Dear Friends of Nyumbani,

Greetings to each one following our marking 100 days since COVID-19 came to our country, Kenya. With more equipment and reagents, testing has increased, with the consequent increase in COVID-19 cases. The cumulative total at the moment is 4,738 with one third, 1,607 having recovered, and, sadly, 123 have died. May they as well as those who have passed away in our world rest in peace with God, and may their families be helped and comforted. Estimates now predict that we are approaching the peak. Thank God, Nyumbani programs remain free of the infection.

Words are inadequate to thank those who generously responded to the appeal in my last letter which realized sufficient funds to cover the cost of Kshs. 2.8 million needed to purchase food for our Lea Toto families for end of June-July. We are now able to buy another 300 Bags of maize, 90 bags of beans, 3,000 kg of porridge flour and 2,025 litres of cooking oil. While each donation is special for us, I wish to thank our Spanish Board, Amigos De Nyumbani, who carried out a campaign which realized a significant amount.

I know that some more donations are on the way, but I still appeal to others to support us for the months ahead. We are also very grateful to our Kenyan Friends who bring food in kind. Medicines for Humanity are currently seeking help from World Food Program to have 6 containers of the supplement, Harvest Lentil Pro shipped to us. This will especially help our young children, many of whom can become malnourished especially during this time of COVID-19. Other significant donations for our Lea Toto Centres was the donation of 8 washing stations for hand washing, gift from Stanbic Bank through The Rotary Club, Karen and sanitizers from Amref for Nyumbani Home.

One of our grandmothers in Nyumbani Village, Mary Mbatha Nzoka became seriously ill with a cardiac-related problem, was hospitalized, but then discharged for further management. In discernment with herself, her family and our staff, she decided that it would be best for her return to her home of origin in Machakos County. This meant a sad loss for the children in her Village family. They are currently  being supported by the other grandmothers in cluster 12. Mary Mbatha had lived and served in Nyumbani Village since April, 2009. Just one of her grand children is still with us, Muli Nzyoki, Form 1.

Both in Nyumbani Home and Village, our children are engaged in creative and other activities. Each of the Nyumbani Home families has a painting on the door of their home chasing COVID-19 out of Nyumbani! Currently, some are entering painting competitions. After our virtual Mass on Sunday, 14th June we were treated to a song created and sung by Rosemary, and on 21st June we enjoyed 3 songs created by a music group. Others are writing stories, engaged in gardening and one, Canary built a radio with Bluetooth. Nyumbani Village CVTC students are engaged in repairing household items and maintaining property; others are engaged in care of the environment. Seeds of a variety of vegetables were developed in a general nursery so that each family can plant these vegetables in their family garden for food. The family kitchens are being renovated with bricks which the children made. Clothes are being repaired. Life in the Village is busy!

The ASAP (Accelerating Support for Advanced Local Partners) Consultancy will conclude at the end of June. COGRI Nyumbani Board training took place on 29th and 30th May, and Change Management sessions for Managers on 2nd and 3rd June. Currently, Technical Assistance is taking place individually or in groups for Managers. Tenders for purchase of the ERP were examined last week. Demonstrations by the 3 companies identified will take place this week here in the Head Office. We are at an exciting stage now as we await the installation.

The rainwater pond in Nyumbani Village is now almost complete and purchase of the solar pump is in process. The system will soon be up and running, following which Global Environment Facility will fund the construction of 6 more greenhouses to bring the number constructed to 30.

As we continue to ask God to help us contain COVID-19 in our country, Kenya we also pray that this will happen throughout the world, and that the vaccine will soon be validated and become equally available to all. We also keep in thought and prayer those whose businesses have been severely affected that soon a recovery process will be possible.

God bless each one,

Sister Mary Owens, IBVM Executive Director

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