Bulletin Update No. 73

Having become increasing impatient with the length of time the Kenyan Government was taking to accept the donations, I emailed Hon. Rachael Nyamai to advise that I was considering withdrawing the offer due to my perceived embarrassment caused to an international airlines who are willing to send cargo over to ‘her’ people. Ironically I received an immediate reply as below:

Dear Hellen,

This is part one of the work done. We have to get funds for part two.


Following is a sample of the document Rachael has provided.  In addition to the item described below, approval has been granted for a further 3 of the 28 boxes.



Application Reference No : CD2016000PPB321F0000247976 Version No : 1



Permit Donation

Document 321F – Permit Donation

Document Type PER – Permits

Process 321F01 – Donation permit process

Application Reference No : CD2016000PPB321F0000247976 Version No : 1

Master Approval No Master Approval Version No

UCR Number UCR201600314885

Application Status

Approval Status :AP – Approved Used Status : Application Date :20160213

Expiry Date :20170213 Amended Date : Used Date :

Item Details

Item No :1

Item Description :MEDICAL











Item HS Code :9018900000 HS Description :Instruments and

apparatus, nes, for medical,

surgical… sciences

Quantity :640 Unit Of Quantity :Units Supplementary – Quantity :0 Package Type :Box, natural wood

Package Quantity :1 Foreign Currency Code :USD Unit Price FCY :0.31 Total Price FCY :200.00

Unit Price NCY :31.96 Total Price NCY :20,452.36 Country Of Origin :AUSTRALIA Item Net Weight :4 Units

Item Gross Weight :7 Units Applicant Remarks :OK

This is only a ‘portion’ of the goods I have listed to send. There is no mention of bandages, bed lines, obstetric kits etc. plus clothing for the women and children, the boxes of crayons for the Nursery school etc. I listed twenty eight boxes! I shall send another email to Rachael and ask why they have been ‘so selective’ with the acceptance of the donated items. Also I shall ask her when shall I expect PART TWO being ‘who is to pay/waiver the duty’ from the Government? This part of the project has been in progress since August, 2015!

In the meantime the Dispensary is not operating as there are no supplies and no money to pay a nurse! It is hard to understand ‘why their Government treats its people this way’?

On a more positive note Daniel said the tomato crop ‘was great’ and they were selling at the market so this money will pay the Nursery school teacher…..they are becoming self-sufficient….now for a second Greenhouse to enable the village people to have crops rotating and ‘they will be fine’.

If you wish to read past Kanthi Bulletin Update please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 72

As I mentioned in Bulletin Update No. 70 initially starting with Rotary Donations in Kind in Brooklyn (who stored the goods for months) then through the wonderful generosity of Etihad Airlines combining with Freightnet International (carriers) and Menzies (agents) all of whom have donated their time and expertise to fly the medical supplies and clothing over to Nairobi GRATIS. Well we are almost there…see the photos.

Nick (Freightnet) carrier waiting to deliver to airport
Nick (Freightnet) carrier waiting to deliver to airport
Laurie (Rotary) loading goods onto our ute
Laurie (Rotary) loading goods onto our ute
Laurie (Rotary) wrapping goods
Laurie (Rotary) wrapping goods

I have had several emails and telephone calls last week to Hon. Rachael Nyamai MP, Kenyan Government as well as Pastor Daniel Ntheeu regarding the Kenyan Government clearing the goods and not charging any duty as all are donated items for the village people of Kanthi. I sent an eight page Master Sheet itemizing all the supplies I am sending to Hon. Rachael Nyamai and please see Rachael’s email reply:

Dear Helen,

I received the list and passed them to the person who will be assisting from pharmacy and poisons board. I hope they will be cleared .


Now we are all waiting for the forty four million dollar answer, will they receive the goods? Rachael told me that the Kenyan Government will not accept any medicines, so here we go again, removing the medicines and repacking again. Initially the airlines advised that we could not send alcohol swabs (21 boxes) as they might burst under pressure in the cargo hole, leak and cause a fire……I am so impressed and relieved that the airlines are so diligent.

Fingers crossed we are so close, yet so far not only distance but acceptance!

If you wish to read past Bulletin Update please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 71

As Pastor Daniel promised he forward an email and photos of their Christmas lunch. Unfortunately there were not photos of the children’s treats as explained in the email. Please view photos and thank you to those in the Women’s Friendship Group who contributed to this Christmas luncheon.

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Due to un avoidable circumstance the day I was supposed to give children goodies I was not within reach and I did not want them be given when I was not around so I planned on this day to give children and the entire church the goodies.

The money you had given me for the food for nursery I deposited in bank . we started to use the money when school has opened . On 25/12/2015 I left presents which were given when I was away that’s why I did not post you any photos . please sister Helen God has given me peace of heart and to be contented with whatever small I have so don’t be disappointed .



It is lovely to see the families coming tother to celebrate Christmas. I am currently focusing on raising money to purchase a second Greenhouse so the villagers will become self-sufficient and not rely on seasonal rains that often do not ever come and then having to turn to ‘outside’ support.

If you would like to read any past Kanthi Bulletins Update please visit our website on www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 70

Firstly may I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2016. I am delighted to say that 2016 has commenced fabulously with the most wonderful gesture by Etihad Airlines. I have a lifelong friend Luke who is the Operational Control Manager for the airlines in Abu Dhabi. Luke has arranged through the airlines Sydney office to fly all the medical supplies including children’s clothing over to Nairobi gratis…..Colin the Country Manager Cargo in Australia who is in Etihad Sydney office advised me to collect additional supplies together with used clothes for the children and he will arrange to fly them over the week of 1st February, 2016….wow!

I received an email from Hon. Rachael Nyamai a Minister in the Kenyan Government wishing me well for 2016. I replied similarly and requested her assistance to have her Government waiver the duty fees on the cargo when it arrives at Nairobi airport…..fingers crossed that this is the case and the goods arrive in tact. I shall ask Emmanuel, Pastor Daniel’s son who lives in Nairobi and works for the Government, to collect the supplies and have them transported to Kanthi…….what an operation! It continues to amaze me how people and organizations not connected with the Women’s Friendship Group’s Kanthi projects are so willing to donate time and expertise to the cause….such goodness in the world!

Pastor Daniel sent me a document and photos in an email last night but unfortunately I cannot open them in the particular format so we have requested that they resend them in another format.

If you wish to view past Kanthi Bulletin Updates please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au to read the village people of Kanthi’s journey.



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Bulletin Update No. 69

Thank you to all those who voted for me in The Weekly Review Local Hero award. A very deserving young mum, Katie Koullas, was the winner of the award. Katie has a little daughter with autism who is excluded from parties and playdates. Katie organizes playdates for children with autism…..an inspiring young woman.

Sadly some devastating news right on Christmas. After so many requests for detailed information from the Kenyan Government in Nairobi over the past few months regarding the medical supplies for Kanthi and the information including pictures of the goods continually answered by Essendon Rotary. The delay was at a considerable cost to Rotary due to the fluxation of the US dollar, so Rotary decided to send their shipment of hospital beds etc and so the ship has left without the WFG medical supplies for Kanthi as the Kenyan Government did not sanction its departure. Now I have twenty three boxes sitting on a pellet in Melbourne and I cannot describe my ‘heartbreak’ after all Daniel said the Medical Centre is really ‘picking up’ with more people attending as it becomes known…..a Medical Centre without supplies! I rang Hon. Rachael Nyamai in Kenya and expressed my devastation. We had a ‘bad phone line’ and I gleamed that the officers in Government were temporary and permanent officers would be appointed in January. I do not know what difference they would make! I neglected to ask at what stage the proposed Primary school (to be built by the Government) was at. Rachael promised that the first classroom would be finished at the end of 2014 and that was revised to the end of 2015!

On a brighter note the WFG members donated money for Christmas lunch for the village people in Kanthi. I asked Daniel to order goats, beans, flour, oil etc all luxury items for a Christmas feast for the village. Also a very generous member donated money for the Nursary school children’s breakfast and lunch for 2016. I shall again send the money by Western Union to Pastor Daniel. I have approximately 50% towards a second Greenhouse which would, I believe, make the village totally self sufficient and viable.

May I wish each and every one and your families a very happy Christmas, travel safely for those travelling and thank you on behalf of Pastor Daniel for your ongoing support.



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Bulletin Update No. 68

Sadly the medical supplies are still on the wharf here in Melbourne. Unfortunately even if they were to leave in the next week or so they would not reach Kenya before Christmas. The container was packed and ready for shipment in August and now Rotary have been directed by the Kenyan Government to use a ‘particular’ shipping line, one which does not operate out of Australia so in my view the Kenyan Government seems to ‘dream up’ obstacles to delay this shipment and in the meantime their people are without supplies or have very little. How lucky we are to live in the land of Oz!

I have been working upon ideas for the village of Kanthi’s sustainability after receiving the following email from Daniel.


I am not sending a bike over there as it attracts duty from the Kenyan Government and it would be more prudent to send the money (if necessary) to purchase one there. Worrying about sending a bike when the medical supplies packed ready to go in August are still sitting on the wharf in Melbourne!

Re the Nursary school I have sent money for the Nursary children’s food for the last term. The families are still very poor as indicated above.

With the photo of the Greenhouse, bear of a crop, (Bulletin Update No. 67) and now only just planting, there is no income during this time until the harvest of the crop. I have come up with an idea of a second Greenhouse and that would provide all year round planting. Whilst one is bearing tomatoes the second is being planted out and so when one finishes the other should be ready to harvest. I shall also ask Daniel about other type of crops that would provide an income being very mindful of the water issue.

This leads me to the point of a competition run by The Weekly Review magazine, the magazine which is delivered with your Leader newspaper. I was interviewed by The Weekly Review last week and my interview is to be published on 16th November, 2015, although it can be read online now. I have been advised this week by the magazine that my interview has been selected as one of the nine finalists in the competition. Readers are invited to vote on line for their favourite article commencing on 16th November until 22nd November…..the website to vote is www.theweeklyreview.com.au you then scroll down to Local Heroes and vote for your favourite article. The first prize is $5,000.00 for the winner’s charity and $5,000.00 for The Weekly Review media package, in total $10,000.00…wonderful!

My point is if you like the article and vote for me and I am fortunate enough to win, that would solve the problem of funds for a second Greenhouse and food for the Nursary school . I wish to thank all the people who contributed generously with donations to the Garage Sale I held at St. Christopher’s church hall, Camp Road, Anglesea on Saturday, 31st October and Sunday, 1st November, This was the start of raising funds for the second Greenhouse and over the two days I realised the sum of $2,200.00 with a further promise of $55.00. A special thank you to Josie Caruana and Vinka Heggarty (friends from Anglesea) for their wonderful help and also to Jo, my dear husband, who transported two utes full of goods to Anglesea. Winning this competion would be ‘a lot easier way of raising the funds necessary to purchase the Greenhouse and more’! Please register your vote to aid the village people of Kanthi.

Should anyone wish to read the past Bulletin Update please visit our website www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 67

Nothing has changed since my last Update Bulletin No. 66 where the donated medical supplies were sitting on the wharf here in Melbourne. SGS Certification company has apparently been to inspect the cargo and have requested more information from Rotary regarding their shipment of medical supplies. I have labelled and laminated the contents of each of the Kanthi bound boxes and adhered the information to the outside of each box so hopefully that will suffice on our part. The supplies have been sitting on the wharf since August waiting for clearance!

Pastor Daniel has the Dispensary up and running as can be seen from the photos below. He has engaged an assistant to the Nurse at a very minimal wage for the time being Ksh 5,000 per month. Apparently the Centre has attracted a lot of ‘interest’ and so Daniel has engaged the services of a guard at night for security reasons. When viewing the photo of the Nurse and Assistant standing by their supply cupboard of medicines, how sad that our shipment of donated supplies is still sitting on our wharf.

image007 image008 image009 image011

Sadly I received the following message from Ruth via her daughter Teresia (here in Australia) regarding the Nursery school children….the crops have failed with little rain and so the children are hungry……I sent money today for food for the children thanks to generous donors. Unfortunately their last tomato crop, a new strain of tomatoes, did not yield a good harvest so they are preparing to replant again……hopefully this will give a better yield.

The message is from Ruth, Pastor Daniel’s wife:


image013 image015

Apparently children do not come to Kinder if they are hungry…….lets hope this crop will yield a good harvest and the village will become sustainable again.

Should you wish to read past Update Bulletins please visit our website at www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 66

Well, now doubt about the Kenyan Government, even here! Our medical supplies are still sitting on the dock in a container all packed for weeks now ready to leave. No, not until the Kenyan High Commissioner in Canberra has the cargo inspected. They have outsourced the inspection to a global company S G S Certification which audits your cargo to make sure it meets national and international regulations of the destined country. We were advised a couple of weeks ago of the process but we are still waiting for the inspection. I itemized every item in the twenty three boxes, I laminated the itemized list and adhered the list to the outside of each box so I hope they might just open one or two boxes and not unpack them to check their contents. I also did a concise inventory list which I am sending to Emmanuel (Pastor Daniel’s son) in Nairobi for receipt of the goods.

In the meantime I rang Daniel and Ruth (his wife) who advised me that the Medical Centre is operating with the little medicines they have in stock. The Nurse David works from 9.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Ruth said the people are very happy to have the Centre operating. Daniel is to send photos sometime next week.

I would like to thank the organisations and individuals who are still donating toothbrushes, toothpaste, medical supplies and money to the people of Kanthi. The ongoing generosity of people towards others is wonderful. I shall advise as soon as the merchandise leaves our fair shores.

If you wish to read previous emails please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 65

Well again I start another Bulletin Update with some good news and some not so good news.

Firstly the good news is that Swinburne University’s Medical Centre in Hawthorn donated seven large boxes of obsolete medical equipment and linen. Blood pressure machines, stethoscope, dressings, instruments and a large bag of linen. Their Swinburne Centre’s nurse contacted me and said she is happy to collect obsolete equipment and advise accordingly.

The not so good news is that the Kenyan High Commissioner’s office in Canberra contacted Rotary, who are paying for the Kanthi shipment, and said that a representative from the High Commissioner’s office is to come to inspect the shipment to sanction if it can go to Kenya. Subsequently with this hold up I was able to include the additional boxes from Swinburne and also a lovely box of children’s clothes………boxes now totalling twenty three. I am amazed how word has spread of the needs for the Medical Centre and I have been contacted by people I never knew……. so some good comes out of some not so good!

I rang Pastor Daniel on Wednesday night and checked how things were going in Kanthi. He told me that as Margaret was not able to be employed as mentioned in Bulletin Update No. 64 and so he had engaged a male nurse David Sau, who came highly recommended and highly qualified. This means that Daniel now has to travel to Nairobi to register David Sau as the nurse working at the Kanthi Medical Centre. Daniel also advised that they had sold Ksh 80,000.00 worth of tomatoes and with that money he had purchased two months supply of medicines …….a wonderful man, he never stops. He is about to plant another crop to supplement the income for the village.

I asked Daniel’s daughter to advise him that on ABC news on Friday morning it warned that the Insurgents were planning attacks on Mosques, Churches and shopping centres as it is the first anniversary of the bombing of the Nairobi shopping centre and also 9/11.

I hope and pray that the Kenyan’s High Commissioner’s staff do not stop the shipment being sent to Kenya. Daniel’s parting words were “please tell everyone who cares about us that God will bless them for their kindness”. I shall advise further re the shipment when we know of the inspection.

Should you wish to read past Bulletin Updates please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au



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Bulletin Update No. 64

The good news and the not so good news!

The good news is that the donated medical supplies now number fifteen boxes, not ten as in Bulletin Update No. 63. May I again thank so many generous donors. Two new donors, one I have never met, being a company names Strapit in Thomastown. They donated 85 rolls of bandages for the Medical Centre. Another is my dentist in Doncaster East personally donating 200 toothbrushes….people are so generous and caring. The container was finished being packed today and the ship should be due to sail early next week, fortunately it being late gave me the opportunity to gather more supplies. I shall advise of the ETA when I know and we shall track it with great interest.

The not so good news when speaking with Pastor Daniel last week was that Margaret Kanini Ndambuki the nurse Daniel had engaged would not be released from the Catholic Missionary hospital in Mutomo. Daniel said for me not to despair and he would find another nurse. True to his word, in speaking with him on Thursday night, he has engaged the services of a male nurse who has worked with the Kenyan Government and also in private practice. He is to start on the 9th September and I recommended a trial period of three months before signing the man up to a twelve months contract. Daniel was very happy with my proposal and wanted Hon Rachael Nyamai to assist him with the registration papers that are to be lodged in Nairobi. Daniel negotiated a salary of Ksh 20,000.00 per month with the new nurse. Daniel purchased Ksh 40,000.00 worth of medications to ‘get them started’.

Speaking of Rachael I received an email from her on Thursday, see below:

Dear Hellen,

Sorry I have delayed to respond to this email.
I wish to acknowledge that the work that Daniel has done is really commendable and it’s value will be seen more as the health facility and the school grow. In a case like this in the Kenyan situation, the first opportunity will be to expose him to the local newspapers and thus will happen when the hospital runs and the launch is done. This will be the best time to expose the achievement story of Ntheeu.

We appreciate the supplies send from Australia and the best I can do is to get in touch with Emmanuel to see what assistance he will require. Emmanuel my number is 0720451803. The best is to ensure that the agent clearing does it within record time to ensure that no delays which may cause further charges. At the port there is sobriety and most goods will pass without interference due to increased surveillance. I must admit that I am not best adviser of matters of clearance of goods but will ask friends. The date of arrival needs to be properly monitored.

Power connectivity: Kanthi is a recognized education center and for that reason it’s a must that it be connected to power. I will send my assistant Mutua who is we’ll known by Ndunda to do Layman’s survey which will lead to the professional survey by REA. I will do my best to give power three months after the survey. The connectivity is done by a national Government agency called REA (rural electrification authority) and we have a good working relationship. I promise to try my best to hasten the process. For now I will guide Daniel on a letter to my office to request power to the day care centre and nursery school.

I know you have done so much. However I encourage you to push the facility a little further. I will also do my part as I promised to continue with the work that you have pushed this far. I know it’s not easy to fund raise for any project. Achieving these four is a great projects.

Our Gov works at a slow pace. We will be doing the classroom this year. I am finalizing implementation of projects for 14/15 where this classroom is. Kenyans in our team will know that projects do delay. The good this is they happen. Before end of the year, the project will be clone.

Warm regards,


20150816a 20150816b

Photo of Rachael (centre) outside Medical Centre Rachael meeting with Pastor Daniel

Dear Helen

My next opportunity if I get in parliament. I will do my best to fundraiser to support cheap housing for our people.



If all this promises were to come to fruition, how amazing, a village dying from starvation in 2011 to a village now with a Water Kiosk, a Greenhouse, a Nursery School, a Medical Centre and possibly a Primary school and the connection of electricity and improved living conditions for her people…..we shall wait and see! I guess the campaigning has commenced!

Should you wish to read past bulletin updates please visit the website www.walkforwater.com.au


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