Parish of Headley with Box Hill

  • The Old Cottage
  • ChurchLane
  • Headley
  • Surrey
  • KT18 6LG

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St Peter's Life-line

Supporting St Peter's Schools and Community in Kajuki, Kenya.

A remote, rural and desperately poor community.

“Our core vision is to Embrace, Educate, Equip and Empower the next generation.”

http://www.stpeterslifeline.org.uk/

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO HELP PLEASE EMAILenquiry@stpeterslifeline.org.uk

TO DONATE PLEASE CLICK HEREDONATIONS 


Proceeds from the HARVEST SUPPER at HEADLEY VILLAGE HALL on TUESDAY 3RD OCTOBER AT 7PM will be sent to St Peter's Life-Line. 


Sadly David Baldwin is unable to join us for the Harvest Supper, but has sent us the letter below:

Dear Parishioners of St Mary’s and St Andrew’s,

 

I’m very sorry that I am unable to be with you  for your Harvest Supper, but I’m certainly with you in spirit!

Since we last met, there has been much very encouraging progress in all aspects of our support to the St Peter’s parish community.

 

Schools: Our four parish schools (which when we started was just one small primary school, St Peter’s), are now burgeoning with 700 plus pupils, all providing a quality primary education. Our contribution this year has been the building of four classrooms, and a small toilet block, by way of capital works. Our current numbers funding orphan and impoverished children through education are: 49 primary, 16 secondary, 3 tertiary and 3 university students – all paid for by faithful donations from you, our supporters.

 

FGM: our annual programme to eliminate the foul scourge of FGM continues. Over 1,700 young women have attended our Alternative Rite of Passage over the years, and we will be holding another of these one-week residential gatherings of young women at St Peter’s, seeking freedom and empowerment to have a say how they live their lives as they approach womanhood. Next year we will be concentrating on those communities who are still resistant to our message. We are winning.

 

Micro finance and savings: this scheme has been an outstanding success, with women starting up their own businesses through the loans given to them – with over 1,300 women participating, through the 1,700 loans made. We have also included a savings scheme for these ladies, where for the first time in their lives, they have something to ‘fall back on’ in time of need, or to indulge! The scheme is now fully sustainable, and will continue to grow organically, without any further input from us, apart from the satisfaction of seeing all these happy ladies, as they go about their businesses!

  

Primary school feeding scheme: the area has been through a very tough time over the months, with one harvest completely failing (as widely publicised in the press), and the latest only producing a limited  result, so hunger still stalks the land.

We have provided a hot, tummy-busting lunch for over 1,100 kids in six government primary schools this year (the kids at our own schools are very well fed!), which has had the expected result of bringing in many more children who otherwise would not have the energy or motivation to walk the long distances into school, thereby raising and stabilising attendance rates. The completely unexpected and other amazing outcome was the visible raising of academic standards in all these schools – as measured by national exam results and scores! We hope and pray that not only can we continue this scheme in 2018, but increase numbers to at least 1,500.

 

I was recently contrasting the hundreds of acres of the lush, green, tall maize crop down here in Somerset, of which ironically goes to feed livestock, to the mean, withered and scorched crops that I saw in and around Kajuki on my last visit – meant to feed human beings.

 

Water and irrigation: the supply of water has always been a problem here. There is an intermittent, low pressure and highly unreliable public supply to St Peter’s, so the main provision to our big storage tanks is by pumping from the nearby river (expensive, time consuming and very un-ecofriendly), or of course the time-honoured method of the kids going down to the river to lug their water back to school. We commissioned an engineering survey to provide gravity-fed water from the river, which will not only provide sufficient for domestic use for St Peter’s, but also the government secondary school next door… AND sufficient to irrigate up to 5 acres of crop fields that belong to the school – a very significant game-changer. A charitable foundation has granted us the £14,000 to build this in April next year. Sustainable and Green. However the perennial problem of provision of clean drinking water remains… but, we pray… one day…

 

More irrigation: at another of our school’s locations, which is very close to a river, we have initiated a professionally engineered drip-feed irrigation scheme, currently and successfully irrigating 1 acre. In Fr Frankline’s words:

 

“In our prayers, we thank God for the irrigation project which has picked up very well. Everyone on the vicinity is marveling at what their eyes can't believe. Today kids from all our schools will eat greens from our farm as a welcome gesture. They are very scarce currently. I feel very encouraged, and ready for the second portion for a bigger endeavour. We are getting somewhere in this David”.

The ‘second portion’ is the second acre, of which preparation is underway, and has been funded specifically by one of our lovely donors.

 

I am planning on visiting at the end of October to say farewell to our Year 8 primary school students who will be leaving primary school after their national exams, and attend the AGM of the micro finance ladies, as well as doing the rounds of all our projects and people.

 

We thank you so much for your faithful support to these faithful people, to whom you give so much – not only materially, but in your prayers – and that all gives them the precious gift of hope.

 

Enjoy your rich fellowship in Our Lord – and your meal!

 

God bless,

 

David Baldwin





St Peter's Life-Line is a small grass roots charity, with the passion and vision to make a big difference, where 100% of donations reach the school and community. St Peter's Life-Line partners with St Peter's primary school and community in Kajuki, Kenya, by helping to lift a community out of desperate poverty, through education, micro finance, empowering girls, feeding programmes, clean water, sanitation and the prevention of disease. The charity aims to bring Hope Through Education and a more secure future.

St Peter's School was established in 2006 by a young, dynamic priest, Fr Joe. The school is in Kajuki, situated near the foot of Mt Kenya, in the South Meru District. It is a harsh, semi-arid part of Kenya, and is home to some 40,000 people.

In January 2013 St Peter's school has 344 pupils, of which 150 live at the school during term time (many whom are orphans, vulnerable or very poor children within the parish).  Its new sister school, our Lady of Consolation has 118 pupils and the Sacred Heart nursery school has 28 pupils.

The school has no formal Government or Church support – it has to find its own means. The aim of the school is to bring in children from all around the parish, from whatever faith or none, whose parents cannot even afford the meagre costs (books, uniform, food) of sending them to local government primary schools.

St Peter's Life-Line was started in the summer of 2009 after hearing cries of desperation from the founders, during a famine period and in the violent aftermath of the Kenyan elections of 2008.

The aims within the school are to raise funds for priority capital projects, the feeding programme, school fees and salaries. The charity also funds the incredible life saving and life changing programme which fights against Female Genital Mutilation and new for 2012 they have created and established a micro finance programme for women within the community.  Donors also have the opportunity to provide funds for other, smaller items which are urgently needed. St Peter's Life-Line aims to work in a sustainable manner, helping to bring long lasting legacy. Wherever possible, items are bought locally or nationally to further aid the economy of Kenya and the local people.

St Peter's Life-Line believes that every child has the right to receive a primary education, (as set out in Article 28, The Convention on the Rights of the child, UNICEF) and that poverty should not prevent that from happening. They have seen the HOPE that education can bring to individuals and families helping to give them a more secure future to families who are trapped in the cycle of poverty.


ST PETER’S LIFE-LINE – FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 7th July 2017

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi”

 

I took the opportunity between my wife, Ros’, hip operations, to make a short-notice visit to St Peter’s, and have just returned after a wonderful 10 day visit.

 

The fickle rains again petered out, so the maize harvest has largely failed, but there is some consolation in the production of the faster, lower growing crops such as sorghum, millet, peas and greeny grams. As ever, it is a situation that we will keep a constant watch over.

 

In connection with this scenario, the government has designated our area (Ngambang’gombe) a separate sub-district which will now qualify as a ‘hardship area’, and subject to some government relief.

 

In a very full programme I visited our schools, had the chance to talk and engage with teachers and children, and again marvel at their ambition to better their lives through education. I saw all our sponsored Transforming Lives primary school pupils (total 47), who as ever expressed their gratitude for your support.

 

I interviewed all our secondary school sponsored pupils (total 18), and will forward individual  letters of thanks and their report forms to sponsors in due course.

 

I spent an interesting morning with our Project Director, Veronica, exploring the business and practical case for bee keeping and honey production as a micro finance activities for our ladies. Very promising, and we will investigate further. We are also exploring the not-often-spoke-about provision of affordable sanitary wear for women, again as a community service and/or micro finance prospect.

 

I visited two community forums organised by Veronica, fiercely debating the issues of FGM. There are still some communities who insist on clinging to the culture of female circumcision, but encouraged by the successes we have experienced elsewhere, we are confident that with persistent education and discussion, this cruel practice will be eliminated.

 

I visited two government primary schools (out of six, where we are feeding 1,111 children) where our lunchtime feeding programme is running. Seeing these children with full tummies and bags of energy was so encouraging. One head teacher showed me proof positive that academic achievement was also being raised in her school with the Mean Score of Class 8 in their national exam rising to 234/500 in Dec 2016 from 223 in 2015 before the programme started, and I know this is similar with the other schools. I would love to add at least another 500 children to the programme for 2018, but at present we have no funds in prospect to feed any of the schools (approx £22,500 needed!).

 

I attended a meeting with the formidable ladies of the micro finance Management Board, and as ever I was very encouraged and impressed with the growth and progress of this very successful scheme. As usual I was put against the wall to part with more funds for particular purposes – I try to resist….

 

One of our lovely donors insisted that we give our schools a ‘special treat’ – which we did by having a gathering at St Peter’s of our four schools (over 700 kids) to partake in a magnificent feast, with, on the menu, a cow, masses of rice and heaps of veggies! All schools put on songs and dances, and we partied for most of the day! It was a treat – a true family gathering without any VIPs to impress, or programme to try and hold to. We also formally exchanged banners between our newly twinned schools – Our Lady of Consolation, Kathwana, and Puriton Primary, Somerset.

 

I made one of my regular visits to Rita, the amazing Italian lady in a nearby mission station, who has devoted her life to raising orphan children in the children’s home that she built and operates.

  

There are many, many cases of heartbreak in this community. I met Winnie, a young mum with 6 children. Her father had disowned her, and her husband committed suicide as a result of a family feud. She is suffering from breast cancer, for which she had an operation, but was unable to pay the bill. She was discharged from hospital, and there has been no follow-up action such as biopsy reports or ongoing treatment. Her community is giving her what support they can, but she is living hand to mouth, as she is unable to do any heavy work,

which women do to earn some money. We will directly and practically support Winnie as best we can, as

directed by Fr Frankline. One immediate way is to take on one of her sons – Peter – a lovely, bright lad, as one of our Transforming Lives pupils, where he will board at St Peter’s and be looked after.

 

On my return an email awaited me from the Trustees of the Pickwell Foundation  (http://www.thepickwellfoundation.org.uk ) informing me of our successful bid for £14,000 for our water supply scheme to St Peter’s. Another amazing miracle, demonstrating the power of prayer!

 

Doreen, the school and parish administrator, has recovered from her recent illnesses.

 

Fr Frankline is due in court for another hearing today (Friday) regarding his traffic accident.

 

So far, the lead-up to the elections (8 Aug) has been peaceful.

 

News of my visit will go up on over the next days on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/St-Peters-Life-Line-328519129029/); those who don’t have (or don’t want!) a Fb account, you can see these posts on our website: http://www.stpeterslifeline.org.uk/news/ - scroll down the box below ‘Latest news from the St Peter’s community’.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

“And when you pray…”

 And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them; I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you pray, go to your private room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.  Mt 6:5,6

 

Meditation: “…let him see you…”

Another reason for our presenting ourselves before God is to speak to him, and hear him speak to us by his inspirations and the interior movement of his grace. And one of these two benefits can never fail us in prayer. If we can speak to our Lord, let us speak, let us praise him, let us listen to him. If we cannot speak to him because we are hoarse, let us stay nevertheless in his presence and do him reverence. He will see us there; he will be pleased with our patience; and he will look with favour on our loving silence.

Whenever, then, you come near to our Lord, speak to him if you can. If you cannot, remain there, let him see you, and do not trouble yourself about anything else.                         Jean-Nicolas Grou (d1803)

 

 “God is great…”

 Let there be rejoicing and gladness

for all who seek you.

Let them say forever: God is great,”

who love your saving help.  Ps 70:5

 

We give thanks and praise for…

Safe travels and marvellous encounters during David’s visit

All our donors who give so generously

Progress on eliminating FGM

The benefits of the current primary schools’ feeding programme

Being recognized as a hardship area

Our very special schools’ treat

The Pickwell Foundation grant for our water project

Rita and her gift of love and care for her orphans

Doreen’s healing

 

We pray for…

Provision of sufficient food

Continuing development of micro finance projects

Ongoing successful elimination of FGM

Successful interaction between our newly twinned schools

Healing for Winnie and provision for her family

Justice at Fr Frankline’s next court hearing

Continuing peaceful lead-up to the elections

 

 

Anyone who humbles himself will be exalted. Mt 23:12


FIRST FRIDAY PRAYERS – 5 MAY 2017

 

“Together in prayer – Umoja kwa maombi”

 

This month, as we see the close of Eastertide approaching, we celebrate the conclusive act of Jesus’ ministry on earth with His Ascension in to heaven.

 

As you all know, we had an astounding response to our Dosh4Nosh appeal, and were able to meet all our hopes and aspirations for feeding our St Peter’s community during this difficult time – meeting last term’s food debt, feeding families during the school holidays and boosting the food budget ready to face next term.

 

Despite the feeding programme, many children will be very glad to get back to school this month, knowing that their tummies will be kept full every day!

 

Although there has been some rain reported in the area it needs to persist to bring in a full harvest come August. I have been tracking the weather forecasts there on an App – and the rain clouds seem to keep stubbornly away from Tharaka!

 

Our programme to eliminate FGM continues this month with the start of community forums, where robust debates take place with community members – fuelled by a hearty lunch that we provide! Many of the more conservative members and elder women are gradually coming round to recognising the realities of the awful health and social consequences of FGM to their girls.

 

Our proposed water irrigation scheme is out to experts in this country for evaluation and comment.

 

Another 97 loans were made to our micro finance ladies – bringing the total now to 1,605 loans made. Amazing! We are also taking on another lady to help with the growing administrative load of our FGM, micro finance, and primary schools’ feeding programme – healthy growth!

 

Our separate, primary schools’ feeding programme, feeding over 1,000 children at six government schools, will recommence at start of term, much to the relief of parents – and kids – at those schools! Although sufficient stocks for next term are already in place, we will need funding for the Christmas term.

 

Lord, as we now turn our face towards Yours, let time stand still in our busy lives. We take a moment to seek You, to talk to You, to listen to You. Lord God, by Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You inspire us to open our minds and hearts to Your loving attention. Let us meet with You now in prayer.

 

Bread to eat

 “That”, said Moses to them, “is the bread the Lord gives you to eat. This is the Lord’s command: everyone must gather enough of it for his needs, one omer a head, according to the number of persons in your families. Each of you will gather for those who share his tent.”                                   Ex 16:15

 

“I saved you…”

Ring out your joy to God our strength,

shout in triumph to the God of Jacob.

Raise a song and sound the timbrel,

the sweet-sounding harp and the lute.

 

A voice I did not know said to me:

“I freed your shoulder from the burden;

 your hands were freed from the load.

You called in distress and I saved you”. Ps 81:1-3,5-7

 

Meditation: Seek the Lord

 “Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.” (Jn 20:11)

With Mary, we may seek the Lord, weeping when he is not to be found – in prayer, in worship, in our daily round of activities – only to come upon him in the most unexpected of places and discover that he has been there all along. It was we who did not recognise him. As he promised, our risen Lord is with us always.

 

“I am with you always…”

 The eleven disciples set out for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. When they saw him they fell down before him, though some hesitated. Jesus came up and spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.

And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time”.                          Mt 28:16-20

 

We give thanks and praise for…

 

Our very generous donors

Provision of food to families most in need

The start of the rains

The success of our team battling the scourge of FGM

The continuing healthy and fruitful growth of the micro finance scheme

 

We pray for…

 

Continuing rain, rain, rain!

Continuing clarity to the community over consequences of FGM

Successful grant applications for ARP and water provision

Continuing blessings on our supporters for their kindness and generosity

The means to meet the challenges of this term

A blessing on all teachers, staff and pupils at our four schools for the start of term

 

“Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven”. Lk 24:51

 

Many of you have listened to David Baldwin talk about the work undertaken by St Peter's Life-Line at our Harvest suppers over the past few years. As a parish we are proud to help this small, grass roots charity educate and feed to young people in this desperately poor semi arid region in Kajuki, Kenya.

 

Drought disaster in this region is not 'news' anymore, but David has written that the current water shortage has caused a huge increase in the cost of providing a hot meal once a day for the 700 students at four schools (Please see David's email dated 21st February below). Fr Frankline is almost at breaking point. 

 

A portable water pump has been donated to support the irrigation scheme near the Sacred Heart School, but until the next seasonal rains arrive in April/May, additional funds are needed to maintain the food budget.

 


HOW CAN WE HELP? 


Donate directly through their donation page: https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=75087


David sent us the pictures below.

On the left, one family's crop terrace during drought. On the right, the same terrace after rain.


Kajuki Drought Terraces            St Peters Lifeline Terraces after Rain  


Fr Frankline surveying the school crops, withered and dying.


Fr Frankline Surveying the Crops






 

Below is the email from David and Susie, outlining the current desperate situation in Kajuki:

21 February 2017

Dear Lovely Supporters All,

 

I had an email from Fr Frankline a couple of days ago telling me of problems that are besetting him "almost to breaking point" - a couple being transportation problems of day scholars to school who live some distance away, with our faithful minibus now in terminal decline, and failure in his efforts to try and encourage one of our sponsored tertiary students to take her studies seriously, and us, sadly, having to discontinue her sponsorship. However his biggest concern is feeding the kids at our four schools (over 700) over this and next term, now that shortage of food prices are rocketing in the face of the severe drought gripping this area.

 

In his words: “The climatic condition has deteriorated terribly. Food prices have hiked enormously. I was studying the budget and I’m so scared of the survival of these two terms before there is a harvest.” I heard this just before I heard news that the Kenya government has declared a drought disaster in the affected ares (ours being one).

 

The next seasonal rains are not due until Apr/May, for a harvest in Jul/Aug - if they come. In amongst all the bombardment of other daily news, we read and hear about ongoing droughts (and now the awful famines not so far from us in S Sudan) in a rather detached way. But for us, these are real people whom we know personally and love, and it affects us personally. This of course, is nothing new in this area - and is why we initially engaged with St Peter’s by throwing that life-line to save them, at that time, from closure.

 

I have sent some immediate aid - £500 to boost the food budget, but if it goes anything like the last time they suffered severe drought conditions we had to raise about £5,000 over the period to maintain a full and healthy diet for our kids. On social, and other media we will be launching a “Dosh for Nosh" appeal.

 

In the longer term two generous donors have given sufficient to buy a portable water pump (£1,600) to start an irrigation scheme on fertile fields adjacent to one of our schools (Sacred Heart), that are now available for this use, and are very close to a river. This should give some degree of food security and cushion to the cash budget.

 

This is by way of an update. I am always very reluctant indeed to ask of you who are already so committed to our community. So I hope you don’t find it totally disingenuous of me just to say that only if you feel moved to give anything, no matter how small, it is easily done from our donation page: https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=75087

 

I am in constant touch with Fr Frankline, and I know he is so grateful for the prayers, support and encouragement that he is, and will be given, by you all.

 

If you do have any queries, please do get back in touch,

 

As ever,

 

David & Susie



Below is a letter from David, following his recent visit to Kajuki and receipt of our Harvest Donations:

                                                                                                                                 13 Oct 16

Dear Lovely Supporters from Headley and Box Hill,

I am writing to thank you all so very much for your amazing donations to St Peter’s Life-Line from your Harvest Supper!

Having just returned from my visit out to St Peter’s I was able to see, for the first time, our primary schools lunchtime feeding programme in action, with the 740 or so children at 5 local government primary schools. It was clearly evident from all concerned, how appreciative they all are of this initiative. I heard of a comment from one person, “How is it that a complete stranger can come along and feed our children – we are so grateful”.

Your donation has given great encouragement for us to increase our programme by at least one other school for next year, and after I’ve done a few more sums (and said some more prayers!) we might be able to increase to yet another school - making a total of 7, with over 1,000 children. Please pray too!

It was extremely hot, dry and very dusty out there. There are obvious food shortages generally, and food is expensive. Most of the planting has been done as they wait expectantly for the coming rains at the end of the month. They really need a good harvest come Jan/Feb next year.

All other projects are thriving – the four schools we support, the anti-FGM initiative that we run, and the continually burgeoning micro finance scheme – thanks be to God!

Asenteni sana tena – many thanks once again!

Blessings, as ever, David


St Peter's Lifeline School Pupil         St Peters Children

Grain St Peters   Lunch St Peters