Update on the children
It has been a cold and rainy last few months. The General Church Sacred Care orphanage (GCSC) staff have struggled with health issues and often had numerous children in the hospital with malaria and pneumonia. Samson and Jackline have been sick too. The children sleep under mosquito nets, but they are located in an area of the country that has a lot of malaria. Samson and Jackline check in on the children’s health twice a day and take them to a nearby clinic if they show any signs of illness. If they are seriously ill they are then taken to a hospital in Kisii. You can imagine what a mammoth job it is to take care of 65 children!
HCIC has recently found a donor who is willing to donate $50/month toward securing a nurse to help with the children’s care. We could use another $50/month donation toward this same use if anyone is interested. We are going to treat this donation as a sponsorship, but instead of sponsoring a child the donor is sponsoring a nurse to care for the children. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a nurse.
This year four young adults (former “children”, but we can’t really call them children any more) who have graduated from high school started vocational school. HCIC established the policy that we will support our children through two years of vocational school after they graduate from high school. This is the minimum support we offer. The cost is $1000/year and should provide the young adults with the knowledge and skills they need to have get a job and support themselves when they are done. If individual sponsors are interested in supporting their child beyond vocational school, we welcome that support.
Lazarus and new stove
Earlier in the year our cook, Lazarus, was very ill with lung disease from inhaling smoke from the cooking fires. He had to take a leave of absence while getting medical treatment. We are happy to report that Lazarus is doing much better and is back at work. We are in the process of purchasing a new stove for the cooks to use that produces much less smoke. Thank you to all the people who prayed for Lazarus and responded to our call for financial support for him while he recuperated.
Samson owns a very old van that he uses to purchase food, transport high school children to their boarding schools, take children to the doctor, etc. This van has fallen into disrepair. We were able to send him money from our general funds to help with repairs.
As many of you know, last November we reached our goal of having all the children sponsored. Some people are only able to sponsor a child for a year or two, so new sponsors are always needed. We maintain a list of people who are interested in doing this. Go to our Sponsor a Child page to learn more, and contact us if you are interested in being on that list.
Last Christmas we launched our “Buy a Brick, Build a Home” campaign to raise an estimated $300,000 to build the facilities needs to meet the Kenyan government standards for an orphanage. This includes: a brick wall with gates, two dormitories, bathroom facilities, eating pavilion, and electricity and running water. This is a lofty goal and we estimate that it could take us 5-10 years to meet this goal. At this point we have a little over $40,000. This is enough to cover the first stage of the project, which is to build a brick wall with gates. The children now sleep in temporary housing on the property. The two dorms are one room each, made out of corrugated steel. The wall would not only address the safety of the children, but will also protect the building supplies as we gather the resources for building the two dormitories.
In June we had a very successful Grill Off in Bryn Athyn that brought in about $1500. This was our second Grill Off, and we are committed to this being an annual event some time near New Church Day on the 19th of June. We like the idea of doing something fun for children that benefits children in need. We also hope to tie the idea of making a difference to those in need with the celebration of the birth of the New Church.
Other recent fund raisers include a bake sale in Kempton, PA and a Soup Bowl last February. Presentations about HCIC were made at the Ivyland New Church and at the “Gathering Leaves” women’s conference in Ohio. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a fundraiser for these children. Every dollar makes a difference and is needed.
Many thanks to all who make our work possible and support us in what we do. Together we are making a difference.
Kay R. Alden, HCIC Chair