Education. It’s the key to alleviating poverty. Give someone a handout and they might be grateful for a day. Teach them how to start and run their own business and they’ll be grateful for a lifetime. Today we got a chance to do just that.
We split into two teams this morning and made the hour and 15-minute drive to the Turbo and Juacali regions of Kakamega county Kenya. Half the team went to visit the orphanage
in Juacali where one our drivers, Joseph Simuyu and his wife are house parents. Today was Mandaraka day in Kenya, the day they celebrate their independence from England. (Yep, lots of countries celebrate their independence from England, but Kenya kept their silly way of driving on the wrong side of the road!). Since it was a holiday most of the kids were home and it made for a very fun day of loving on kids! And, as a special treat, the orphanage made a delicious lunch for the team to enjoy. There were lots of smiles and hugs shared!
The other team traveled to Turbo to conduct a small business conference. We started with a role play showing how each person is dependent on the other.
The premise was that one of the ladies wanted to start a business selling eggs. We taught about how they can band together and form a co-operative to which they can contribute so the first person can start their business. We showed how a schilling travels from the banker to the café to the egg producer to the chick farmer to the feed store to the hardware store to the electric company and so on. Then Mike gave a great presentation on how to build a business plan for that egg business. He talked about identifying your customer, determining what products they need, figuring out how to make or procure that product, how to price the product and how to place the product. Lastly, Mark showed how to get your creative juices flowing by showing dozens of different products that can be made from PVC pipe.
In the afternoon, Brandon showed the men how to build a rocket stove for cooking and the rest of us talked about different irrigation techniques for their crops. While that was going on Shari, Allison and Frankie taught the ladies the word of God. We had a great time of teaching and learning.
Tomorrow we will travel 2 hours to the town of Kakamega to conduct another business conference at Pastor Elkanah’s ministry while the other half of our group visits a school and a group of widows. That ministry is run by a feisty lady named Rebekah. She is recovering from open heart surgery so we want to visit her. Keep your prayers coming. We have definitely felt and benefitted from them!