Bulletin Update No. 75

Well a possible ‘breakthrough’! After several telephone calls to the Kenyan High Commissioner’s office in Canberra, I finally spoke with Consular Maurice Amisi, who assisted me with the connection of water in the latter stage of the Water project back in 2012/2013. Maurice advised me of the laws relating to the importation of medical supplies and goods into Kenya. If the goods are being donated to a registered institution then the Kenyan Government does not charge taxes for the goods. Maurice guided me through a website: ecitizen.go.ke in order to register the Dispensary. Ezekiel, Daniel’s son offered to attend to the registration, so fingers crossed, the goods maybe on their way to Nairobi in the near future…..Daniel always says ‘patience Hellen’!

Interestingly Consular Maurice advised me to have direct contact with the Government officials in Kenya, not the Parliamentarians!

Cheers,

HELEN

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Bulletin Update No. 74

I note that it is two months since my last bulletin update, two months of frustration! The much needed medical supplies, clothing, crayons, toothbrushes, toothpaste are still sitting at Netfreight’s warehouse in Tullamarine waiting for ‘the elusive authority’ to have Etihad airlines fly the cargo to Nairobi. I have sent numerous emails followed up by telephone calls since March to Hon. Rachael Nyamai, all falling on deaf ears. Why no answer is the unknown, why not accepting the cargo to help her people is beyond comprehension. In my last email to Rachael I mentioned the media coverage the Kenyan election campaign is showing on Melbourne television and suggested that if she authorized the cargo to be accepted, ‘how good that would look for her campaign’, still no reply!!

In desperation I rang the Kenyan High Commissioner in Canberra last week and spoke to Lawrence Kanampau in the Consulate office. Lawrence was very receptive of my plight and after visiting the Walk for Water website promised to take all my issues re the cargo to Ambassador Kabira and hopefully find a solution to my problem of approval to send the goods. Lawrence invited me to Canberra to meet with Ambassador Kabira and I in return extended an invitation for the Ambassador to visit Melbourne. I shall wait this week for a return call or email.

In the meantime I received two telephone calls from Pastor Daniel advising me of his situation. Sadly, due to the ongoing drought they have no water flowing through their pipes and hence no crops in the Greenhouse. Without income from the crops Daniel is having to pay the Nursery school teacher out of his own funds. He advised me that the children who graduated last year from the Nursery school are excelling at school this year and he was thrilled at their prospects. He told me that if they had five tankers of water delivered then that would fill their tanks and they would have enough water to grow potatoes and they sell very well at market due to being scarse. Each tanker costs Ksh 7,500.00 and so I sent Ksh 37,500.00 which with the Western Union fee cost A$557.27 (sadly the Ksh is 0.71 for A$1.00). Sending this money meant I had to ‘dip’ into the money set aside for the second Greenhouse) so that will have to wait a little longer. Unfortunately with the fluxation of the Australian dollar it is becoming more expensive as time goes by! Why a second Greenhouse I asked Daniel, he replied when the rains come we can ‘run two crops’ alternatively and so hopefully have a continuous source of income.

Surprisingly the Dispensary (Medical Centre) is still operating but for reasons unknown is not being well patronised, perhaps this will take time!

Let’s hope and pray the Kenyan Ambassador in Australia can ‘work a miracle’ to have this cargo accepted.

Cheers,

HELEN

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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.

Rachael

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.


 

harambee

Application Reference No : CD2016000PPB321F0000247976 Version No : 1

REPUBLIC OF KENYA

PHARMACY AND POISONS BOARD

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

SUPPLIES DISPOSAL 55

VAGINAL , 8 RECTAL,

SIGMOID SPECULUM ,

RESPIRATORY SURGICAL

MASKS STAINLESS STEEL

KIDNEY DISHES SURGICAL

BLADES AND LANCETS

SHARP DISPOSABLE

CONTAINER YELLOW SITE

DRESSING

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

Cheers,

HELEN

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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 .

Rachael

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

Cheers,

HELEN

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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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DEAR HELLEN

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 .

Thanks

PASTOR DANIEL NTHEEU

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

Cheers,

HELEN

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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.

Cheers,

HELEN

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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.

Cheers,

Helen

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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.

WE HAVE TRANSPLANTED TOMATOES .CHILDREN ARE NOW FEEDING.PATIENTS TURN OUT IS VERY POOR DUE TO POVERTY AND LAC OF AWERENESS,I PAID TREE THOUSAND FOR REGISTRATION OF THE HOSPITAL AM STILL WAITING FOR THE RECEIPTS.YOU MENTIONED EARLIER OF CONSINEMEND WITH MOTOR BIKE AND SOME MEDICATION WHAT IS THE PROGRESS?

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

Cheers,

HELEN

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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:

PLEASE FORWARD TO HELLEN THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH DADS EMAIL ITS NOT ATACHING FILES .INFORM HER THEY ARE PREPARING TO PLANT,ALSO INFORM HER ITS TWO WEEKS NOW THERE IS NO FOOD FOR NURSERY

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

Cheers,

HELEN

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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

Cheers,

HELEN

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