Update on The Granny Story April 2022

NANCY

There shall be peace on earth, but not until

All children daily eat their fill,

Go warmly clad against the winter wind

And learn their lessons with a tranquil mind.

And then, released from hunger, fear and need

Regardless of their color, race or creed

Look upward smiling to their skies,

Their faith in life reflected in their eyes.

It has been said that grandmothers are remarkable women. They’re a wonderful combination of warmth, kindness, laughter and love. No better example is the Kings Kikima Grannies, two groups who will never meet each other but who are connected in every way. For 14 years, these women, from vastly different backgrounds, have have been raising 64 grandchildren for the love of the children.  The Kenyan grandmothers lost their children to HIV/Aids and have made it their goal to raise their grandchildren. “ It has been said by Stephen lewis, that Africa is being carried on the backs of the grandmothers.”

Ruth Kytha is our hands and feet in Kenya.  About 30 years ago she and her family had come to Wolfville so that Ruth could study at Acadia with a CIDA Scholarship. Ruth returned to Kenya to become a Community Development Officer Wendy Eliot had remained friends. When a group of women started discussing the possibility of a grandmother group, it turned out that Ruth had contacted Wendy for support in her village, Kikima.  Wendy then contacted Ruth about the possibility a heart to heart connection . Ruth knew of a group of  27 grandmothers who were desperate for help. And when the number of interested grandmothers in Kings County, the number was 27, coincidence, I think not! Our vision became a reality. She said it was an answer to prayer. 

In 2008 Kenya was going through its third year of drought. What little money they had was needed for food, the children were not able to go to school. In Kenya, one cannot go to school unless one had a uniform, there was no money for this luxury. And the people were hungry. We knew then what we had to do .  We fundraised for the next 11/2 years, $450 was sent monthly to the grannies through Ruth Kytha for food relief. This was enough to feed 90 people for the month, can you imagine! The drought continued but at least the people had food and more children were able to go to school. Once the rains came we were then able to send all the children to school and this has not been interrupted , even during several times of short droughts.

Soon, Ruth came to visit family in Nova Scotia. What a thrill to meet this gentle woman who is working so hard for her people. She also brought us gifts from our grannies, beautiful bags made from their grass and earrings, just what women like no matter where in the world they are! Ruth was able to fulfil some speaking engagements while she was here, speaking to students at Horton and Central Kings. The Wolfville Rotary Club was so impressed with Ruth and the Kings Kikma project that they agreed to buy the grannies each a goat. This was something that the grannies had longed for as the goats provide milk, cheese, wool and manure!  The Kings grannies were very excited as well! Twenty-seven goats were given as a surprise Christmas Gift. There was much dancing and rejoicing!.

It was in the fall rainy season that Ruth came and while here she received word that the rains had started!! When Ruth left she took with money to buy seeds and a donated supply of seeds from Halifax seed Company. Unfortunately, these did not do well in their climate, lesson learned. However, their own seeds flourished and we were able to look beyond food relief. This was Ruth’s message :Thank you so much for all that you do. It truly does make a huge difference in the lives of the gogos (Zulu for grandmother) and the children. The commitment of the Kings Grannies is amazing and at times makes us feel that we have loving mothers who care for us.” With this powerful connection the Kings Kikima Grannies believe in what Margaret Meade has said, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed people can change the world, it is the only thing that has.”

BETSY

Over the past 14 years the grannies have provided or been involved in providing….

  • Micro loans
  • Water tanks
  • Irrigation system
  • Tuition, uniforms, computers, bedding, travel money (boarding school) –EDUCATION
  • Sexual Health education workshops
  • Food relief when needed
  • Over the past several years we have been able to not only provide for the grandchildren’s education but also to help the grannies in their advancing years. Money was sent so that beds could be constructed and bedding purchased. Gardening tools were bought and solar lights so they could light at night. They have grown old and the responsibilities they have do not make things easier. The good thing is that their grandchildren have grown and are supporting them in small ways.
  • Blankets/ Shoes
  • Tools
  • Solar lights

For different celebrations such as Christmas and Easter, money is sent to Ruth in order to buy some treats and food to take home. One Christmas, the children had suckers and the grannies white bread and pop. Another time it was the goats which were received with much dancing and singing. At Easter the children were given new clothes. We have wonderful pictures of these gatherings . The faces are happy in sharp contrast to the ones we had received at the beginning. We knew that trust had to be established with these women who had to endure so much. They needed to know that we are here for them for the long run, not a project that was only there for a short time. We shared love, kindness, warmth and laughter. We do this through letterwriting and Ruth being our elaisez. 

In order to make sure we have monies for all our projects and events we continue to focus jewelry sales from donated jewelry . This has grown into other events  and, silent auctions, plants, art from jewelry, knitted items and other things. We also have received financial support through personal donations, an Anglican Church Women’s International Project and the outstanding support from the Rotary clubs of Wolfville and Kentville. The Grannies have made almost 300.000 in the past 14 years.

 This is a quote from a report that Ruth has sent.

In a report from Ruth….

You do not know, but there are very many satisfied grandparents and grandkids in Kikima. The work you do may not be considered big by world standards but it certainly has changed many lives.

NANCY. UPDATES

> Covid vaccine is more readily available with 4 million Kenyans with at least 1 dose. Ruth’s team of helpers have received both shots. The children were only sent home once during an outbreak. They continue to be well, no sign of HIV or COVID.

 There are only 20 children still in school. Many are working using the skills they have learned and some are financially helping their grannies.  Of the 68 children who started in this project 14 years ago only 10 have dropped out completely.. A number of the remainding children  who have graduated have gotten married and started families.  This project is a success story and we are on the way to the finish line in about 3-5years time.

We are pleased to share that we have carpenters, teachers ( 2in a private school), hospitality management, hair dressing, dress making, electricians, entrepreneur – knitting school uniform sweaters. We purchased the knitting machine for her. Four are in university, mechanics, business management, hotel housekeepers, masonry, causal labours, one pastor and one studying to be a pastor.

This area, unfortunately, is also affected by climate change and so depended on the rains. It is the rainy season now but the rains are not lasting as long as they once did and this a affecting production on their little farms.

> I would like to finish this with a quote or two from a loyal supporter Jennifer Bush-Anderson, a food security expert from Wolfville…”What an achievement to have secured tuition for the students for another year. We know that getting a good education in Kenya is expensive so your efforts every year are so impressive and will be so appreciated by the Kikima grannies. “

Your group is such an inspiration to the power of local partnerships working on a small scale providing essential support to hard working people in need of targeted, consistent help over a number of years.

BETSY

As Ruth has said, It is clear that the Kings Kikima Grannie Project is offering something that has been missing in the lives of the beneficiaries and their grandchildren. They are full of praise for the help they receive and pray for the health of the Kings Gogos and wish them well.

Obviously this could not happen without support such as yourselves by coming to our events and inviting us here tonight to tell The Granny Story.

“Many small people, in many small places, do many small things, that can alter the face of the world.”

We all wish you well and would like to close with this quote from Barbara Coloroso

In North America, we are notorious for “me”. “mine”, and “more”. We have got to be, “ours”,”us”,”enough”. If I were to make a wish for every child it would be enough—enough love, enough food and medicine, enough

New Sales in 2022 Masks are Encouraged

April 23. Lions Hall, Wolfville 9 to 2

June 11 Wolfville Lions Hall, 9 to2

Yard sale September 17th Chestnut Ave, Wolfville.

Nov 26 Wolfville Lions Hall, 9 to 2

The date for our annual yard sale will announced by June 1.

Come and find us……

 

CURRENT  EVENTS & SALES:  July, August, October 2019

July 13    Kingston Steer Barbeque, 9-4

July 27   Port George Jamboree, Port George

August 24    Multicultural Festival, Kentville Centre Square, 10-4

November 9, Lions Hall, Wolfville, 9-3

Wonderful News!

We have some very exciting news to share with you. We have just received an email telling us that one of our Kikima grandchildren, Vincent has been accepted into Actuarial Science at Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology.  Our first university child and it has only taken 8 years to achieve as I’m sure you all remember that most of our children were not in school when we started this project 8 years ago. So, Congratulations to Vincent, his gogo and his grannie and a pat on the back for us

Thank You!

Thank you from the Kings-Kikima Grannies

We wish to say a heartfelt thank you to all who have so generously supported our project in Kikima, Kenya.
By donated jewelry and yard sale items and supporting our fundraising events we have been able to send 60 children to school, 15 to high school and four to post secondary school.
We also thank the Mud Creek Rotary club, Acadia Rotaract, Rotary district #7820 and the University Women’s Club for their financial assistance and support.
Together we have made a difference in the lives of the children and their grannies.

Saltscapes

Our Grannie Story has been published inMay/June edition of Saltscapes! Katherine Mott has written a wonderful article about Ruth Kyatha and how we connected through the grannies in Kenya and Kings County. It is thrilling to see this in print! Thank you, Katherine, for sharing the journey and reaching out to others. 

If anyone would like more information,please email, nandghenry@eastlink.ca or search Kings Kikima grannies on Facebook.

Jewellery sale at Blomidon Nurseries on May 18th!!!

Image

Presentation from the Rotary

Presentation from the Rotary

 

In September the Kings Kikima grannies were recognized by Rotary International.Our thanks to them.

 

 

Setember 2011

These are the latest pictures from Kikima taken during a food distribution. The Kikima grannies are so thankful to the Kings grannies, saying that that their lives have been saved because of their actions. We are all blessed.

 

:)

Eleven Years Later…..

Eleven Years Later…..

Eleven years ago none of the children were in school, not any more!!!!!!!

Education has always been our main focus, once the bellies were filled. The children are all in school, with uniforms and tuition up to date.   Many have gone onto post-secondary schools and received diplomas in, hairdressing, early childhood, Bible studies, food and nutrition, seamstress and 4 teachers and one pastor. and one is enrolled in a special school which would not have been possible a while ago.  This is the latest list from Ruth, 1 in special needs,19 -primary, 21-high school, 7-college/trade school. 1-university, 7 number have dropped out and some are working. Once the children have graduated and left home, we try to continue to support the grandmothers.

Once the elementary forms of school are completed, they go onto high school. This means that they must be boarded in another town so money must be made available for this. The cost for education and boarding school has risen in the past year. As we all know the value of education, we have made this our main focus. Tuition is needed 3 times a year. There are also other expenses for those who are boarding, mattresses, blanket, personal items, we provide these as well. Without help only 30% of children go onto high school in Africa. Of that group only 50% finish high school. This means that less than one in five youth in Kenya graduate with a secondary school certificate.  We now have 49  grandchildren and 24 Gogos. If a grandmother dies, we continue to support the children as long as they remain in school. All our grandkids are in school, we are bucking the trend! We need to let them know that we are with them. If a grannie passes on, we keep the grandchildren. We knew that trust had to be established with these women who had to endure so much. They needed to  know that we are here for them for the long run, not a project that was only there for a short time. This is a quote from a report that Ruth has sent.

You do not know, but there are very many satisfied grandparents and grandkids in Kikima. The work you do may not be considered big by world standards, but it certainly has changed many lives.

This is our reward and we are happy

Wonderful News!

We have some very exciting news to share with you. We have just received an email telling us that one of our Kikima grandchildren, Vincent has been accepted into Actuarial Science at Jomo Kenyata University of Agriculture and Technology.  Our first university child and it has only taken 8 years to achieve as I’m sure you all remember that most of our children were not in school when we started this project 8 years ago. So, Congratulations to Vincent, his gogo and his grannie and a pat on the back for us

Thank You!

Thank you from the Kings-Kikima Grannies

We wish to say a heartfelt thank you to all who have so generously supported our project in Kikima, Kenya.
By donated jewelry and yard sale items and supporting our fundraising events we have been able to send 60 children to school, 15 to high school and four to post secondary school.
We also thank the Mud Creek Rotary club, Acadia , Rotary district #7820 and the Canadian Federation of University Women Wolfville for their financial assistance and support.
Together we have made a difference in the lives of the children and their grannies.

Saltscapes

Our Grannie Story has been published inMay/June edition of Saltscapes! Katherine Mott has written a wonderful article about Ruth Kyatha and how we connected through the grannies in Kenya and Kings County. It is thrilling to see this in print! Thank you, Katherine, for sharing the journey and reaching out to others. 

If anyone would like more information,please email, nandghenry@eastlink.ca or search Kings Kikima grannies on Facebook.

Jewellery sale at Blomidon Nurseries on May 18th!!!

Image

Presentation from the Rotary

Presentation from the Rotary

In September the Kings Kikima grannies were recognized by Rotary International.Our thanks to them.

Setember 2011

These are the latest pictures from Kikima taken during a food distribution. The Kikima grannies are so thankful to the Kings grannies, saying that that their lives have been saved because of their actions. We are all blessed.