Fourteen months ago, thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Preston Torbay, and with help from Caroline Newton of Friends of Kianjai, we were able to send 20 Rotary Water Barrels to a community in Meru, Kenya.
Upon entering the village, the Barrels were immediately taken to church – and over the next few hours they were blessed and welcomed into the community. The barrels were then handed out by Rotarian John Asher, of Trade Aid.
One barrel was given to a young man by the name of Kennedy Kathurima, who had been orphaned at a very young age, and who suffers from Cerebral Palsy.
After losing his mum to Aids and his father to illness, Kennedy was brought up by his frail grandfather, in a small hut on the outskirts of Meru.
We were told that Kennedy would often spend hours visiting the homes of people to beg for food, otherwise he would only eat when he was at school. “He tries to work hard, but his hands cannot hold anything heavy. Ken lives with his grandfather, he is an old man and weak” Kennedy’s teacher reported to us.
This week we received an update from Caroline Newton.
Caroline said: “The barrel was so helpful in getting water that he was able to set up a small water delivery business and earn a little money from neighbours.
“Over the year he has been saving some of this money and he has now bought himself a he goat” she continued.
“The Villagers want you to know that the ‘he goat’ is more valuable and more expensive than a she goat, they were delighted!”
” This has had a significant impact on Ken’s self-esteem, and overall quality of life” added Caroline.
The Barrel has given Kennedy the confidence to start his own business. Since March 2013, he has been asked by neighbours to collect their water – and he has done so with ease.
With the money he has made from being the local water-collector, Kennedy has been able to buy a he-goat, and we are told this puts him in good standing for marriage in the future.
In a continuation of this, the report also stated that the teachers were delighted with the impact on Kennedy’s life, and wanted to thank the charity (The RoTB Trust) for making this possible.
The report also confirmed that even after 14 months, the barrels are still in great condition and are being used every day to collect water.
We’d like to thank Caroline for the report – and will endeavour to update the website with more news on Kennedy, during the next few months.