Thursday, March 12, 2015

Austin's Kitchen Garden

At Cura, in partnership with Real Impact Farm, we hope to implement an organic, low-impact bag garden to help provide our kids with nutritious, freshly-grown fruits and vegetables. This has been a dream for us... and a new campaign is working to make it come true! That the campaign is dedicated to the memory of Austin, who was captivated by Africa and wanted to be a teacher, makes this an even more special partnership.

Please check out our Fundly page for more information... and give if you can! Every little bit helps, and we can make this garden happen as early as July if this fundraising goal is met, so please share broadly!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

(Superbowl) Sunday in Cura

It's Superbowl Sunday, and our teams are rivals... but we managed to get along in Cura today!
It was a delicious day of art and apples and visitors and laughter.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thank you, Southwest Airlines!


At long last, Donnah from SOS Children's Villages presented Cura with leather goods made from up-cycled upholstery from Southwest Airlines! Moses, Board members and some of the children posed for a photo with the loot!

Loise was selected as a spokesperson on camera -- to send a video thank you to Southwest for its generous donation. She was poised and articulate and confident, as usual!

These footballs from Alive and Kicking will get plenty of use...

As will these shoes from Maasai Treads!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Visitors

We arrived at the end of the school day today, just as the Secondary School students were marching across the field... Our guest, Zainab, joined in -- then spent some time back at the Home with me and returning volunteer, Jenny H. It's been a week filled primarily with Nairobi-based meetings, so it was wonderful to be back in Cura with the kids who inspire us!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cura Secondary Happenings

New desks are being built, and old desks are being refurbished, to prepare for Monday, when the Form One students come back to school!

And Head Teacher, Mr Njoroge, congratulated David Kamau, a Cura Secondary School Form Three student who was awarded a Kenya Education Fund scholarship!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Real Impact Farm

Loise, one of the new Cura Board members, and I had a long, hot day together with Linus and Marylyne of Roots and Shoots... learning about organic farming practices at Real Impact Farm. We are thrilled with the possibilities for partnership with this fantastic organization!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cura, via Kigali

Due to technical difficulties, I can't link or post a photo here... but rest assured that it was a productive and photogenic weekend, where Cura is concerned! I traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, stayed with friends at the lovely inn, Heaven, and had a couple of meetings with people whose organizations use leadership and scholarship programs that we can adapt for the benefit of Cura Secondary School students.

Chris Mburu, of the Hilde Back Education Fund shared his experiences with his scholarship program over our delicious appetizers -- and, over our hearty brunch, Tina Anderson, with These Numbers have Faces, helped me understand her program's leadership curriculum for young people making the transition to university.

So many people doing such fantastic work!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Books Books Books, Property of Cura Primary

This book delivery was a long time coming!


Today Jane and I distributed the beautiful books of poetry to the Cura poets and the rest of the kids...  Many thanks to Mary Strickler and her students for such a successful project!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Nairobi Partner Meetings

This morning I met with Linus, Marylyne and Brenda, of Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots -- to debrief about the Cura Secondary School Real Impact Farm field trip they coordinated, as well as potential future plans. Our conversation ranged from agribusiness, to kitchen gardens, to organic farming, to secondary school curriculum, to job training and mentoring... big ideas in the works!

After a stroll down Ngong Road, I then met with Dominic from Kenya Education Fund... and received the excellent news that one of the Cura Secondary School student applicants was accepted into KEF's scholarship program! I'm thrilled!

Yet to go today... an afternoon meeting with Pip from Flying Kites -- to talk about the LaunchPad program they're implementing to help their students transition from secondary school into their adult lives. Such meaningful work going on all around here in Nairobi, and so many opportunities for us to network for the benefit of the projects we're passionate about!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lots of Everything

Yesterday I had a long meeting with some of the new Board members leading the projects in Cura... we had LOTS to talk about. I really did need a day to process all of the information and plan a way forward, even just for the nearest future... there are lots of challenges and lots to celebrate and lots to do! I didn't go to Cura today, but instead stayed in Nairobi  to have lots of meetings with lots of interesting people, amid lots of traffic and, eventually, lots of rain!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dusty Return

It's been a while since rain fell in Cura - so we breathed in red dust as we drove down the road!

A generous friend donated some toys for younger children, so the mothers promised to deliver them to their grandchildren, nieces and nephews!

And Jane got a sneak peak at the poetry book she helped create with a US- based yearbook class... Such an accomplishment!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Books on Order

Last year, I worked with Julius at Nairobi's Text Book Centre to compile an order of books for Cura Primary -- and this year I'm finally filling the order! Thanks to donor dollars raised to support education in Cura, I will be making a large delivery of Science, Social Studies and English textbooks later this week. Mrs. Mwathi, Cura Primary School's Head Teacher, is helping me determine a good date/time for the presentation... so watch this space for photos of that event!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

CURA Heart

I'm heading back to Cura -- FINALLY -- wearing my custom-made pendant from Melinda Maria... 100% of the proceeds go to Cura, so if you like mine, why not buy one for yourself or a loved one?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Coming out of Hibernation

Things have been a little slow on the Cura Orphanage blog in 2014, but I'm working on changing that! I head back to Cura this weekend, so please watch this space... and Facebook, too!

My bags are packed, filled with art supplies from a generous friend, and a whole box full of poetry books, thanks to the wonderful Mary Strickler, Balfour and Jane Muya. They worked with students in Cura and in the US to produce a lovely collection of poetry and images -- and each of our Cura Rotary Home kids will get a copy!

I'll be arriving on the heels of some other very generous visitors who delivered boxes and boxes of clothing and school supplies -- it's a wonder how they got them all through the airport!

Henry and the rest of the kids gratefully approve.

Thank you for watching this space for more photos and news over the next couple of weeks!