Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Letter to Sponsors and Well-Wishers

Please pardon the duplication, but a version of this letter will go to sponsors and other well-wishers this week... Please consider "following" this blog and linking it to your Facebook and other social networking; we'd love to have even more people connected to the wonderful people and work in Cura!

Please do watch for an official announcement of our Second Annual Safari Nights event, coming up on 19 November. I posted in this blog about the event last year, and we hope to build on those previous successes. At this year's event, we plan to focus our fundraising on both some very essential needs and on an exciting new proposal for adding music education to the curriculum at Cura Primary School.

For that project, we’re partnering with a non-profit called One World Chorus to offer children in Cura an opportunity to perform with and learn about children in choruses all over the globe. The project, if it’s fully funded, will be developed with teen mentor programs and even recording opportunities through its founder, award-winning Aaron Nigel Smith. Please watch for more information about this as plans come together.

Of course, whatever we begin at the primary school will be extended through the secondary school once it’s built and fully operational. Those of you who have been with us for a while know that we raised funds last year through a special west coast premier of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Since then, we’ve worked tirelessly with One Kid, One World to confirm community buy-in and get the appropriate permitting, and we’re in the process now of confirming Construction for Change as project managers for the groundbreaking in January. We’re thrilled to be on the verge of offering Cura’s children a local option for public secondary school, and I hope you’ll watch and celebrate our progress with us!

Of course, my news from Kenya is complicated by the fact that most of East Africa is suffering a drought of historic proportions. According to, "East Africa is in the midst of its worst drought in more than 60 years, with as many as 10 million people at risk." Our children, thanks to generous sponsors and supporters like you, do not have to worry about whether they’ll have food to eat, though they are feeling the effects of the drought in indirect ways. Water is a pressing concern in the surrounding community, for example, and much of the Home’s budget has had to be recommitted to trucking in water when the rain collection isn’t sufficient. Food prices, too, in the region are fluctuating radically, and the Kenyan shilling is losing strength. The cumulative effect of this means that the leaders in the village and at our Home have to make some tough choices about what they can afford… and what they can’t.

We hope, of course, that our ongoing fundraising efforts will keep up with the need, at least on behalf of the children who are under our care. Because we’re committed to being a positive force for self-sufficiency and development, however, we feel a powerful sense of responsibility to improve the circumstances of the community as a whole.

Please know that your support, both financial and otherwise, has done measurable good – you are a partner with us in Cura’s well-being. On behalf of everyone there, I am deeply grateful.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glorious Water!

Jordan has returned to Cura, and has brought with him vibrant energy that has resulted in not only Cura's first major "Sports Day," replete with team t-shirts...

But also water, water, water!

In this blog during the summer, I wrote about the fact that water was on the minds of everyone in Cura -- how to collect it, how to pump it, how to pay for it. All of East Africa is enduring a drought, and Cura isn't entirely immune from its effects: water has to be rationed, and the community has to collaborate, for example, even to provide water to keep the primary school clean and the children fundamentally hydrated.

When the rains come, of course, our Home's tank fills quickly, and Moses, the housemothers and the children all celebrate. But what overflows or isn't captured is lost... at least it was before now. Thanks to Jordan's generous network of friends and well-wishers, not one but TWO more collection tanks have been delivered and installed in the Home's courtyard.

Feeling grateful for this thing we take for granted here at home:

and for wonderful Jordan, of course.