient health care system, our affluence which enable this country to support the needs of all and a widely held view that no matter what our political preference may be, our Federal and State Governments have been working hard to protect all Australians.
COVID-19 is beginning to have a devastating effect across Africa and the news from our Partners in Mission, the Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya is not good. The availability of clean water for drinking is an issue so the idea of using such a precious resource for washing hands regularly does not receive widespread support. The availability of hand sanitiser has been a first world problem so imagine what it must be like in villages and densely populated slum areas across Africa. Social distancing might be an annoying requirement for us but in cities with extremely high populations such as Nairobi it is almost impossible. Health services already stretched have limited capacity to cope with the pandemic.
Please pray for adequate international aid to resource the distribution of PPE, vaccines and other medical resources and personnel needed to slow the virus and allow all people the chance to survive this pandemic.
The good news from Eldoret is that our Partnership in Mission (PiM) is alive and well. The first of the four projects is nearing completion and when COVID-19 allows for the next project/s to commence we are all ready to re-activate the process.
The first of the PiM projects is the provision of an upgraded internet and infrastructure for the Diocesan Office, the Community Based Rehabilitation Centre (CBR) and the Bishop’s Home. The internet is the most efficient means of communication in Eldoret and it was identified by both Dioceses that without an upgrade the Eldoret leadership was not able to communicate effectively and reliably with its parishes, mission areas and personnel both lay and ordained. The upgraded internet also supports the work of the CBR Centre and the Diocesan accommodation located within the CBR buildings. With work undertaken by James Gatambo, a member of the Perth PIM Committee, the preliminary works involving the installation of all cabling and trunking has been completed. The activation works involving the installation and configuration of all active components, user training and commissioning commenced before the end of January. We wait in hope to hear of the successful commissioning of the system and for the Diocese of Eldoret to have a reliable internet service.
The second and third projects are the provision of solar panels and ultimately solar hot water to the Community Based Rehabilitation Centre and Accommodation centre, and the provision of clean drinking water via a bore and solar pump to the Kabongo Primary School and surrounding villages.
The cost of both these projects have been affected by the Kenyan Government imposing a 14% VAT on all renewable energy equipment increasing the overall cost by $A5000.
These projects will commence as soon as the situation in Kenya allows and it is our hope that these will begin the very near future.
Our fourth project is the Parish to Parish links whereby parishes and ministries such as schools, agencies and Cathedrals in each Diocese are linked for prayerful support, mutuality and developing a relationship through which we grow together in Christ. There are a growing number of parishes entering into these links and it would be wonderful if every parish and school, agency and Cathedral in Perth developed such a link (or a few!) in Eldoret.
To explore this possibility please contact Jill Bowman, another member of the Perth PiM Committee at jsbowman@ bigpond.net.au
ABM AND PERTH DIOCESE PARTNERSHIP - DISABILITIES INCLUSION PROJECT
ABM, in its current project book, describes this project in this way:
What a difference a strong church partnership can make! The Kenya Disability Inclusion Project is the fruit of a mission partnership between the Diocese of Perth, the Diocese of Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley and ABM. The project has just passed its three-year milestone, and so much has been achieved.
The Project supports adults with a disability, or parents caring for a child with a disability, with small business loans and training so they can improve their livelihoods and flourish as God intends. It also raises awareness within the Church and community of the humanity of people with a disability.
You can read more on the ABM website link at Project Book 2021 or follow the link Kenya: Disability Inclusion Project · Kenya.
This project needs $10,000 as a minimum in 2021.
Parishes, agencies, schools, the Cathedral and individuals can donate through the Local ABM Committee, nominating this project by name or directly to ABM (code KE11DB). It is making a difference and we can all be part of it.
Image © Community-based Rehabilitation Program, Diocese of Eldoret, Kenya. Used with permission.