Here’s a handy tip for keeping elephants from eating your garden: You should install several low-voltage electric lines close together along your fence. If they are spaced wide, the elephant will rip one out, reach between, and eat your vegetables.
That gardening trip is from World Concern President Dave Eller, who has returned to Kenya to get an update on our projects. Dave and his family lived in Kenya for several years, as Dave served as the country director. It was refreshing for Dave to arrive and see many successes in a variety of areas of Humanitarian Aid. As an executive, he often deals with problems and doesn’t get to relish the victories.
Here is some of what he’s seen:
- Maasai herders are learning how to farm. This year they built a one acre farm behind a solar electric fence and the first crop has been harvested. With dwindling availability for open rangeland, it is important for the Maasai to think beyond what they’ve done in the past (herding) and look to new opportunities (agriculture, small business). It was at this pilot project farm that Dave saw the low-voltage electric fence to keep out elephants.
- Stigma against AIDS orphans is way down. The children are being accepted by the community after World Concern’s educational and support services began five years ago. World Concern has reached 5,000 children and is preparing to turn over this particular orphans project to churches to run indefinitely on their own. Many of the volunteers providing the Humanitarian Aid are from Christian churches, and the outlook from the orphans has grown much more hopeful.
- We now have seven Financial Service Associations, also known as village banks. The first five are making a profit and adding services. Three are doing phone money transfers, all are cashing third party checks and offering over night safe storage. One of them is a post office and they are setting up direct deposit with government agencies. These are in addition to the basic services of savings and loans.
- World Concern Kenya’s newest Humanitarian Aid project focuses on water and sanitation, including in a community called Lamu, which is on the Somalia border. After water surveys, five hand-dug wells have begun. Three of them have struck water and are complete. The other two should be done soon. Water committees are in training and sanitation training has started. This is a large scale project meant to provide clean and consistent water to 98,000 people over the next three years.
Dave will soon be joined by Matt Case, a radio host on Spirit 105.3 in Seattle. We want people to know of this fantastic Humanitarian Aid, so we can grow our resources and help more people reach their full God-given potential.