Blog

Here’s the latest Buzz about bees in Kenya

The storage building for processing the honey has been completed…and just in time.  At least one hive is ready for harvesting.  The Maina family is excited about getting their first honey and starting to build a customer base for their product.   While waiting for the bees to do their work, they have made tubes and small jars of lip balm.  From this point forward, they can use their own bees’ wax to make this product.   Please pray they will not become discouraged…marketing is a tough job in a country where there is such little money.

Bee store house                Lip balm

          Store House                                                   Lip Balm

 

 

Here’s the Latest Buzzzz!

We recently received a request from a family comprised of 6 orphans needing funding for a beekeeping business.  Their parents died eleven years ago leaving them to care for themselves.  The two oldest children stayed in their village to protect the property the children inherited from their parents.  The four younger children were taken to an orphanage and have been able to receive an education through financial sponsorship.  They have investigated the honey business and learned only 20% of the country’s potential has been tapped – thus, this could grow as they re-invest some of the profits from each harvest.   We are excited  to help this family build a successful and self-sustainable business.  An organized beekeeping association will provide training for this family, oversee the installation of 10 hives, and offer a market for the honey unless the family wishes to establish their own customers.  Our foundation will be repaid 10% of the income from each harvest and use it to help fund similar businesses for other vulnerable families.  If this peaks your interest, we encourage you to help bring hope to this family by donating towards the cost of this “honey” of a  project.   Check out our donation page.

Maximize Your Charitable Contributions

The new tax law that will go into affect in 2018 might change the way many of you take your deductions.   If you will no longer itemize your donations, but rather take the standard deduction starting in 2018, please consider making an extra year end (2017) donation to the Sheppard Foundation for Hope while you can still deduct your donation.   Our foundation funds education for orphans and vulnerable Maasai girls;  clean water projects; loans for small businesses for widows and vulnerable families; new homes for widows; solar lights for refugees and families without electricity; and several other projects that bring hope to those in need here in the United States and Third World countries.   We pledge that 100% of your donation goes for the project you designate and we travel to each site to insure the funds are spent correctly.   Administrative and travel expenses are not taken from your donation.

School Break is Almost Over

The children throughout Kenya were released from Term 2 a few days early so they could arrive at their village or home prior to any unrest caused by pre-election or post election violence.   Fortunately most Kenyans chose to accept the results of their national election and there was little violence.  All citizens and those concerned international friends are very relieved.   The HOREC children, Obaga children, and Maasai girls have had a chance to relax, get the necessary school supplies and will be traveling back to their schools in less than a week.  One story to share with you is another organization built a fellowship hall for the Jewels of Obaga.   It will have several uses:  A meeting place for the Jewels, a place the Jewels can feed their children, secure storage for garden supplies, beading supplies, and paperwork, and finally, it will serve as a source of income from rent when it is rented by others for special occasions.  The Obaga Scholarship recipients spent a couple days cleaning and polishing floors, windows and walls while on their school break.  Way to go kids!   Serving others is an important lesson in life.

Reaching Out Via Radio

What an experience!   Recently we were given the opportunity to share to many Americans the work we do through Sheppard Foundation of Hope.  We were interviewed on the Jim Bohannon Radio Talk Show – Westwood One.   Trying to give each of you a picture of what life is like in Kenya for the orphans, widows, and vulnerable people was a real challenge.   How do you explain that many village families live in a mud house which has holes in the walls and the thatched roof leaks when it rains?   Children miss school because they quite often become sick because of these conditions.   When they do attend school, they walk home for lunch (sometimes miles), only to find there is no food to feed them.   Girls often miss school one week out of each month because they have no way to protect them during their monthly cycle.  Therefore, their school grades suffer.  Mothers spend all day at the nearby market trying to sell items of which there are many ladies selling the exact same product…each trying to raise money so they can feed their families or pay one of their many children’s school fees.   Perhaps we missed this opportunity to paint a clear picture, but we are always more than willing to answer any questions you might have.  Email us at: sheppardhope23@gmail.com     Also, take a look at our DONATE page to see ways you can help.

Education is the Key to Change

Having traveled throughout many regions of Kenya over the past several years, the one question I keep hearing from widows and young people is, “Can you help me with my (or my children’s) school fees?” As a retired teacher it is so difficult to have to say, “Sorry, but I can’t.”   I have walked through the fields, stopped children and asked, “Why are you not in school today?”   Almost always the answer is , “The Head Master sent me home because I am delinquent with my fees.” Education is supposed to be free in Kenya ,but so many children sit at home because their parents must choose between feeding or educating their children.   When you make less than $ 2 a day, these are the choices many parents must make.  This topic is weighing heavily on my mind this week because I am still in need of a few friends and/or strangers to step forward and sponsor a child’s education.  Can you pay for a uniform; purchase books or school supplies; or even pay part of a year’s school fees?  Next years classes start in less than a week.  I have stayed up late every night this week reviewing the applications our foundation has received requesting help with funding school fees.   If I don’t choose a specific child, what will happen to them?   If I can’t find a sponsor for a young girl, will she be considered such a burden on her parent(s), they will choose to give her in marriage to an older man in exchange for ten cows?   So when I have to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have another sponsor” it is a troubling decision for me.  If  you feel you can help with a child’s school fees, please, immediately go to our “Donate” page;  choose a way you would like to help, click on the PayPal button and change a child’s life.    Asante sana.