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The latest news from Friends of Kipkelion
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Hello everyone

We thought it was time to let you have the latest news from Friends of Kipkelion.  It’s been a busy year, with projects progressing in all of our key areas of activity – health, education and sanitation.  All our projects are undertaken in partnership with our local partners in Kenya, Brighter Communities Worldwide, who are constantly increasing their capacities and reaching more people.  Here is some more information about what has been going on recently…

Michael Deriaz
Chairman, Friends of Kipkelion

What's been happening in 2019?

Lots more school toilets (and water tanks)

Our programme of building school toilets, supported by Guernsey Overseas Aid and Development Commission, is on track, with 5 toilet blocks currently under construction and one recently completed.  These toilet blocks will ensure that pupils, especially girls, can attend school regularly.  In each case the school is required to contribute half the cost of the toilet block – either by fundraising or by providing volunteer labour.  Often this means that the parents turn out with shovels to dig out the 20 ft deep latrine pit!  We are also providing 10 schools with a water tank which will be used to collect rainwater.  This will ensure that the school does not run out of water during the dry season – each tank can hold at least 32,000 litres of water.  

Period Poverty in Kenya – this year’s match funding opportunity


Period poverty is a problem across the world, but in a country like Kenya it can become a matter of life and death. In Kipkelion, girls who do not have access to sanitary products often drop out of school when they start their periods. Without an education, the girls face a lifetime of poverty and are often forced into early marriage. In June this year a 14-year-old girl in Kenya killed herself because she was humiliated when she soiled her school uniform because she had no sanitary pad. We have a programme which ensures that girls in Kipkelion can have access to sanitary products and attend school throughout the month.  This is the focus of our “Big Give” campaign this year – we have secured match funding from a sponsor, so that all donations to our Period Poverty campaign during the week 3-10 December will be doubled.  You can donate to our campaign using this link here –  but remember that you have to wait until 12 noon on 3 December before you make your donation, if you want your donation to be doubled by the match funding.

Girls in London helping girls in Kenya

Year 9 girls at Nonsuch High School for girls have once again accepted the challenge to raise money to help girls in Kipkelion – this year with the aim of reducing period poverty in Kipkelion. The girls held a fair at their school on 18 November featuring over 20 different stalls and fundraising activities, ranging from the sale of home baked brownies to sponging the teachers, plus the blindfold make-up challenge! Over £1400 was raised, which will provide sanitary kits for around 200 girls in Kipkelion.

Maternal Health improving steadily

We are halfway through our 2 year programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development and other donors, to improve maternal health facilities in Kipkelion.  The basic aim is to make the connection between the women living in remote villages, spread out across the countryside, and the nurses and midwives in the nearby towns.  It’s not easy to get to ante-natal check-ups or post-natal immunisation appointments if you are facing a ten mile walk across country, but our programme is already showing an increase in women attending their appointments and also an increase in those giving birth under the care of trained medical staff.  We’re hoping that we will soon be able to expand our health programme in Kipkelion with additional funding which should enable us to provide improved access to basic health care across the community.

2019 Kenyan Population Census

Kenya has just conducted a national census, and the preliminary results show that Kipkelion and Londiani sub-counties – where we focus most of our work – now have a population of just over 260,000 people.  The population has increased by 14% since the last census 10 years ago.  The census shows that the average household size in the area is just over 4 people, and that there are 350 people to each square kilometre in Kipkelion and Londiani.  (For comparison, the UK has 264 people per square kilometre). The two sub-counties have about 0.5% of the entire population of Kenya – but we and our partners are currently expanding our work into neighbouring areas, with the potential to help many more people.
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