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.

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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:


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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.

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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.

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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!

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Bulletin Update No. 63

Thank you, thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses, allied health workers who collect so many medical items for the Dispensary in Kanthi…..but the biggest thank you is to Kate and Gerry Cross of Canterbury Rotary who have arranged for the items to be shipped, gratis, with Rotary of Essendon’s shipment of medical beds to Kenya. Fortunately the ship has been delayed until the week of the 10th August as I had not finished collecting, packing, itemizing, labelling, securing (with the help of Kate Cross) all 10 boxes to be delivered onto the container for shipment. I have included ‘those crayons’ that went to Nairobi and back twice….third time lucky! We also have a bicycle for Nurse Margaret to ride to work courtesy of Rotary.

I have itemized every item and hope and pray that they arrive safely, without having to pay ‘an alleged bribe’. I sent off the last amount of monies from the WFG Kanthi bank account to Pastor Daniel being for two months wages for the nurse together with approximately Ksh 17,561.00 for medicines to start the clinic off. I am praying the tomatoes will soon be ready to help pay for some more medication until our supplies arrive. Pastor Daniel’s son Emmanuel wrote to me and said he would collect the items once they have been cleared in Nairobi and take them to Kanthi immediately. I have sent the following itinerary to all parties concerned including Hon. Rachael Nyamai who is the Chair of the Health Area in Kenya.

Medical Supplies


1,100 large Powder Free Disposable Latex gloves


2 x Obstetric kit – sealed packets
3 x Basic Dressing Pack #8 – sealed packets
1 x M size Highly Absorbent Sterile Lowe Limb wrap – sealed packet
25 x Mesorb 23 x 30 cm dressings – sealed packets
10 x Disposal vaginal speculums – sealed packets


100 x 3ml syringes
50 x 10 ml syringes
100 x 19G needles
100 x 21G needles
100 x 23G needles
20 boxes x 200 alcohol swabs
1 box x 200 alcohol swabs


400 packets of crayons for Nursery School Children


5 x Boxes surgical gloves – approximately 530 pairs – 4 boxes unopened, 1 box opened
12 x Intravenous giving sets
33 x ampoules of normal saline.
6 x CPR pillow slips


55 x Disposal vaginal speculum – s/m/large – sealed packets
8 x Disposal rectal speculum – sealed packets
9 x Sigmoid speculum – sealed packets


2 x boxes 50 each box Respiratory masks – sealed
3 x boxes 50 each box Surgical face masks – sealed
1 x box 35 each box Surgical face masks – sealed
6 x Asthma puffer dose control chambers – sealed
16 x Airways various sizes baby – adult – sealed
100 x s/s Stitch cutter blades – sealed
3 x 5ml syringes – sealed
2 x 3ml syringes – sealed
52 x 10ml syringes – sealed
3 x Disposable Laryngo scopes (adult size) – sealed packets
1 x Stainless steel Laryngo scopes (adult and baby blade) – sealed


1 x Sharpes disposable container (yellow)
7 x Stainless steel kidney dishes
9 pairs Stainless steel suture sissors
8 pairs Plain Stainless steel forceps
5 x Stainless steel (4 small / 1 medium) 1 child’s O2 mask
15 x Stainless steel surgical blades
100 x Surgical lancets
2 dozen Stainless Steel surgical suturing needles
5 x Stainless steel Michel clip removers
32 x 1/V site dressings – sealed
2 x I/V site dressings
4 x CPR pillow covers

14 x glucose monitors – boxed
1 x box 100 glucose strips for glucose monitor
1 x box 10 calibration strips for glucose monitor
1 x jar multi sticks

10 x basic dressing packs – sealed
4 x baby monitor trumpets.
20 x face masks
1 x ambumask
1 x sphygmomanometer
1 x large cuff
1 x child’s cuff
1x height measurer
2x thermometers
5x tea towels – sealed box
1x tourniquet
1 x stethoscope
1 x pairs scissors
 1x needle holders
2x artery forceps
1x swab holders
2 x insulin pens
4 x boxes 14 sachets Metamusel
4 x tubes anal cream
7 x inhalator medication
9x tubes acne cream
2 x inhalator medication 4 x bottles Coveram 5mg/10mg (high blood pressure)
7 x hypertension medication 2 x bottles Coveram 5mg/5mg (high blood pressure)
1 x bisolvon tablets for chest 1 box Panadol Osteo (96 tablets)
1 x Ditropan tablets 1 bottle hand wash

Children clothes
2 x little girls cotton dresses one white, one yellow
2 x baby sleep suits – blue
10 x children’s T shirts – sizes 1,2
2 x babies singlet’s
3 x long sleeve, short leg sleep suits
3 x short sleeve, short leg sleep suits
1 x short sleeve heavy cotton top

Boxes of baby wipes
1 X Bicycle.

I shall await word from Emmanuel who shall take all the items and deliver them to Pastor Daniel in Kanthi.

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Bulletin Update No. 62

What a wonderful organization Rotary is! The Rotary branch of Essendon is ‘finding space’ for my medical supply boxes in their container going to Kenya at the end of the month, and they are doing this gratis….sincere thanks to all concerned.

Wonders will never cease in the fact that I received the following email from Hon. Rachael Nyamai MP in Kitui constituency (Kanthi) of Kenya after months of silence.

Dear Hellen,

I congratulate you for the Medal of Order of Australia you just received and thank you very much for the mail on what you have so far achieved with your team. I am happy to say that I am and will remain part of this process and products associated with it. I have worked hand in hand with Daniel including visiting the Cilici more than once and helping to make things progress. Kindly have a talk with him and find out whether he appreciates what we have been able to do together.

I take this opportunity to thank you very much for your donations and having a human heart for the people of Kanthi and for the friendship you have with us. We do not take thus for granted.

In terms of way forward from now….I am going to have a discussion with Daniel when back from Canada to know whether he really wants to hand over this project to Government of Kenya. My advice is that we do not give it up. This can become a health facility like Mutomo Mutomo Hospital which is funded and supported by the Catholic Church. In terms of registration I connected Daniel Ndunda to the Dr who could do this. No one else Is allowed to write this letter except the Doc. Actually a politician is not allowed to write such a letter. I hope you understand this Hellen.

In terms of registration we will be able to handle at the national level to ensure that we get the necessary certificates to be fully operational. Your help is needed in drugs and other supplies because this clinic will be best if it remains a private Kanthi community clinic.

Water….. Daniel will tell you that we are finalizing the pipeline from Kithini to Mutomo. This may increase the flow of water to Kanthi at some point. Government programmers here are really slow.

Classroom…we finally got the funds for the proposed classroom and funds will be availed to Kathi community. Daniel will be in the project management committee. It’s within my docket to ensure that the school is registered by the Governement. The land we purchased, your existing classroom and the up coming primary school classroom will qualify us for registration. This is a great achievement that you will also be documenting. The only other thing I will try to do is to connect the clinic with the supply of vaccines. This we ask you to support us with the storage facilities such as fridges etc….. I promise to connect the school to power supply. This takes time but it will happen……it’s not obvious here to have power connection to populations. The current president has said every school must be connected to power supply and all Mps are working towards this.

It’s really my pleasure to have Daniel in Government. He will tell us the best way we can assist to have him join Government as what he does for the people surpasses what we do. I appreciate you Hellen. Be blessed.

Sincerely yours,

Hon Dr Rachael Nyamai

I am going to discuss with Daniel what his thoughts are regarding the Medical Centre remaining a community clinic or seeking registration as a Government institution. I guess with the Kenyan Government history (water supply issue) it might be best to remain a community venture as the community built and currently own the facility. The big question is sustainability! Drugs are so very expensive in Kenya, so we shall speak with the doctor at Mutomo hospital to seek his guidance also. I have had conversations with the Mercy nuns in Australia and spoken and had correspondence from Sr. Mary Okumu, Administrator of the Mutomo hospital. The lines of communications were opened up by Sr. Laboure, a Mercy nun in Ireland (sister of the late Fr Michael Sheehy, past parish priest of St. Gregory’s in Doncaster)….global co operation!

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Bulletin Update No. 61

Jackpot! yes we have just engaged a nurse/midwife named Margaret Kanini Ndambuki to work in the Medical Centre. She has been working at the Missionary hospital in Mutomo and has agreed to work in the Medical Centre in Kanthi. There are a few ‘teething’ problems to work out, supplies of medicines being the major one and transporting her to work another. She lives in Mutomo, 8 km away. I shall liaise with Daniel to try to arrange something regarding her transport….not like here, no public transport!

With regards to the medicines. Margaret spoke with me on the telephone last week and read out a list of medicines they need, antibiotics are the most expensive…extremely so, on Margaret’s list Antibiotics cost Ksh 84,300 (A$1,124.00). . Other medicines are anti fungal, anti worms, anti vomiting, peptic ulcer, cough syrup, to name a few. Margaret is due to start work on Monday, 3rd August, providing we have supplies for her to work with.

I was advised by a Rotarian from Doncaster and then I spoke at a dinner for Rotary Canterbury on Monday evening about the Kanthi projects and was advised of an organization in Footscray Donations in Kind who ship goods for not for profit organizations all around the world. Coincidently they have a container going to Kenya at the end of this month. I am to yet find out the cost of the boxes I wish to send. They also have medical equipment which they ‘might’ give for the Kanthi people. The one sad thing I was advised by Rotary is that I shall have to pay a bribe at the Kenyan end…..I do not know how much. I contacted a person in Nairobi who also advised me that ‘that was normal practice’…..all Government controls!

Please see photos below of Margaret, her qualifications and photos the newly constructed toilet in foreground of Dispensary and a photo of the latest tomato crop: the tomato crop will supplement the village income. The patients also pay a fee when visiting the Dispensary.



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Bulletin Update No. 60

People’s generosity, when I have required assistance for the village people of Kanthi, continues to amaze me…but why should it, as you have helped these people over the past three years! My request for contacts or perhaps medical supplies was met with such generosity by both Brother Sean Keefe, Chaplain at Whitefriars College, Donvale and the Chief Executive Officer of Manningham Community Health Services, Ms. Jenny Jackson. Brother Sean donated SIX boxes of medical equipment, supplies etc. sharing supplies that he would take to Timor Leste where he works tirelessly for the Timorese people. The wonderful First Aid Officer at the College chose all the appropriate equipment for the Medical Centre in Kanthi……operating theatre instruments, equipment, metal kidney dishes, blood pressure machine, stethoscope, obstetric packs etc. The incredible Jenny Jackson and staff contributed two boxes of medical supplies bandages, solutions, washes and more……more than I could ever have imagined! As Pastor Daniel would say God bless you in abundance

My next request is if anyone might, by some slim chance, be travelling to Kenya in the next few weeks or so?? I would not chance sending the equipment for two reasons, remember the crayons that I posted at a huge cost, they went to Nairobi and back here twice. Also in declaring that the parcels contained medical supplies I seriously wonder if they would ever be delivered or perhaps ‘ransomed’ off. Pastor Daniel’s sons live in Nairobi, so if I can get the supplies there…….one large suitcase would be suitable, they would deliver them to their father in the village.

If anyone might be able to offer assistance please contact me by email jurcevic@bigpond.com . Thanking you in anticipation.

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


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