The meeting at the end of October in Ololkirikirai was a great success, all schools were represented by project-responsible teachers and a lively exchange took place. It has also been discussed about the strategic development of the project, for example the cooperation with Kenyan environmental initiatives for schools.
At the end of November, Gea will publish an article about our project in “Brennstoff”, the customer magazine of Gea. Thank you very much, Heini and Sylvie, we are looking forward to your support! We can use them very well because there are other schools in the starting holes, some in the Entasekera parish but also some on the Victoria Lake. Since we can use every euro well. Books for the extension of the “travelling library” have already been ordered. We only need to pay them when they are delivered ……….
Millicent and Gilbert are preparing a meeting of the project-responsible teachers of the seven participating schools. It is to be a meeting for the exchange of experiences and ideas and also to strengthen cooperation among the schools. All schools struggle with the same difficulties: very close curriculum in the very competitive Kenyan school system, the care of the nursery schools during the school holidays and, above all, the protection of the planted trees from free-running pasture cattle.
At the beginning of the 3rd trimester, the “travelling library” goes back on its journey, it is rotating between our partnerships. In the case of the often very poor road conditions in the project area, it is not a simple logistic task to bring the metal box from school to school with 4 x 35 books. But the teachers as well as the pupils are very happy about the visit of the library at their school. The teachers, however, have requested that the library always remain at a school for a whole trimester, so that they can work well with the books. We had only one month to stay at a school. This means now that we have to purchase more books for the “travelling library”. Please help us!
We can present our project at the “apple tree meeting”, which is the annual meeting of the investors in the “GEA-Sparverein” by Heini Staudinger, which was so heavily contested by the FMA. The response of the investors was great, many heartfelt thanks to all of you! The “Heini Staudinger for Africa” association has, by the way, achieved donation abolishability this year, which means that if you want to tax your donation to Books for Trees, please deposit your donation to “Heini Staudinger für Afrika” .
No special occurrences, school day halt. Everything is going well, thank God. Millicent, together with the project-responsible teachers, visits the parents of the pupils who have planted the trees at home to see how this little tree is going. The pupils, in whom the trees are growing well and undamaged, receive a school book and a ballpoint pen as motivation.
We have added another school to the project, the Ilikumae Primary School. This is a new school founded by parents, who did not want their children to take more than 2 x 5 km walk to and from school every day. The lessons are still held in the “church”. But there is already a plot on which the school building is to be built. We have helped the parents to fenced the area and planted along the fence tree. The plantlets required for this purpose were made available by Naituyupaki PS. From now on, we have seven participating schools!
2 weeks after the beginning of the second trimester our project manager Millicent started the “travelling library”, our traveling library, in three schools (Olorupa Primary School, Naituyupaki PS and Ololkirikirai PS). The handing over of the books to the schools was a ceremony in which tree plantings were, of course, not to be missed. The present priest of the parish, Fr. Fredrick Maina, was also present at the ceremony at the Naituyupaki PS. We are very glad to have a priest again, who supports our project energetically.
In the middle of April it finally rained again! Since the beginning of January, no drop of water has fallen in our project area and we are proud to report that all the seedlings in our tree nurseries survived just as much as the suspended saplings. Now everything is breathing again!
All of Kenya suffers from heat and drought, thank God, we have equipped our partners with water tanks, otherwise the watering of the trees would not be possible. Now every drop of water counts in the rainy season.
The books from Canada – of course printed and bound in China – have arrived! 45 copies of “The Good Garden”, “One Hen” and “Mimi’s Village” from the Kids Can Press publishing house. All three books were written by Katie Smith Milway, who had worked for decades in development aid in Africa and South America. They are wonderfully written and drawn children’s books, each of which has a very important theme and is based on real life stories.
The books really cost a lot of money – just 18, – € per book including transport. Without the willingness of our bookseller in Nairobi to order the books without prepayment and without the forwarding of the book trade discount we could hardly have financed this. But the books are an absolute enrichment for our “travelling library”, will give many hundreds of schoolchildren joy and cause thousands of trees to be planted. Many thanks to all our supporters!
Our partnerships in the Parolkirikirai parish struggle with the drought and the heat. The drying time has been very late this year, probably due to the effects of El Niño, but it is likely to be all the rage.
The construction of the “travelling library” is going on, we have selected wonderful books, which are to go from school to school, besides “Planting the Trees of Kenya” and “Growing Trees and Gardens for Life”. Our bookstore in Nairobi retired at the end of the year, but we continue to process our orders. And, best of all, he gives us all the trade discount he gets as a bookseller – and that is between 20 and 30% – to us as support for our project.
100 books from Uganda have already arrived in Ololkirikirai. It is “What a Country Without Trees” by the already deceased author and many times excellent environmental activist Ndyakira Amooti. The little book deals with the causes of deforestation and its many effects and stimulates the planting of trees. It is written in English and intended for the higher school levels of our primary schools.
At the end of February, a new priest – Fr. Fredrick Maina – took over the parish of Ololkirikirai. We sincerely hope for a prosperous collaboration with him.
Since Millicent noted in her Christmas report that the schools rarely use the valuable books that they have received from us, so that they can be maintained for a longer time, we have devised a strategy change:
We will launch a traveling library, the “travelling library”, which includes some books in class strength. These should then rotate annually between our partnerships and be available to the schools for a short time. This guarantees that the teachers really work with these books. This “travelling library” is designed as a motivation for the schools to participate in our project. For this purpose, those schools which choose their own part of the agreement – a tree nursery, planting tree nurseries and planting a school garden – will be able to choose an annual schoolbook, which is purchased in class and remains at the respective school. To mark the books, we sent a stamp to Kenya, about which Millicent is very pleased.
Today our long planned letter to the participants of the “walking safari” organized by Gea has been sent by email. In this, we ask the participants to have the Co2 emissions caused by their trip compensated through Books for Trees. With the donations we create books for which trees are planted. Please keep our fingers crossed that many participants will make a lot of use of this offer!
Barabara has written an email that two resident peoples have broken out in his old parish of Ololkirikirai, that is, in our project area, unrest between Maasai and Kalendjin. It is about Weiderechte (in the Mau Forest) and cattle theft. 2 men have been killed, about 300 huts have been lit. Violent clashes just before Christmas!
This shows us that the pressure on the Mau Forest is indeed very high and that our strategy of reducing the pressure on the forest by afforestation and the cultivation of forage trees is highly relevant. Please help us!
We wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas. Let us celebrate it in the awareness that peace is not a matter of course!
Visit of Heini Staudinger: Today, Heini and Sylvie von Gea – www.gea.at -, who have been supporting many projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, have paid a visit to one of our schools, Naituyupaki Primary School. There are school holidays in Kenya, but some teachers, pupils, students and parents have not let themselves be welcomed to the high visit. Heini was so enthusiastic about what he got to see he called from Africa. Tomorrow Millicent will show you her nursery school and a few afforested areas in the mission station, then Heini and Sylvie travel back to Austria.
Today we received an email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz thanked us personally for having presented our initiative at the “Get Active!” Event, congratulated us on our initiative and wished us all the best for it.
This evening we were part of the initiative “SchülerInnen.gestalten.Wandel” at the event “Get Active! – Taking Action to the Global Goals” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a precaution, Mr. Wagenknecht had taken some of our Books for Trees Folder, and so we have made our initiative known as extraordinary at this event, which presented the new Sustainable Development Goals of the Uno, and received much praise for it. It was particularly exciting that we had met a young scientist from Burkina Faso on this occasion. After he worked there at the Institute for Forest Seed, he spontaneously supported his support. Next May, Lawrence Otieno, Barabara’s “spiritual nun”, will take over a parish in Cameroon as a priest and plant trees there and plant our project there. In West Africa, however, we had no contacts. Hurray, Cameroon, we’re coming!
In the annual “books exhibition” in our school, where booklets and fiction are offered for sale – a project organized by schoolchildren – for the first time, a bookshelf market has also been given to Books for Trees. Despite the flea market, the sales of other books were not down on the previous year. The books flea market has nevertheless invested 145, – €.
Thanks for yesterday’s thumb, it helped! The presentation at the NÖ Baumtag was well received and we were distinguished by the audience as a stand with the most competent and friendliest advice, ie as the best stand of the event!
Today is a great day for us students of the HBLFA for horticulture Schönbrunn in Vienna: we are invited to present our project at the Lower Austrian Baumtag in Baden. The fourth year is an information booth. Please keep our fingers crossed so that we can motivate many participants to support us!
In fact, the third term of this year’s school year should have begun in early September, but the teachers in Kenya have been on strike, as last September. It is mainly about the amount of the payment. One can hardly live on a teacher’s salary in Kenya, let alone a family. The teachers at the public schools in our project area earn between € 70 and € 100 per month.
The fence around the Ololkirikirai mission station is being renovated – so Millicent ‘s nursery school is soon safe from the cattle. The Sankt Theresa Primary School is given a 1000 liter tank, so that the trees exposed by the pupils in the last October can be better maintained.
In Austria, our genius folders – printed ready-to-print from the creative agency of a former student of Schönbrunn – have come under pressure and are delivered to life support where groups of clients glue the pop-up window. At the beginning of September, the first 1,000 copies are to be finished, so we want to get to the Lower Baumtag.
Today the fifth school starts in our project: the Naituyupaki Primary School. At this school trees were already planted around the school grounds in 2004 – within the framework of a planting campaign with Barabara, and years before that, the school community, with the Greenbelt movement, planted a small forest on the school grounds. The joy of the pupils, as well as the teacher about the books they receive today, is enormous, the seeded seeds will be sowing them in the next days in new seedbeds.
Yesterday was a special day for five students of Olorupa Primary School. Because they were the first to start home at home, they were even allowed to do a small nursery school, and they were able to do a great excursion with Millicent. The objectives were the Baracka Agricultural College in Molo and the Kenya Forestry Service Research Institute in Londiani. There they have seen large, professionally managed nurseries and they have also enjoyed a small workout. The astonishment and the joy of the children was great, so they had not yet undertaken such a long journey (about 120 km in one direction). The calculus of motivating the pupils through this excursion has been fully developed.
We hope that your Easter celebration was full of joy!
In our project area it has finally rained and the dryness, which has been dying since mid-December, is finally over. This also means that our partnerships, which begin the second trimester at the beginning of May, will then start again with sowing. In the dry season the pupils have always enough to bring the plantlets from the last sowing and the planted trees over the dry time.
Also in Entasekera, where we start with our project, it has rained at Easter and the seeds have sprouted very well.
Thank you all!
First of all: We wish all our friends and supporters a good, healthy and joyful New Year!
Our partnerships in Kenya started on the 19th of January with two weeks delay in the new school year, the teachers in Kenya have struggled.
Millicent has completed the “attachment” to her college education and is now returning to Ololkirikirai. Then we will learn what has happened in the schools regarding our project.
In the background, a lot of progress has been going on during the Christmas holidays: Lawrence Otieno Dominic, a priest student working with us, has established contact with KEFRI Kibwezi, a tree nursery and knowledge transfer facility for dry areas of the Kenyan Forestry Research Institute near Oltepesi, Barabara’s current site. He has also taken the tree-nurseries from Kibwezi to Oltepesi and planted it. In addition, Lawrence visited the Mango Plantage of the Better Globe Forestry Ltd in Kibwezi and saw what can be done in dry zones.
In Ololkirikirai, we had direct contact with the new pastor, Charles Ndemange, who gave us his support for our project. Furthermore, Millicent’s residential areas have been connected to the electricity supply.
We wish all our friends and supporters a blessed Christmas party!
Gilbert Sepaiyan also wants this and reports from his new parish Entasekera that it has finally rained there. Many cows are thirsty in the drought that has finally come to an end, including seven cows from the parish.
Gilbert Sepaiyan reports that the installation of the gutters and the tank at the Ololkirikirai Primary School have been completed and well done. The 5,000 liter tank is already full of water! As soon as the pupils return from the holidays, the seedlings that have sprung up in the new nursery school are being potted!
In Entasekera, its new parish, the cypresses have already germinated, and 500 seedlings of native trees have already been potted.
On our behalf, Gilbert Sepaiyan has brought the roofs of the Ololkirikirai Primary School to a tank and wire fence, so that the plantlets in the tree nursery, which the students have created in July, will also survive the dry season. It will take about a week before the equipment is installed and running. The parents’ chairmen and the teachers thank each other very much!
Meanwhile, Gilbert was already in his new parish Entasekera, and he had created a tree school at the same time!
Gilbert Sepaiyan, the chaplain of the parish of Ololkirikirai, informed Mr. Wagenknecht that he was commissioned by the Bishop to take over a parish in the southwest of the Narok district by the end of the month. He is then stationed in Entasekera, but he has noted that he will take the idea of planting trees there.
Thus, our project area expands unintentionally!
On the 27th, Millicent has started her 3-month practice, which she needed to complete her education. She is doing the practice at the Viagroforestry Training Center in Kitale where Sophie and Stefanie have completed their practice this year.
Sophie and Stefanie, two of our classmates, have completed their 6-week compulsory practice this year in Kenya, at the Viagroforestry Training Center in Kitale.
Afterwards the two with Mr. Wagenknecht drove to our project area to Ololkirikirai, and remained 14 days there.